1. What did you actually learn from the unit.
This week’s topic focused on career development and staffing a unit with all of the different needs that must be met to meet protocol for patient ratios and floor needs.
2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?
In the team activity this week we were assigned to staff a floor by making a two week schedule. There weren’t a lot of rules besides to staff it, but three nurses were on vacation and 2 cnas were in training. We started the assignment on a google doc and filled in the chart for nurses. I think most of us found this assignment one of the most difficult to do based on the limited information. Some people in my group have yet to work as a nurse so they felt they didn’t know where to go with this assignment. I’ve always found staffing to be complicated when watching my charge nurses work hard to put the puzzle together on the most complicated nights with limited staffing. It’s one of the reasons I have turned down the opportunity to be a charge nurse. I’m mostly just glad we got through that assignment. Some felt the nurses should have to pick up extra shifts to accommodate those on vacation. I didn’t think this was fair or appropriate. As a manger, the three nurses shouldn’t have been approved for the vacation time if we didn’t have the staffing to cover them. I decided to make sure we had enough staff to cover them since we weren’t told exactly how many RNs and LPNs were on the unit to start.
3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.
I realize you can’t make everyone happy, but I feel being straight forward and honest is the best approach. If the staff on the unit understands the position we are in as a team and where we stand, they may be more willing to help out. They won’t be happy, but they may have less questions. I have learned from experience, that if the staff understands it’s a temporary situation because management is working on a solution or new hires are on their way, then they are more resilient. Staff also responds well to incentives.
4. Your personal feelings about the material covered.
I found it extremely interesting and inspirational to learn what my colleagues have planned as far as career development. For example, I’ve heard of Doctors Without Borders, but I never understood what it entails to be quality to work with Doctors Without Borders. There’s a certain level of expertise that is required but can only be obtained through experience. I also found some people in my group are like me where our lives at the moment are centered around our family, and at this time we do not want to sacrifice time with our kids. I would some day like to participate in a humanitarian project or maybe become a travel nurse, but while my children are young and active in sports, I do not want to miss out on a minute of where they are at now. Just another reason why nursing is an amazing field to be a part of. We have opportunities to be a part of patient’s lives during some of the most important times in their lives. We have the privilege to care for special patients and their families. It’s a field that is constantly evolving, and there are various places to be as a nurse both in the U.S, abroad, bedside or behind a desk.