Wrap Up

I learned a lot about Leadership in Nursing from this course.  At times, I thought the group assignments were a nuisance, but in the end they were some of the assignments I learned the most from.  I think it was good to have so many team assignments, because leadership is all about working as a team and communicating! 

This final week we are expected to take Exam 3 as a team.  My team made a google doc and we have all been contributing to each question.  I find it beneficial to think of my own answers and then read the responses made by my teammates.  I’ve learned a lot from their input throughout the semester.  It helps me realize how much we can learn from our teams in the workplace.  Healthcare functions best as a team! 

I hope I can remember the importance of communication, conflict resolution, and employee motivation in my healthcare career.  I feel like these are crucial for a healthy functioning unit.  I hope to be able to strive to relate to my employees, in future leadership positions.  This class was helpful in forcing me to picture myself in leadership positions and think of what I would do.  I hope to take this application with me on my healthcare professional journey!

Risk Management & Legal Responsibilities

I enjoyed listening to the presentation given by Karie Minaga-Miya. It was beneficial to hear from a Risk Manger directly on this topic.  It kept me interested.  Before this lecture, I knew just the bare minimum about risk management, honestly.  Now I have a better understanding of what risk management is involved in on a constant basis and when organizations reach out to involve risk management for case reviews.  I also like the refresher about how to chart about incidents and to not mention that an incident report was filed.  This unit was a good reminder to me to keep me on my toes and make sure I am following all procedures and protocols completely to protect myself when events happen.

The team activity this week was for each team member to write how they would respond to a certain case scenario if we were the nurse leader on the unit.  This was a helpful activity for me.  It helped me think how I would actually respond if I were the leader.  In my post, and the posts of my team members, we found ourselves trying our best to be supportive of our staff in the incident.  I think this is likely true in many situations.  As a nurse leader, we want to protect our staff but we also want to review cases and look for needs of new/revised protocols and procedures to constantly strive to provide the best quality of care and protect our staff.

I hope to be able to use this information about risk management and legal responsibilities in my nursing practice-not only to protect myself in my career, but to also provide the best quality of care to my patients.  Procedures and protocols are set in place to not only keep us safe in our jobs, but to also limit the amount of event/incidents that occur for our patients.  In addition to this, I hope to remember the importance of risk management as a leader as I might be in this role some day. 

Overall, the presentation and team activity this week was helpful to me.  I know more about risk management and understand the relation between both risk management, nurses, and nurse leaders.  I think some times the involvement of risk management can seem scary and intimidating to the unit’s staff members, but after listening Karie talk, she really is on our side and trying to help healthcare improve overall.

Motivation

This unit was quite applicable to my work situation right now.  One of the articles for this unit suggested providing continued education courses to she employees they are valued and that the company cares about their continued education.  Then this week, my supervisor informed that the administration was not allowing the company to pay for employees to attend conferences and things anymore.  I was quite surprised, and honestly let down.  I always appreciated this perk of the company, and for them to take it away didn’t help motivate me in my work setting.  This experience helped me realize how important it is to ensure that employees are motivated.  Not only does it encourage employees to stay with the company, but it also helps them perform to their best abilities rather than slacking off.

For the team discussion this week, we were supposed to come up with 7 ways to try and motivate employees and keep them engaged with the unit and not quit.  One of the 7 we decided was providing continued education opportunities, which I liked.  A lot of us brought up outside activities to promote positive work relationships between coworkers.  Another common one suggested was to give personalized notes/awards to individuals who deserve recognition. 

The biggest takeaway for me is that when I am in leadership positions, I hope to do my best to keep employees motivated.  Though it might take a little extra effort on my part, it will not only keep employees around but it will keep them working at their best abilities which will consequently benefit the organization I work for.  

I think motivation of employees is crucial.  I’ve worked for places where employees lose interest, become frustrated, start gossiping rather than directly communicating, and it leads to people quitting and not working at their best level.  I’ve also worked for placed that do a great job keeping employees engaged and it helps the whole unit succeed.  I hope to help my company feel encouraged to find ways to stay motivated in providing optimal care to our patients. This is what healthcare is all about, right?

