Reflective Journal- week 12

1. What did you actually learned from the unit. This week I think I learned some pretty valuable conflict management techniques. I found the assigned readings to be very useful. I learned about different forms of communication, including assertive communication and non-verbal communication. I learned that, although conflict can be difficult and sometimes damaging, it can also lead to really positive things. When handled and managed appropriately, conflict can lead to greater understanding, greater success, increased confidence, and better team-work. The key is knowing how to manage conflict successfully. I also learned that the Guardian is a great movie :).

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why? I found the discussion very useful and interesting this week. I especially liked doing the Collective Bargaining activity and then sharing our results with each other. I think I learned quite a bit from this. It was cool to see other people’s results to the activity, and how different the outcomes could be. It definitely made me think about negotiating salaries and benefits in a new way. I don’t know that my opinions were necessary changed, but my perspectives and knowledge was broadened. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice. I think that conflict resolution tools and effective communication skills will be EXTREMELY valuable as a nurse leader and manager. I am sure that managers often have to mitigate conflict, and the information I learned this week about listening to all sides, getting to the root of the problem, separating people from problems, allowing both sides to work together to find a solution to the problem, and compromising will come come in very handy as I try to help employees have positive interactions and work together as a team. I also think effective communication as a leader will help me to convey my thoughts clearly so that my team can more easily understand what needs to be done and how to do it. I will also use effective listening as a leader to help my team know that I care what they have to say and that they are important to me and to our team.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered. I enjoyed the topic this week. I think that conflict management and effective communication techniques are extremely valuable in all aspects of our lives. I feel that learning these skills can help you to be more successful, have better relationships, and achieve your goals. I know that this information is also very important for nurse leaders to know, because I can see in my own managers and leaders that their abilities to manage conflict and effectively communicate greatly affects how our team works together and how well our unit functions.

Reflective Journal- week 11

1. What did you actually learned from the unit. Oh wow, this unit was tough. Strategic planning takes a lot of work! I definitely learned a lot as a went through the module. I learned that having a mission and a vision is key to successful strategic planning. All plans trickle down from that initial mission and vision. I learned that if you want to be successful, you must plan! However, you must make plans that can adapt and change, because you can’t foresee the future and when you make a 5 year plan, that plan will most likely have to be updated before you hit the 5 year mark. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should just choose to not plan instead. You still need to plan, you just need to plan flexibly. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why? I thought the Strategic Planning activity was interesting. The scenario was kinda fun, and being able to think about how to expand an organization with unlimited funds was pretty cool. However, it was a little hard to make a plan when you only have some of the information about the scenario. In real life, you would learn SO much more about the needs of the community, and your competitors plans, and so many other things, before you would make plans to start massively expanding. So, that was hard for me. But I was amazed as I worked with my group, to see how everyone else approached the scenario. I learned a TON simply by hearing the ideas and plan of my teammates. As for the discussion this week, I really liked it. I thought it was fun to think of ideas for an MSN focus for UVU. I liked hearing everyone else’s ideas and coming to a consensus. Although I have no plan or desire to get a master’s degree (HAHA!), talking about programs with my team did make me think about how cool that would be to continue on to higher levels of nurse education. I do think the need and interest is out there.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice. In my current position, I intend to learn and re-memorize my facilities vision and mission, and do a self-evaluation to see how my personal practice aligns with their vision and mission. I want to make sure that I am contributing and focusing on the right things, to help my hospital achieve it’s goals. As for the future, if and when I am ever in a position to help with strategic planning, I think I will be better prepared for that after having this week’s module. I will remember to start with a vision and mission. I will remember to stay focused on those goals. I will remember to be flexible in planning. And, I will remember make sure the plan is distributed out to all people involved in implementing the plan so that everyone is on the same page and working together.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered. Strategic planning was hard for me. Thinking of ways to grow a company, or position a university to be most successful, did not come naturally for me. I am one who would rather be told what the plan is, and then I will work super hard to help achieve the plan. However, I do understand how extremely important it is to strategically plan, and so I am grateful for the opportunity to have learned about this topic, even if it isn’t my favorite. I know that I will find the things I learned this week to be valuable to me in the future.

