RSSArchive for January, 2010

Communication: Strategies to help nurses with confrontation

Healthcare is characterized by a culture of silence, especially surrounding errors. Deeply embedded in both the physician and nurse culture is the belief that good nurses or good doctors don’t make mistakes. Whether vocalized or not, we expect perfection from these human beings, and this unarticulated belief results in culture of blame, shame, and most of all, silence. The statistics are illuminating:

  • Seventy-eight percent of nurses said that it was difficult, if impossible, to confront a person or group directly if they exhibit incompetent care.
  • Fewer than 10% of MDs, RNs, and clinical staff directly confront their colleagues about concerns.

The reality is that the most common confrontation style nurses use is avoidance. Nurses frequently demonstrate a passive-aggressive style of communicating (meaning, they will tell everyone on the unit why they are upset with you, but they won’t actually come and talk to you themselves.) Learning how to confront each other is critical to patient safety, our image, and our future. [more]

Butt out: TN hospital will no longer hire nurses who smoke

The next time you get ready for a pre-employment drug test, remember to stay away from poppy seed bagels. You may also have to make sure you are not a smoker. Beginning in February, Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, TN will no longer hire potential employees who smoke or test positive for nicotine.

Officials at Memorial Hospital believe hospitals need to set a healthy example for the community, and think not hiring smokers is a step in the right direction.

However, not everyone agrees with Memorial Hospital. If you do not hire potential employees because they smoke and are not setting a good example, then should you not hire obese individuals, or those who do not eat right, or exercise?

What are your thoughts? Do you think not hiring smokers is beneficial to the recovery of patients? Is this the right way for hospitals to be setting an example to the surrounding community?

Source: Chattanooga Pulse (TN)

Nominate a star for the HCPro 2010 Nursing Image Awards

Do you know a fellow nurse that goes above and beyond the call of duty and want to find a way to honor their achievements in the field? What about a nurse manager who had a positive affect on your experience as a nurse? Do you want to show your appreciation, but don’t know how? Now you can, by nominating them for HCPro’s 2010 Nursing Image Awards!

The award honors nurses whose leadership, teamwork, or clinical expertise embodies an image of nursing excellence and contributes to improving patient care, quality outcomes, nurse satisfaction, and the healthcare environment.

There are two categories nominees are eligible for, the image of nursing in leadership and the image of nursing in clinical practice. An individual or team of nurses and a nursing leader will receive an award for each category.

The deadline for nominations is July 31, 2010, but why wait? Click here to nominate your favorite nurse or nurse leader today!

Winners will be announced in October at the HCPro Nursing Leadership Summit in Orlando.

Concluding charge nurse education and training

The first section of the workshop presentation summarizes the charge nurse role. The role encompasses many functions, along with having responsibilities, accountability, and authority.

Advising the charge nurse with proper education, training, backing from leadership, and a tangible job description will allow them to function and produce positive results.

It is the skills the charge nurses possess:

* Technical proficiency

* Knowing other staff and looking out for their welfare

* Keeping staff informed

* Ensuring the tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished

* Making sound and timely decisions

* Developing a sense of responsibility in the staff members and peers

* Setting an example

Leading the team will assist them in the success of their role as a charge nurse, as “leaders do not command excellence, they build excellence” (Connelley, 2003.) To complete the charge nurse role and RAA section the charge nurses see a video created by the education team. The video includes a charge nurse, patient, inexperienced nurse, and an experienced, overworked nurse.

To learn more on how to wrap up a charge nurse workshop, click here.

Providing workshops for your charge nurses

The workshop should open with an icebreaker activity called “Fear in the Bucket.” This activity entails reading the following statement: “As a charge nurse I am most afraid of…”

Each charge nurse must finish the sentence by writing on a piece of paper and placing their statements into a bucket located at the center of the table.

After all charge nurses have submitted their entries, the buckets get switched with the other tables. The charge nurses then read each other’s statements and discuss the reality of what fears are being experienced by their peers.

The goal of the icebreaker is to have everyone be aware of the fact that they are not alone.

By the end of the workshop, many of their fears—if not all—will either be resolved or lessened to where they can feel more at ease in their role and with the decisions they have to make on any given day.

Along with being an icebreaker, this activity brings about a lot of dialogue and at times laughter amongst the participants.

Want to learn more about workshops for charge nurses, and how they are beneficial. Click here to read more.

Helping Charge Nurses understand their leadership role

As the amount of patients admitted to hospitals every day increases, it becomes more pressing to ensure front-line leaders—charge nurses—are well aware of their role, responsibility, accountability, and authority.

It is the role of the charge nurse that is the key to providing leadership at the point of care, retention and turnover of staff, ensuring safe and effective practice occurs, and enhancing the patient/family experience by ensuring excellent quality care.

Most charge nurses, when asked about their role, responsibility, accountability, and authority (RAA) within their particular organization, felt confident about three of the four areas.

The charge nurses could state some aspects of what their role and responsibilities are, as well as their accountability. However, they were hesitant to answer what they felt their authority as a charge nurse is.

Want to learn more on how to help charge nurses understand their role and responsibility in the organization? For the full article, visit the Reading Room on the Web site Strategies for Nurse Managers by clicking here.

NCLEX passing standard raised due to sicker patients with longer life spans

The amount of care required by hospitalized patients seems to grow every year, and many nurses in the field question whether recently-graduated nurses are sufficiently prepared to take on the demanding task.

This is the issue considered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, (NCSBN), which recently raised the passing standard on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to ensure new nurses are sufficiently ready to take on the growing needs of sicker patients. [more]

The Truth about Nursing releases best and worst nurse portrayals of the decade

It seems with every passing year more television shows portray nurses in a different light, as talk shows and different healthcare associations express varying opinions on nurses in the hospital system. If you tune into Showtime, Nurse Jackie will blow you away while popping pain medication. However, if you visit the American Medical Association you might read a negative comment on advanced practice nurses.

Responding to the varying shows in the media that portray nurses, The Truth about Nursing released a list showcasing the ten best and worst media portrayals of nurses between 2000 and 2009. [more]