Reflective Journal- Week 4

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.

This week I learned that it is extremely difficult to try to coordinate schedules between 5 different people who all work different shifts, have different family and personal obligations, and who are each individually really busy. That is honestly my big take away for the week! haha! But aside from that, I also learned a lot about working as a team and how many minds and many hands are better than one. It really does amaze me how much can be accomplished when you have multiple people working together. I also continued to learn this week about hiring. I learned that the hiring and interview process can vary quite a bit depending on the type of business and the style of the hiring manager. I learned that you can never underestimate the importance of hiring someone who will fit well with the team. One more random thing I learned…that I would never survive if I was stranded in the middle of the desert. I would try to go for help… and I would die.

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

Coordinating schedules for this weeks team activity was difficult. We have five team-members, and we each have very different schedules. Some work days, some work nights, some have a lot of family responsibilities that tie up their time, and one was leaving out of town half-way through the week. Needless to say, we did the best we could to come together for our team assignment, and I think we did a pretty good job at being patient, and compromising, and using all of our resources and time to work efficiently as a team. Some of the specific team building activities helped me to think differently and learn more. For example, I really enjoyed the activity where we had to rate supplies from most to least important if we were stranded in a desert. I learned a lot from my team on this one. Some of my initial thoughts totally changed after talking to my teammates and hearing uses of different items that I had not thought of. I really hope I never get stranded alone on a desert, or anywhere for that matter, by myself! I also enjoyed getting to know my teammates a little more. I think it will make it easier to work together for the rest of the semester now that we have spent some quality time working together and getting to know each other.

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

First of all, the information I gained from my hiring interview is invaluable. I will definitely be incorporating some of the things I learned there into my nursing practice, especially whenever I am in a position to hire people myself. I intend to use the ideas of helping people be comfortable during interviews, and focusing on a person’s personality and whether or not they will mesh well with the rest of the team. I also think that this week’s team activity helped me remember the importance of good team work, and that many minds are better than one. I can use this in my nursing practice to focus on building stronger relationships with my team members and the interdisciplinary team too. I will also be quicker to consult with my peers when I have a problem so that I can get their input in helping me solve the issue. 

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

It was a good week. I really liked the interview and found it very helpful and worth my time. I enjoyed getting to know my team members during the team building activities. I am glad that this assignment was given early in the semester because I think that it will help us work better as a team for the rest of the semester. I do, however, wish that the team activity wouldn’t have been so hard to coordinate. Maybe in the future, students could be encouraged to find a block or time, or split the chunk of time into fragments (like one hour a day over three days), or even be encouraged to use google docs or other group online resources to accomplish the team building activities over a more lenient timeline.

Hiring Interview

This week, one of our main assignments was to interview someone who is in charge of hiring in their organization (outside of healthcare) about the hiring process. I chose to interview Brian Nelson, co-owner of Blue Valley Insurance. Brian has owned his own company for over 10 years and has had a lot of experience with hiring employees.

Interview questions and summarized responses

How do you usually prepare for an interview with potential employees? Write down the questions. Check their FB. Review their resume. Call references.
How many candidates do you like to interview before making a selection and how much time do you allow for each interview? 15-30 min depending on how well it’s going. Til I find the right one.
What do you believe are the most important questions to ask or most important characteristics to look for when interviewing a candidate? I need to find out what their future/future goals looks like (I don’t wanna hire someone for just 3 months). Why they want the job. Teachable, Personable, Problem Solver.
Do you prefer group setting interviews (multiple interviewers and multiple interviewees) or one-on-one interviews? Me and my partner with the one candidate.
What causes you to pick the candidates you do? (I.e what resumes stand out?) -Personality is #1 because we are a small office and we all need to get along and get along with the clients.
How do you advertise the position? Lds jobs. FB. Word of mouth.
What characteristics or answers would cause you to cut an interview short? Know-it-all. Acted like they didn’t want the job.
Is it important to you to make the applicant at ease? What do you do to make them feel more comfortable? Yes, because when they’re comfortable they answer questions more honestly. Joke around a little bit.
Do you attempt to establish a rapport with the applicant at the beginning of the interview? Yes, for the same reason as above.
What is your process after an applicant has left your office? Call references. Evaluate with partner.
Do you prefer a structured interview or unstructured interview format? In the middle. Not too formal, but still an interview interaction.
Have you ever hired a candidate on the spot?  What was their response that made you know they were the best candidate? No. I would if somebody trusted really really highly recommended.
Do you ever make judgments on candidates based on how the look, how they are dressed or their social media accounts? Yes, yes and yes. Obviously how they look and act influences the desire to have them work with me.
Do you ask each candidate the same set of questions? No. It varies depending on how the interview goes.
Do you ever offer the candidate feedback after the interview is complete? No. I can’t waste time on people who I am not going to hire.

