Reflective Journal Week 6: Ethics & Performance Appraisals

This week we discussed ethical responsibilities of the nurse leader.  Things such as the major ethical and legal challenges the nurse leaders face, distinguish between legal and ethical reasoning, the responsibility of advocating for patients/profession/self.  We also discussed what an ethics committee is and what their responsibilities are. What’s interesting is that an ethics committee has no authority in that they are there solely to give advice which can be followed or not. However, going against the ethics committee isn’t a very good idea.

What are ethics?  They are values that we adhere to.  They’re the intrinsic part of our culture, but they can change from culture to culture (religious, home, work, etc).  What do we do when an ethical decision arises? We usually fall back on our moral values.  When I have a personal ethical dilemma I can talk to a friend or religious leader, for guidance.  At work, I can take the situation to my charge nurse or manager, but there are also ethics committees for those special circumstances.  I learned organizations are only averaging the use of a committee 3x/year!

Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

A positive to working in a group, is that everyone brings valuable information that another person didn’t know or hadn’t come across in their research. It helps when we all agree on the same topic, because it allows us to complete assignments much quicker. It’s always nice when you feel validated in your opinion as well.

How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

An ethical dilemma that medical professionals may face can be difficult.  We must find a compatible way to work out conflicting situations between our practice and personal values/opinions.  Educating our patients along with knowing who my resources are and where to find them are tremendously important. I hope I never have to bring an issue to an ethics committee, but if something was to come up, I’m really glad I have that resource available to me.  As a nurse I work with a team at all times.  If I need help, there is always going to be someone there to give me assistance.  If I feel that the help I am receiving is not enough I can go up the chain of command.  

What I learned from conducting this Performance Appraisal Interview:

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rob Gleason who is the Chief Operating Officer at Fusion Healthcare. Based on this interview and the lectures from this week, I learned there are many ways to conduct a performance appraisal interview, and sometimes it’s based on the size of the company/how many employees they have. The bigger the company, the more likely they are to delegate these meetings to a manager, supervisor, or mentor role. Although it can be in their best interest to have another person included in these meetings, they’re often between the employee and someone from the leadership team. In the case of Fusion Healthcare, communication is tremendously important, along with weekly and monthly goals. Their goals are very numbers oriented, and Rob feels this can sometimes take away from the fact that they do care more about their employee in the long run than they do about the numbers. He’s found constructive criticism combined with positive feedback usually has the best outcome during these meetings. However, should someone perform less than average, they are placed on a “plan,” and when that plan is not followed during the specified time frame, then unfortunately they must let someone go. According to Rob, that is a discussion that never gets easier with time.

I learned that there is a lot of work and effort that goes into decision making when it comes to being a manager.  They might make more money, but I’d argue that they earn it.  The sleepless nights warrant better pay in my opinion.  Being a manger in charge of critiquing an employee, especially when their worth to the company is not beneficial, is extremely difficult.  I admire people in these types of positions as they have to put up with a lot of complaining, balancing fairness among employees, making sure they keep their employees happy, paying them enough to keep their employees working for them, and ensuring that they feel respected and worthwhile to the company.  I’m not sure this is a role I’m ready for just yet, but I hope over time I will be.


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