RSSArchive for May, 2008

Proven retention tips!

The simple act of giving THANK YOU notes to staff has proven to be a positive morale builder and an easy-to-use retention tool. Some managers have the “want to” but complain of “writer’s block.” Here are a few tips to get started!

  • Blue or black ink offers a more professional appearance than other colors
  • Begin with the recipient’s name.
  • Say Thank You.
  • Be specific about the behavior or action you’re recognizing:
    • “The extra hours you stayed over to help…”
    • “Your positive attitude in a stressful situation…”
    • “Your willingness to change your schedule…”
    • “Going the extra mile with [patient], [family], [coworker]”
  • Be sure to mention the positive impact of their behavior or action:
    • “Your work/dedication made this project a huge success”
    • “Your creative thinking saved our department time/resources”
    • “Your faithfulness to follow-through is a great example”
  • Connect their behavior to your organizational mission:
    • “Thanks to you, we’re sure to reach our goals!”
    • “Thanks to your efforts, we’re on our way to achieving _____”
  • Say Thank You again.
  • Close your note with a meaningful sign-off:
    • “Keep up the great work, it’s being noticed!”
    • Cheers!
    • Best Regards
  • Sign your name.
  • To add a special flair, consider including a small treat:
    • Peppermint patty or Junior Mints (You’re worth a mint!)
    • Roll of lifesaver candy (You’re a life-saver!)
    • $100,000 bar (Your efforts are priceless!)
    • Hershey’s Nugget (You’re such a treasure to have on staff!)
    • Almond Joy (It’s a joy to work alongside you!)
    • 3 Musketeers (3 cheers for you/your work)
    • Shoestring licorice (Great job in tying together that project!)
    • Payday bar (Your efforts will lead to great return for patients/our department/ [your organization])
    • M & M’s (Thanks for not melting under the pressure)

Safe Staffing Poll reflects significant need for nurses

As a nurse, the obstacles you face on a daily basis increase the difficulty of your job regardless of the pressure for you to deliver quality patient care. You might feel many of these obstacles are unnecessary and unfair. If the sufficient amount of nurses were employed at your facility– these obstacles might not even exist.

Have you ever wondered how staffing issues at your facility measure up to those around the country? Take a look at the results below from the American Nurses Association’s Safe Staffing Poll that more than 10,000 nurses participated in. The findings emphasize the ongoing need for adequate staffing.

  • 73% of nurses asked don’t believe the staffing on their unit or shift is sufficient.
  • 59.8% of those asked said they knew of someone who left direct care nursing due to concerns about safe staffing.
  • 51.2% of nurses believe the quality of nursing care has declined in their unit over the past year.
  • 48.2% would not feel confident having someone close to them receiving care in the facility where they work.
  • 46% of nurses that were considering leaving their position associated it with inadequate staffing.
  • 36% rarely or never take their full meal break.

Do these results surprise you?

Preparing your business plan

Every business plan begins with a brief executive summary introducing the key components of the project. It is knowing how to tailor it to your audience that will lead to the project’s success.

When writing the executive summary—or any presentation for that matter—learn who your audience is before you begin. Be sure to mold the presentation to your audience’s needs and desires. If you are speaking to the chief executive officer, make sure your presentation solves a problem that directly affects the hospital’s bottom line or addresses specific regulations such as those mandated by The Joint Commission or the state.

Other things to factor into your presentation are relativity and timing. For example, if your hospital chose to close its obstetrics business, then writing a business plan for an obstetrics clinic would be a waste of everyone’s time, plus you would seem uninformed about the hospital. Timing also is important. For example, if you are requesting money, be sure your request does not follow closely on the heels of layoffs or after the executives have just revealed less than satisfactory financial statements to staff.

How have you prepared for business plans?

Quick retention ideas!

This week’s retention ideas:

Suggest that your team create a basket filled with goodies for another department in the hospital-just to show your appreciation for something they did. Have your entire staff sign the card, they may add comments if they’d like to. The other staff will be shocked and amazed. Other benefits from this one act of kindness may include increased patience & respect between departments, adding value to others’ self-worth, and an improved work relationship!
[Some ideas: snacks such as microwave popcorn, pretzels, m&m’s or cheese crackers; mini cans of soda; a bottle of Excedrin and a bottle of hand lotion]

To increase staff participation and ownership in their staff meetings, post a blank agenda in their lounge a week ahead of each scheduled meeting. Staff can post questions, concerns, or desired discussions. You may even become aware of issues you previously didn’t know about.

Something to ponder this week: 10 years from now, what will your staff remember about you?

Learning a new definition of health

Starting next week, I will be carrying two courses at a time, and I am told it can be done. I have spoken to several other classmates who have management jobs, families, etc., and some of them are actually taking a bigger course load. I don’t think I will ever go there. Just the thought makes my critical thinking skills kick in and ask, “Are you nuts?!”

The three credit course I am in the midst of is related to public health nursing, and I know what you are thinking-the same thoughts I had as I poured over the course objectives. With a bottle of Phenergan at my side, I was ready for boredom and nausea. What I found was an inspiring faculty member whose pointed questions got me thinking about healthcare and how it is delivered to the patient, the family, and the community. The course puts an emphasis on the effects of prevention on public health and assessing the health care needs of communities. Think of all the times staff approach you whining on and on about non-compliant patients. The course delves into the compliance obstacles for some of our population, such as making bad choices in their lives.

The most important questions we had to ask ourselves is to define the word health: What does it mean to each of us? Now I am asking you for your definition of health, and also your staff’s definition. Mine is printed below:

Health: A state of wellness for that individual

I anxiously await my grade for my mid-term paper, which brought back memories of why I do not work the night shift anymore. My final paper is due mid-June and no, I have not started it yet. For my final exam, I have to find a grant available for a vulnerable population we identify in our mid-term paper. Can someone please help me? I feel ischemia creeping into my brain. What was it I identified? Can Phenergan ever be used to help brain perfusion? Hmmm…..