Outcomes- What I Learned: Interviewing Brian gave me a really good idea of what it is like to have to interview and hire people. I also got a good idea of what things some hiring managers might feel are most important when choosing who to hire. I thought it was interesting, because the things Brian felt are most important, are not the things I was expecting. In nursing, I assume that one of the most important things is experience and knowledge. I assume the hiring manager wants to know that the nurse they hire is a good, competent nurse. I realized, however, that different jobs and different companies are in need of different things. Brian said that in his business, experience doesn’t matter very much at all. He said that they can train their employees on the job, and although past experience might be helpful, it really isn’t needed. Instead, the very most important thing to him is simply the right personality. Because he has a small office with relatively few employees, he needs people who will work well together and who will work well with the clients. For him, that is number one! I also thought it was interesting that he regularly checks candidates Facebook accounts as part of the process. He also said that he always called references. Sometimes he calls before the interview, sometimes after, and sometimes in between multiple interviews; but he always calls. He also stressed to me the importance of hiring the right person. He doesn’t set a cap on how many people to interview, he says he just interviews until he finds the right person. Brian also taught me the importance of helping the candidate feel comfortable. I thought that maybe you might want to establish some sort of hierarchy, in the sense making sure the candidate knows you are the boss. However, Brian explained that you want teamwork in the office, and also the more comfortable a person feels with you, the more honestly they will answer questions. This is how he is able to really see what a candidate is like, by helping them feel comfortable enough to be themselves.

Summary: Overall, it was really fun to talk to someone who has had experience having to hire people. Some of the things we discussed have really stuck with me. Specifically, the importance of the right personality that will mesh well with the team, and also helping the candidate feel comfortable during the interview so that they act themselves and answer honestly, were the main take-aways for me. I will definitely be implementing these things into my process when I am in a position to interview and hire people. 

Reflective Journal- Week 3

Another week of class has passed! This week, we learned about Hiring. The purpose of this post is to reflect on what I have learned this week. 

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.
This week we learned about hiring. In previous nursing classes we have talked about interviews from the viewpoint of being the interviewee. This week, however, we discussed interviews from the viewpoint of the interviewer. We had to come up with behavior-based questions that could be asked in an interview, and also questions we could ask a hiring manager if we were to interview them about what it is like to hire people. My favorite part of this week’s lesson were the lecture videos. I really enjoyed listening to those. Of all of the assignments this week, I think I learned the most from those. I learned that the hiring process is much more involved than I had realized. It is no quick process to hire someone; it takes quite a bit of time. You have to decide there is a need to hire, talk to upper management about it, get approval, talk to HR, get the position written up and posted, accept applications, filter through applications, prepare for/hold/evaluate each interview, select a candidate for hire, go through the background check and reference check, make the hire, and then train the new hire. There really is a lot to it. I think that is the biggest thing that I learned this week.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?
I enjoyed discussing the question as a team this week. We were given information on two candidates up for hire for a new manager position and we had to choose which one to hire. Most of us leaned toward the same candidate from the get-go, but we had a few different reasons for leaning toward that candidate, so it was interesting to hear different people’s thought processes. My opinion on which candidate was best did not change, but my reasoning why did develop more after discussing it with the team. For example, I wondered if the fact that candidate #1 had a family farm would potentially make her too busy for the position. However, another team mate pointed out that the farm has been in the family for 100 years, which means she is very unlikely to move; and the fact that she currently picks up extra shifts shows that she is willing to dedicate the time to the job. I definitely was able to see how having multiple people looking at the same issue allows you to see more and make clearer and more informed decisions.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.
Now that I understand in more detail what the hiring process is like, I believe I will have more patience with management when new hires are needed. In the past when short-staffed, I have often thought, “Geez, why don’t they just hurry and hire someone already.” Now, however, I realize that it is not a quick process to hire someone. I also understand that you need to be very selective when you hire because once you make the hire it is difficult to get rid of a bad hire. Now, I will be more willing to pick up extra shifts and help carry the load when we are short staffed, while we wait for management to move forward. I also think this information will be very valuable to me when I am in a position where I do the hiring. I will know to move quickly so that the process doesn’t last longer than needed. I will also be cautious when I look for who to hire so as not to make a poor choice. I also think I am better equipped now to hold interviews. I have a better understanding of what is allowed and what is not allowed to be asked in an interview. I also know the advantages of having other people, such as HR or floor nurses, with me as I interview. Overall, I think the things I learned this week will be very beneficial to me in future positions.