Conflict Resolution and Collective Bargaining

Something that stuck out to me was the importance of effective communication.  In order to resolve conflict, communication has to be involved.  Not just any communication, but assertive communication can be more beneficial.  From the movie, The Guardian, I learned that letting conflict build up rather than addressing it promptly only makes things. worse!  Being able to talk with those who are involved in the conflict, try to understand all points of view, and trying to relate and come up with the best resolution together can likely lead to closer relationships in a workplace, too!

It was interesting to read the posts my teammates posted about collective bargaining.  We were supposed to be an advocate for the employees and negotiate with the employer.  Some chose to negotiate a little in a lot of different categories, whereas other chose to focus on just one or two items to negotiate.  It makes me wonder which goes over better in the real world?

The biggest takeaway for me was the assertive communication. Some times I tend to let things fester that are bothering me about how something is done at work.  I hope I can try to use assertive communication and express how I’m feeling. I bet I would come to understand the reasons behind certain work processes  better and learn to be more ok with it.  Open communication is key!

I think this also goes for when I might be a nursing leader in the future, too.  If leaders sense conflict between employees, perhaps they can approach them and encourage them all to discuss the situation face to face and seek to find a resolution.  

Operational/Strategic Planning

It is interesting to consider how important strategic planning actually is.  The old way of strategic planning was commonly a 5 year plan.  The new way is a plan for 6, 12, 18, or 24 months down the road.  I learned that strategic planning is envisioning where you want your organization to be in the next 6, 12,18, or 24 months and then making plans how to reach that ultimate goal.  

I liked hearing everyone’s thought process as to how they would strategically place clinics, hospitals, etc in order to grow their business.  It helped me realize how important it would be to have a team involved in strategic planning.  Gathering everyone’s ideas and being able to discuss the best ones to reach the ultimate goal is very efficient.

A portion of the lecture discussed a nurse leader’s role in strategic planning which is to focus on their unit and do all they can to steer their unit in the direction of the ultimate goals.  I felt this was most applicable to me right now.  I want to be able to be involved and aware of what my workplace’s ultimate goals are and what the plans are to get there.  This will help me be able to do my part in steering us to reach our goals!

This unit was helpful in realizing the importance of always striving to improve an organization.  Without a vision, where is there to go?  Without a vision, how can we strategically make plans in the right direction?

Managing Change

Throughout this unit, I learned more about myself and how I deal with change.  I really enjoyed the video, “Who Moved My Cheese.”  I related myself most to Haw.  I initially hesitate with change, but I eventually try to understand the purpose for the change and adapt accordingly.  In the team discussion, all of us said we mostly identify with Haw.  It was interesting to read the reasons as to why they saw themselves as Haw.

In the lecture, I learned about how necessary change is.  Without change, there isn’t growth.  People get too comfortable and limit their progression toward more success, whether it is in a job or their personal life.

Going back to the video, “Who Moved My Cheese,” I like how this story demonstrates different personality tendencies.  What stuck out to me most were the “writings on the wall.”  I learned that change can really be a good thing and there is so much growth that results from adapting to change.

I want to make sure to always try and be more adaptable to change, especially in my nursing career.  I think the best application will be for me to learn to always expect change.  Nothing ever stays the same, and if I can always anticipate change, I think I will be able to more easily adapt and reap the benefits of change!

Budget Interview

I interviewed Greg Keetch, who is the owner of a restaurant, Taco Amigo in Pleasant Grove, Utah.  He is responsible for the budget, and it was interesting to hear his responses to the following interview questions:

  1. What are some of the most common areas in which your company goes over budget?
  2. What have you noticed works most effectively in cutting costs of these problem areas?
  3. Have you ever had to lay people off as a result of consistently going over budget?
  4. Do you find it beneficial to keep employees aware of budgeting concerns?
  5. Are there certain categories of your budget that seem to be unpredictable? (patterns of being over than under budget?)
  6. Would you see it beneficial to provide a cost breakdown of over budget areas?
  7. How often do you spend time looking over the budget?
  8. Do you include staff or other leaders in budget discussions?
  9. What tools or programs do you use to stay on budget?
  10. What concerns you more, keeping the month to month budget or the year to date budget?
  11. What has been your greatest success in keeping budget? What is a time when you erred in keeping budget?