Reflective Journal- week 10

1. What did you actually learned from the unit. The topic this week caused me to look at myself and evaluate how I handle change and what I can do better. Although kinda silly, the “Who Moved My Cheese” video actually really got me thinking. The writing on the wall is what impacted me the most. I was reminded that change is always happening, and you can choose whether to adapt, learn, and grow from it; or get stuck in your ways and resist it. This week, I also learned and thought about what it would be like, as a nurse leader, to have to help implement changes. I don’t think it would be easy to do because many people tend to be resistant to change. However, I learned that there are techniques I can use to help implement change successfully. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why? I feel like I learned a lot from listening to my teammates responses to this weeks discussion. Each person pointed out specific things from the “Who Moved My Cheese” video, or from their own thought and experiences with change, that really stood out to me and widened my understanding of the topic. For example, on teammate talked about being careful to not surround yourself with ‘energy suckers’. She related this to Hem and Haw, and that Hem was a downer and if Haw had allowed himself to continue with Hem, he would’ve had all the energy sucked out of him and wouldn’t have been able to progress. In our lives, we can choose to surround ourselves with uplifting things and uplifting people instead of ‘energy suckers’. Another teammate pointed out the importance of writing your goals and insights down, just like the writings on the wall from the video. We are better able to accomplish and focus on our goals when they are written out. And one other teammate brought up the fact that even if monitoring and adapting to change doesn’t come naturally or easily to you, you can still work at it and do your best and if you do and are willing, then you can still learn to adapt successfully to change. These were all things that added to the knowledge I had already gained from the video and enhanced my learning further. It was super useful to discuss this topic and learn from one another as a team.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice. First of all, I intend to try and be more open to change, and also to anticipate it better. I think if I can anticipate change, that will help me to know that it is coming and is necessary. Also, I think the things I learned will be very useful when I am in management or leadership positions in the future. Having an idea of how to implement change and get people on board with it, by including them in the process, seeking the input of everyone, and involving people in deciding on changes will be very valuable as I try to lead people in change.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered. I enjoyed learning about change, and managing change. I tend to be a person who actually likes change (for the most part). I get bored when things stay stagnant for too long, so I like it when things switch up once in awhile. But, I have learned that most people are the opposite. So, the material this week was really good for me. It caused me to think about why people resist change, and how I might be able to help them navigate that as a nurse leader. I enjoyed the readings, and especially the video. I also tried to take the “wouldn’t that be just like me” challenge that was discussed in the lecture this week. One of the changes/choices that I made was on one afternoon when I decided to throw my whole schedule out the window and just let my kids play outside with friends and just kinda have a relaxed afternoon (instead of the usual- get homework done and chores done and plug through the to-do list). On that given day, it was warm outside, and I felt like we were kind of in a rut, and so, instead of doing our usual routine, I decided to change things up. And you know what? It was awesome! I think making a change to our schedule really gave me, and my kids, the boost that we needed. Sometimes change, or even just doing things differently can be hard, but sometimes it is just what we need to push us forward and feel rejuvenated. 

