RSSArchive for December, 2007

Give your nurses a holiday e-card

In search of a simple way to let someone know you are thinking about them this holiday season? Just want to give a quick “thank-you” for all the hard work they do?

Here’s a quick and easy way to do it: Send some fellow nurses a holiday card here.

Driving under the influence of drowsiness

It’s no secret that nursing can do a number on your health. Sore backs from lifting patients and poor eating habits because of strange schedules and lack of time, to name a couple examples, can have a detrimental effect on your health. Add driving under the influence of drowsiness to the list.

According to a new study published in the December 1 issue of SLEEP, staff nurses who work extended hours, work at night, struggle to remain awake at work, or obtain less sleep are more likely to experience a drowsy driving episode. The data was compiled during a four-week span and focused on 895 nurses, who reported, on average, one drowsy driving episode out of every four shifts worked. Additionally, 281 accidents or near car accidents were reported during the study.

Sleep restriction and sleep fragmentation are listed as the two main causes of drowsy driving. To combat the problem, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends getting enough sleep, taking breaks while driving, consuming caffeine, avoiding alcohol, and avoid late-night driving.

Here is a link to the full press release with further information: Sleep Study

Every manager’s discrimination fears

Managers are forever grateful for the supportive teams they work with and all have staff they wish could be duplicated on a copy machine. Because we work with a variety of people, challenges will always be present. Our “Hot topics” will look at the reality of these challenges, helping managers by sharing their experiences. We can all benefit from those who have had success in meeting these situations of conflict.

How do you handle the employee who “everyone” knows needs to be shown the door, you have all the necessary documentation, but there is a “discrimination fear”? The employee may be obese, have a physical challenge, be from another country, or be in a recovery program for an addiction. According to the EEOC (US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), types of discrimination include;

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Equal pay
  • National origin
  • Pregnancy
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Retaliation
  • Sex
  • Sexual harassment

Some employees may verbally threaten their manager by using the term discrimination and others use the weight of the nursing shortage as ammunition. The most recent case I was involved with was an employee who had threatened both the manager and the HR director with racial discrimination as they were walking the employee through the steps of termination.

In 2006, 75,768 individuals filed charges with the EEOC with almost 36% of them related to racial claims. gender discrimination was the next most commonly field charge at a rate of just under 31%. Of all the claims made in 2006, there were 403 suits actually filed. You can read more details about the charges, claims and outcomes of the cases at the Web site

What experiences have you had with this and how did you handle it? Were you surprised by the outcome? Who was your greatest resource that helped to guide you through the process? Did you find yourself in a situation where the organization was best served by “settling” the case?