January 06, 2012 | | Comments 0
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Top 10 most read blogs posts from 2011

Here’s a rundown of the most-read posts from 2011:

1. Analyzing nurse staffing: Understanding FTEs

Staffing: what a problem! Developing and monitoring the staffing budget is one of the most, if not the most, difficult responsibilities of the nurse leader. Labor consumes the majority of the financial resources of the organization. Therefore, everyone must act responsibly in order to ensure the financial health of the organization. But how do you know how many staff you need on your position control in order to meet the needs of the department (not too many, and not too few)? That is a $100,000 question!

2. Helping new graduate nurses over transition shock: Part 1: The “doing” stage

It’s the time of year when hospitals are welcoming new graduate nurses to their units and nurse managers are preparing to help these new nurses make the difficult transition from nursing school to nursing practice.

Kendra Varner, MSN, RN, nurse residency program coordinator for the Kettering Health Network in Dayton, OH, wrote in the book Nurse Residency Program Builder, that new nurses go through many experiences as they transition to become competent nurses. In the first part of a three part series, Varner describes the first stage.

3. Best practices for filling out incident reports

You and your staff may think that incident reports are more trouble than they are worth-but think again.

We work in high-stress, fast-paced environments. It is your responsibility as a member of the nursing management team to understand not only the importance of the incident report, but also how to ensure that your staff completes them and how to investigate incidents to avoid any further occurrences. Your investigation will also provide possible defense if during your investigation you identify a system failure and take the necessary corrective action(s).

4. Best and worst nursing portrayals of 2010

The Truth About Nursing, a non-profit organization in Baltimore that seeks to increase public understanding of the role nurses play in today’s healthcare, has announced its eighth annual list of the top 10 best and worst media portrayals of nursing in 2010.

At the top of the “best” list is Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, which the organization applauded for the lead character’s virtuosity in using creative and effective ways to improve patient outcomes,

5. Are you a bully?

Do you have favorite nurses on your unit? Are there a couple of nurses who make you want to roll your eyes and sigh every time you interact with them?

While it’s to be expected you will have high and low performing employees on your unit, as well as personalities that you bond with more easily than others, nurse managers need to be careful how they deal with their feelings about their staff.

6. Confusing terminology: Understanding the difference between patient satisfaction and patient experience

Everyone is talking about patient experience these days and the term is often used interchangeably with patient satisfaction. In fact, the two are different concepts. Here’s a primer:

Patient satisfaction
Patient satisfaction speaks to the quality of care. Patient satisfaction surveys are used to identify issues and spot problems as they measure what actually happened.

7. Making the leap from “one of us” to “one of them”

One day you’re part of the group. Helping each other out, complaining about never having the supplies you want when you need them, and chipping in for pot luck holiday meals. The next, you’re promoted to manager and suddenly you become “one of them.”

Becoming a nurse manager is a tough transition for anyone, but it’s even harder when you become manager of the same unit where you worked as a staff nurse. Suddenly, you’re the one with the power-you can finally make the decisions you’ve always wanted to-but you also have all the responsibility.

8. “No decisions about me without me!”

Harvey Picker, founder of the Picker Institute, coined this phrase many years ago.  In my view, it articulates so simply and powerfully the key principle driving patient and family-centered care. It’s exciting to see the epidemic of commitment to patient and family-centered care! The words ‘patient-centered,’ ‘engagement,’ and ‘partnership’ are everywhere, as are bulleted lists of key principles, factors, and dimensions.

9. Helping new graduate nurses over transition shock: Part 2: The “being” stage

During the “being” or transition crisis phase, the real work of role transition occurs, beginning around the fourth month. During this stage, new nurses have consistent and rapid knowledge, skill, and critical thinking acquisition, but at the same time begin to experience a paradoxical loss of confidence resulting in uncertainty, confusion, and even depression. Consciously aware of competency level and significantly doubting their own abilities, new nurses seek validation of decisions from more experienced coworkers, which may be met with mixed reactions. While examining inconsistencies and inadequacies within the healthcare setting, graduate nurses struggle to reconcile their previously held view of self and the world with current reality, or they cognitively

10. Are you and your team on automatic pilot?

A couple of weeks ago, I was running a workshop on The Language of Caring and how to communicate in a way that builds trust and partnership with patients and families. As we worked our way through the seven skills, we reached the part where we examined what I consider to be one of the most important skills for patient-centered communication: “explaining positive intent.” This involves telling the patient (or other customer) how what you’re doing is for their sake. Often, we just engage in our activities with the patient without much explanation. We’re on automatic pilot and not thinking about how the patient or family member perceives what we’re doing. When we do explain, the explanation typically focuses on the activity: “Here’s what I’m doing.” Rarely, do we go beyond saying what we’re doing and articulate the benefit to the person with or on whom we’re doing it.

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Rebecca Hendren About the Author: Rebecca Hendren is product manager for the nursing group at HCPro, where she oversees new product development focused on training and education resources for nurse managers and nursing professional development specialists. Contact Rebecca at rhendren@hcpro.com.

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