Reflective Journal- week 9

1. What did you actually learned from the unit. This week I learned that, to my surprise, I actually like creating staffing schedules! haha! I thought this would be another unit that would not interest me, but I actually really enjoyed it! I learned that there are many ways to do staffing, and I think there are many factors that lead into what the best method is for any given organization. I also saw a glimpse of how hard it can also be to staff in a way that pleases everyone. I can only imagine that the people who are in charge of staffing probably often have people made at them, even though they are just doing their very best. And lastly, I also learned that there are a lot of factors that affect staffing, such as: individual employees availability, number of patients, nurse/patient ratios, holidays, vacation days, on-call protocols, and so much more.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why? I definitely learned a ton from the team activities this week. The staffing assignment was kinda fun. There were a few ideas I had on how to create the schedule, and my teammates had some different ideas. My original thoughts did change as I heard the ideas of my teammates. For example, I thought we would have to have nurses work overtime in order to accommodate the nurses on vacation. But a teammate of mine pointed out that we should have enough staff to allow for people to take vacation days, without having to force others to go into overtime. Plus, she pointed out that we have PRN nurses, and float pool nurses that can help cover any other holes that need to be filled. I realized that there really are a lot of different ways to manage a schedule and it was good to see other people’s ideas. I also liked the discussion where I heard how staffing works at my teammates places of employment. We all had different experiences, so I was able to learn about several different styles.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice. Well, starting immediately, I will be more grateful for the way we do staffing at my organization and grateful to my charge nurse who creates the schedules. I will also try to be more flexible, now that I see how hard it can be to accommodate everyone and their wishes. I also think that the things I learned this week will become extremely valuable if and when I am in a position where I am in charge of doing staffing. I now have several different ideas on how staffing can be done, and I understand some of the important things to pay attention to. 

4. Your personal feelings about the material covered. This was a good week for me. I enjoyed the topic so much more than I have for the past two weeks. I wasn’t sure if I’d like learning about staffing, but I really did. I have always enjoyed making lists and organizing things, so this really tapped into that side of me! I found the team activities to be very valuable. I also liked the lectures. It was a good week and I learned a lot of valuable information.

Reflective Journal- week 8

1. What did you actually learned from the unit. This week I learned that the IOM has made goals to improve the future of nursing. I had never heard of these goals before, which I find slightly unnerving, due to the fact that I am a nurse working in the field. You’d think that I would have heard of these before. I feel like if we want the goals to be achieved and if they really are important, then nurses throughout the country should be made aware of and frequently reminded of these goals and initiatives. I learned that important improvements for the future of nursing include promoting continuous learning and obtaining higher degrees of education for nurses, promoting diversity in nursing, promoting leadership in nursing and interdisciplinary roles.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why? I feel like I actually learned a lot this week from the team discussion. Although I listened to all of the lectures and did understand them, they didn’t catch my attention much and not a whole lot of what was said really stuck. However, reading my teammates responses helped to solidify some of what I heard in the lectures. I liked hearing my teammates take on the subject. I would say that my opinions and thoughts did change as I read other responses. I understood the material in greater depth and began to appreciate and see the value in the goals and initiatives towards a bright future for nursing.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice. Reading and learning about the IOM goals will influence my nursing career because now that I am aware of the goals, I can make efforts to help move these goals forward. For example, the goal to nurses to have continuous education and higher degrees. Whether or not I will continue my formal education after getting my bachelor, I do not know, but I will for sure make a greater effort to be continuously learning as a nurse. I will seek out opportunities to attend classes, lectures, conferences, and other events that will allow me to stay up to date on most current practice and knowledge. I realize that this is so important to nursing and best care for out patients.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered. Honestly, this has probably been my least favorite subject for this class so far. The lectures were a bit dry for me, and long… very long. The title of this weeks module was Leaders as Educators/Future of Nursing. I was actually looking forward to learning about leaders as educators because I LOVE teaching as a nurse, it is one of my favorite parts of nursing and I am interested in potential positions in the future which involve more educating. However, I felt that this module actually only focused on the future of nursing as dictated by the IOM. Because of this, I was slightly disappointed with this lecture. I still see the value in the things that were discussed and taught and learned this week. I know that the future of nursing is extremely important, so that information was valuable, but it just wasn’t my favorite topic to study.