Considering Greg’s responses to these questions, it was quite clear that the most concerning area of going over budget is staffing/labor for him.  He said it can be difficult to predict how busy days and nights will be at his restaurant, so staffing is complicated.  To avoid going over budget, he reviews past years to see how busy certain days of the year are to have a better idea of how many employees to schedule. He also created an app that all of the managers have.  This app shows the labor as a percentage in each given hour.  The managers are all aware of what the desired percentage is, and if they are over, the managers are expected to send people home.  This has helped with staffing over-budgeting a lot.

It seems like a lot of businesses have difficulties with staffing, which seems very understandable.  In order to keep patient/customer satisfaction, you can’t be understaffed because then people are displeased and you risk employee burnout.  Then at the same time, you don’t want to have too many employee at once, because the budget can quickly be surpassed this way.  I really liked how Greg said they have an app for the managers to know the labor compared to the amount of business they are getting each hour.  This seems like an effective way to manage labor step by step.

Career Development and Staffing

I realized the importance of developing a career plan, or having an ultimate career goal.  Talking about my career goals with my team helped me put my thoughts in writing and think about yearly goals to reach my ultimate goal.  I also took away from this unit the importance of effective scheduling on a nursing unit.  I have had good experiences with staffing, and so it was interesting to read about the different experiences my team members have had.  

Poor scheduling techniques can lead to nurses quitting because of burnout or not knowing their schedule far enough in advance.  My team came to the consensus that self scheduling is very beneficial.  It helps the nurse be responsible for their schedule and avoids having to pay someone else to have to work on the schedule.  

I get to make my own schedule as a hospice nurse, and I love it.  Of course, I need to be available Monday through Friday 8-5, but I have so much say as to when I see my patients.  Looking into the future, I hope to remember my good experiences and others’ bad experiences with scheduling.  I hope if I am in a leadership position, I will try my best to make a staffing technique that gives the nurses autonomy in making their schedule.  

Future of Nursing

For this unit we watched Dr. Gonzales’ presentation about the Future of Nursing.  I actually really enjoyed listening to this.  I felt like it was inspiring to hear where we, as a nursing profession, are currently and the direction we are heading.  It was inspiring to listen to the presented goals and the attainability of these goals.  

The team discussion helped me to put my thoughts about the lecture into words.  I realized that, yes, I do agree with the direction of nursing and I do believe the goals are attainable!  It of course will take time, but we are already heading in the right direction!  Each team member agreed with the direction of nursing and the goals.  From the discussion, we were all able to build on our initial opinions.

Toward the end of Dr Gonzales’ presentation, she talked about how each of us, as nurses, could play our part in reaching the goals be being life-long learners, encouraging other nurses to do the same, encouraging ourselves and others to reach higher degrees of education, and being more involved in the healthcare organizations for which we work.  I want to make it a conscious effort to play my part!  It also plan to make goals of furthering my education.  I hope to go on after my BSN and make sure I am utilizing my full potential as a team player on my health care team.

Managing Healthcare Resources

This unit was actually interesting to me.  I haven’t had much experience focusing on the budget side of healthcare, so this really opened my eyes. 

In my team’s discussion this week, it was clear that we all agreed where cost cuts needed to happen; however, it was hard to think of cutting staffing when we know how it is as a floor nurse.  We don’t want to become burned out, and we know this can happen without proper staffing.

It was interesting to see the financial perspective of this.  I don’t usually think about company budget, but it is crucial to do so in order to keep the organization functioning well.  Without a well-functioned organization, it might eventually shut down, which defeats the purpose of providing care to patients.  

In my current practice, I will utilize this information by being more aware of the supplies I use and how I use them.  I will also pay attention to the areas in which my manager requests we be more careful in.

I hope to be a better team player and help my company stay within budget without cutting down on quality patient care.  There definitely is a balance.

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