Reflective Journal- week 7

1. What did you actually learned from the unit. This week I learned that budgeting is tough! I do not look forward to that part of being a manager. I like to focus on doing my job, and doing it well, and using what I feel I need to do it well, without having to worry about the costs behind it all. It was definitely good though, to see an actual budget from a hospital unit and see everything that is on there. I was impressed with how very specific and itemized it is. I think it helps to have such a clear, itemized budget so you can see exactly where money is coming from and where it is going so that you can see where changes need to be made. I have never seen such an intense budget as the one we looked at this week, so it was really good for me to see that and learn more about budgets.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why? I was glad to see that my teammates and I were mostly on the same page as to where budgets cuts needed to be made. Each of us listed slightly different things, but most of it was the same. We all agreed that cuts needed to be made with salaries. That was a hard one for us to accept. When you know a cut will affect individuals directly, that is hard to come to terms with. But in this scenario, it seemed obvious that we needed to make adjustments in that category. I don’t think my opinions necessarily changed by doing the team activity, but I do feel that I understood the budget and ideas on making cuts better after discussing with my team.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice. Learning how to read a big hospital budget like the one we looked at this week will definitely be valuable to my nursing career if/when I am ever in a management position where I have to deal with budgets. I had never seen a budget quite like that before, and exposure to it was super valuable. Now, I will be able to more easily look at a budget, understand what I am looking for, and recognize where the budget is off and where changes should be made. Another thing that I learned this week that will be very valuable to my nursing practice, is the importance of documentation when enacting discipline or firing an employee. I learned this from my interview this week and I will definitely use this in my future nursing practice when I am in a positions that requires me to enact discipline.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered. I did not particularly love having to think about and deal with budgets this week. However, I saw the value in it and do think it is extremely important to learn about budgeting as a nurse leader. It was really good for me to be exposed to this topic and begin to learn a little bit about it. I liked how the lectures this week went nice and slowly over different aspects of the budget. That was really good for me. When I first saw the pictures of the budgets, I was super overwhelmed. But after listening to the lectures, I was able to understand what I was looking at and the budget made sense to me. 

Firing-Discipline Interview

This week I had the opportunity to perform another interview. This time, the interview was for a person who is in charge of the disciplining and firing of employees. This is not a very fun topic, in fact is it a very sad and frustrating topic. It is, however, a topic that must be dealt with in the work place, and in order to be a good leader and manager, you must know how to discipline and fire employees when necessary. The person I chose to interview is Greg Gessel, who works for Mechanical Service and Systems. Following is a brief overview of the questions asked and responses.

What are some strategies that you utilize to help the employee that you are disciplining or firing remain calm? -make sure everything is documented so they can’t argue it.
Do you have tips on offering them appropriate comfort? -letting them know it happens to everyone, that I was in that position before, relating to them
Tell me about a time that you fired an employee and it did not go well. -had to try to get him off the customer site, he kept arguing about the why. Finally got someone else to come get him out to the parking lot and take him home
Describe a time where you saw improvement in an employee after disciplining them for inappropriate behavior. -we’ve had to sit down and give a verbal warning that we are watching and that they need to make certain changes, it helped a lot.
What documentation do you use when recording an employee’s poor performance or inappropriate behavior? Mostly just emails, between managers and employees and direct supervisors
What is the most common reason that you have had to discipline and/or fire and employee? Attendance. 90% is just showing up!
What do you find is the most common reason for termination? Not showing up to work.
What is the first step you take when an employee needs to be disciplined? Verbal warning
How do you prepare for a disciplinary meeting? Documentation mostly. Be able to show what they are doing wrong, so there’s no questions.
When firing an employee who else, besides the employee, is in attendance? Service manager (my upper management), we don’t have an HR. but with union company we have to have a shop steward- he’s like the union voice so everyone’s on the same page
What is the discipline process you follow when an employee continues to be a concern and is not rectifying the problem? Verbal, written, one-on-one sit down at office, then it should be termination. Skip straight to firing when safety is an issue
How many opportunities do you offer before termination (if applicable)? How do you determine what level of discipline is appropriate for a given offense? Safety is sending someone straight home to think about it. After that you’ll get let go. Depends on the offense and how legit the excuse. We tend to keep people much longer than we should, people don’t have the guts to just fire them.
Would you rather fire a problematic employee quickly so as to not waste more time with them, or try to work with the employee to rectify behavior in hopes to avoid having to fire? Company policy is to work with them, but I’d rather get rid of them quicker.
Other than the employee of concern, who do you include in the discipline process? (ie- do you involve HR, team leaders, other coworkers?) Just upper management.
What are the financial implications of firing someone? (I.e do you have to offer a severance package, etc) -training someone new, uniforms, etc., to get someone new is usually more trouble than keeping the old guy

-we don’t offer severance packages

Are there questions you ask yourself to make sure the discipline you have chosen is fair? -how will this affect everyone else

-how will this affect the company’s perception from the outside

-is this completely justified, or am I just reacting?

How do you handle your own feelings during and after the interview? -you feel bad, and you feel upset

-it is hard to remain calm. That is something I need to work on

-try to remain calm

-step away if you need to

-but when you feel justified that helps

 

Outcomes- what I learned: I was surprised to learn that the most important thing when firing or disciplining someone, according to Greg, is to have proper documentation and rationale. I knew that was important, but it seemed that most questions I asked Greg came back to that in some way. He helped me to understand that no matter what you do, emotions (on both the employee side and the management side) are going to be strong when having to enact discipline and especially when having to hire. According to him, it is hard to really get around that. However, proper documentation can help with this. If everything is documented and there is a very clear trail leading up to the discipline/fire, then it is hard for the employee to argue against it, even if his emotions are high. And if there is a very clear trail leading up to the discipline/fire, then the manager, even though he also may have high emotions, can also feel justified and know that the decision he is making is the right one. Greg says that having documentation just makes everything so much easier and justifiable. I also liked what Greg said about safety. He said that most of the time they try to work with employees to help resolve issues, but when safety is a big concern, that is when they might have to go straight to firing or other grievous consequences. One more thing I learned is that there are pros and cons to firing. It isn’t fun to have to rehire and retrain a new person. Sometimes it is worth it to work a little longer with an employee to try to fix the problem. But other times, you just have to get rid of the employee and stop wasting time with them. I think that as a manager, you would really have to weigh the pros and cons and decide what decision is the best for the company and for the employee. 

Summary: It was great to interview Greg for this assignment. He has had some interesting experiences with having to discipline and fire employees and it definitely gave me some insight into what it is like to be a manager in that position. I really learned a lot about the importance of documentation, and I will be sure to remember that in the future. Without documentation, it is hard to move forward with any form of discipline. But with it, the manager can be justified in their disciplinary actions and the employee can have clear reasons for why the discipline is taking place. This is definitely something that will be valuable for me to remember when I am in management positions in the future.

Reflective Journal- week 6

1. What did you actually learned from the unit. One big thing I learned this week was that making ethical decisions in the healthcare world can be very difficult at times. Sometimes it is hard to know what choice is actually ethical. But, I learned that knowing the research on a given topic can really help guide you in knowing what is the most ethical choice. Another thing I learned this week was from the interview on performance appraisals. I learned that developing a good relationship with employees is extremely beneficial and will help performance appraisals and specifically correction during those appraisals go smoother.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why? As usual, I really enjoyed the discussions. I liked hearing everyone’s ethical situations and thinking them through and thinking about what decision I would make in that scenario. I think that thinking through scenarios like these will help us be able to handle ethically difficult situations when they arise in our practice. I don’t think my mind was necessarily changed on any of the scenarios, but I do think that after hearing everyone else’s views, I did have a broader view of each situation and could see the pros and cons of each decision better.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice. I believe that thinking through so many different ethical topics will help me to think ethically when I am face with tough decisions in the future. Because of the information learned this week, I will also look to statistics and research when figuring out what is ethical and what is not. I think that knowledge is power, and if you understand and know a lot about a given situation and what the expected outcomes are, it will help you make better decisions for care. Another thing that I intend to do in my nursing practice, because of what I learned this week, is to always strive to have positive relationships and associations with coworkers, especially if and when I am in a management position. 

4. You personal feelings about the material covered. Ethical nursing practice is always an interesting topic to me. Sometimes I feel like decisions are so clear to make, but other times it is really tricky to know what to do, and still other times there really is not cut and dry right or wrong decision. I liked reading and thinking about different ethically difficult scenarios and thinking about what I would do and why I would do it. Overall, I enjoyed studying this topic this week.

Performance Appraisal Interview

This week we did another interview. This time, we were to interview someone who in charge of doing performance appraisal interviews with employees. I interviewed Douglas Kleven, from Blue Valley Insurance. Here is a brief summary of the questions and answers given during the interview:

What do you do to prepare for performance appraisal interviews? -Set a clear view of what it is I want to get out of the interview… what goals, steps, corrections need to be made.
Do you have your employees do anything specific to prepare for their performance appraisals? -I never have.
Do you perform peer evaluations prior to the employee’s performance appraisal interview? If so, how do you utilize this? -I will gather information from other employees on how the target employee is performing

-I will have the target employee work on stuff with other employees afterwards

Do you involve any other team members in an employee’s performance appraisal interview? -No.
What steps do you take to help an employee who is performing below average? -take employee aside, explain the complaints or problems, be very specific.

-explain clearly and directly what happens if not corrected

-here’s how you correct it. Examples of what to do

-follow up with it to see if the problem is doing better

Have you ever had an employee take your constructive criticism personal? -they always do.

-I have to be direct. I’m generally nice and have a good relationship with employees, so that helps them know I’m not trying to be ma jerk. but I have to be direct

-To make it less difficult, I often try to tie it to making more money… If you want to get a raise, this is where you need to improve.

Can you tell me of an example of a time when a performance review with a certain employee improved their work ethic? -I talked to an employee about many complaints that were given against her by clients. We talked about how to improve and work better with clients. I told her if it can’t improve I would have to fire her because customer satisfaction is #1. Since then, she has improved greatly and I don’t hear complaints anymore.
How do your performance reviews differ between newly hired employees and those that have been working with you for a few years? -In tone. With newly hired I am more blunt. I’m less concerned about our relationship. And I have to establish that I’m the boss.

-once I’ve invested money and time into someone, I become more concerned about how they feel and about our relationship. 

What is one of your biggest concerns you have seen when giving a performance review? -The worry that if they don’t improve I will have to enforce discipline. I hate disciplining 
What kind of follow-up do you do in between evaluations? -we have staff meetings where we review different issues that have been discussed in performance interviews

-I watch employees and if things need to be reviewed again I’ll review it again

-I’ll thank employees regularly and we celebrate all the time (gift certificates, out to lunch, cash bonuses) to reward good behaviors and performance.

Outcomes: I learned a lot from interviewing Doug. Because he works at a small company and he works closely with each of his employees, his way of doing performance appraisals was much different than what I have seen at bigger organizations. He said that he usually knows pretty well how his employees are doing because he works so closely with each of them. Because of this, he frequently rewards their good performance and usually uses performance interviews only when there is a problem that needs to be addressed. I thought it was interesting that he doesn’t formally use employee peer evaluations, but he does ask employees about how other employees are performing in different areas. He also uses employees to teach each other and help each other improve. For example, if an employee is struggling with communicating clearly over the phone with clients, then he will assign another employee who is good at that to work with and teach the struggling employee. I think this could help the staff feel like a team and like they are all working together and teaching one another. One thing I learned from Doug is that you have to be very clear on expectations and consequences. You really can’t beat around the bush if you want to see change. However, I also learned that when you do this, most people take it personally and struggle with hearing what they are doing wrong and need to improve upon. Doug said that from his experience, every single time he has had to give correct or even give constructive criticism to an employee, they have taken it personal. What I learned though, is that if you build a strong positive relationship with your employees, then they take the correction better. Doug says that he has a good relationship with him employees, they know that he is nice, and they know he looks out for their best interest, so when he corrects them, it is still hard to hear, but it doesn’t damage their relationship. I also learned that it is important to give positive reviews to your employees as well. You need to let them know that you notice their efforts and reward them for trying and for doing a job well done. Lastly, I learned that it is just as hard for the boss who is reviewing an employees performance as it is for the employee being reviewed. Most people do not like contention, and bosses typically do not like to have to correct and criticize an employee.

Summary: Interviewing Doug was eye-opening for me. It was interesting to hear, from the perspective of the boss, how much he dislikes having to correct employees in performance appraisal interviews. Talking to him gave me a view into what is is like for the interviewer. It was good to think about the importance of building good relationships with employees so that correction and appraisals are easier to do and so that employees are more willing to listen and make an effort to improve. Overall, I think this was a good experience for me and will be valuable in my future nursing career.

Reflective Journal- Week 5

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.

This week I feel like I learned the most about dealing with problem employees and enacting disciplining. The lectures were very informative on the subjects. I learned that organizations typically have a discipline system set up with levels of discipline preset. I learned that one typical system many organizations use a level system with the first level of discipline being a verbal warning, the second is a written warning, third is a final second written warning, and then last would be termination. I also learned the importance of investigating the evidence and listening to the employee who is to be disciplined’s point of view. Before disciplining at all, you should be sure that there is actual cause for the discipline to take place.

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

I thought the discussions this week were pretty good. On the discussion about grading levels for performance appraisals, I had a teammate who gave much more detailed descriptions than I did. After reading her response, I decided that I liked the way she answered it better than I did. I was afraid to go into too much detail and make it too complicated, so I kept it simple. But she made bullet points out of it, and I thought that was a great way to give details to each level without making it too wordy or complicated. For the discussion about the greatest leader, my opinion did not really change. I still think the leader I chose is the greatest leader, but I also think that the people my teammates chose are also really great leaders. It is fun to hear everyone’s explanations of why they think their choice is the greatest because each person brings up different points. And as for the last discussion, I thought it was very interesting that we all pretty much had the exact same idea about disciplining (or not disciplining) the employee in this scenario. We really were on the same page. It was kind of neat to see all of us have the same opinion about it. I guess in some ways our minds think differently, but in same ways we really think the same.

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

The things I learned this week will definitely help me in the future when I may be in a management position where I have to make decisions about disciplining employees. Because of what I learned, I will be careful to get all the facts, and hear the employees viewpoint before taking any action. I will also be sure to keep everything documented and include HR whenever possible so as not to get myself in a tricky situation. I also think that I will take my own performance reviews more seriously now. I realize that you get out what effort you put in when it comes to performance reviews. If I want to improve as a nurse, I should take my reviews and evaluations and goal-setting seriously. Lastly, I think what I learned from my Modern Healthcare article this week is extremely valuable for my nursing practice. The article has really made me re-evaluate how I care for my patients and I intend to make a greater effort to learn their needs and listen to them. I will try harder to be a patient advocate, even if it means doing things differently than the norm or going against rules that don’t apply or that need to be modified.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

I thought this was a good week. I liked having multiple discussions going this week. It made it feel like I was communicating a lot more with my teammates. I feel like the topic of performance appraisals and problem employees was a good topic for me to learn about. These are not things that I have really taken much time to think about before, probably because I am not yet in a management position where I need to do these things. However, thinking about these things has helped me to formulate ideas and plans that I can implement when I am in a management position someday. I think it is really good to learn about and think about topics before you have to learn about them by necessity, that way you are better prepared for situations in the future.

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