4. Your personal feelings about the material covered.
I really enjoyed learning about Hiring this week. I do not envy the people that have to hire, but I assume that one day I will be one of those people. Thinking through questions I would ask was fun. Now, I kinda wish I could actually use those questions and conduct an actual job interview. The group activity this week was nice and simple, I liked that. It was fun to discuss our opinions on the scenario and hear everyone’s views. I liked that it was kinda like a discussion and that it didn’t require a lot of extra work. As I said previously, my favorite part of this week was the lectures. I enjoyed listening to them while I did dishes and house work. I felt like they held a lot of useful insight into what it is like to be in a position where you are in charge of hiring people.

Reflection- week 2

This post is a reflection of what I have learned this week from class:

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.

This week caused me to think A LOT about leadership. I can honestly say that leadership and what makes a good leader, consumed much of my thoughts as I went throughout the week. I found myself thinking about people I work with, my boss, upper management, my charge nurses, and even just the other floor nurses that I work with. I found myself analyzing their strengths and weaknesses as leaders, as well as analyzing my own strengths and weaknesses. I feel like the main thing I learned this week is that I do have many strong leadership skills, and like I learned from the DISC test, I also have areas that I am not good at, but that I can always work on and improve upon. There are many different ways to lead and aspects of leadership. But there are some that seem to be more important for different scenarios than others and I would like to work towards strengthening my abilities in these areas.

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

I felt like the team activity was interesting. I always think it is a little hard to do a team activity purely online because you don’t know when others will respond or do their part. It makes communication difficult. However, my team seems to be pretty great and interested in really diving into the topics. I don’t think my opinions were really changed through the activity, but my eyes were opened to different people’s opinions of what a leader is. I realized that I am more liberal in my idea of what a leader is. I was able to see leadership qualities in every person on the list, whereas some of my team mates were a little more hesitant to call someone a leader. The assignment didn’t say the person had to be a good leader, so that is where most of the difference in opinions arose. After hearing other’s ideas on who is or is not a leader and why, I still hold to my own opinion that everyone on the list is a leader, even if I don’t particularly like their leadership style, or if they only led in small ways.

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

As I mentioned in question one, the DISC test was really useful to me. I think that information will help me grow as a leader. I feel more confident in using my strengths and my personality to lead, and also use those areas that I am not strong in as opportunities to learn and improve so I can become an even better leader. I also feel like I can use what I learned about different leadership characteristics to become a more well-rounded leader. From that list I was able to see areas that I can also improve upon that I hadn’t realized before.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

My personal feelings… overall I really liked the subject of this week. I liked thinking and learning about different leaders and different characteristics and personalities that you can find in a leader. I didn’t really love the Modern Healthcare assignment because the article I wrote about didn’t fit in with this weeks theme, so it seemed kinda random. But, it looks like we will be doing those summaries every week… so I will try to learn from them anyways as I go. I look forward to next week and learning more about how I can become a stronger leader.

Characteristics of Leaders

The assignment for the day is to identify examples of Nursing Role Activities for 12 different characteristics of leaders. Here we go:

1.       Leadership requires personal mastery – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they show competence and mastery in the tasks they perform. Nurses are deemed competent by means of a license to practice nursing (NLN 2010).

2.       Leadership is about values – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they hold strong to their values and cannot be swayed to push their values to the side. My current place of employment has outlined core values of clinical excellence, integrity, compassion, ownership, and teamwork. A nurse leader will always hold those values as being most important.

3.       Leadership is about service – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they serve those around them, including their superiors, their team-members, their subordinates and their patients. Service rendered allows others to feel important and loved by the leader and strengthens those leader-follower bonds. 

4.       Leadership is about people and relationships – A nurse is a leader when they show that they care about the people on their team and others around them. A nurse leader will listen to and value each member of the team and make efforts to build their relationships with team members and between team members.

5.       Leadership is contextual – A good nurse leader knows that leadership is contextual. There are times when you must lead, and other times when you must follow, depending on the context of the situation. When given instruction from upper management, a good nurse leader is okay becoming the follower. When given charge in other areas, a good nurse leader is then ready to take charge and become the leader.

6.       Leadership is about the management of meaning – Nurses demonstrate leadership by motivating others to find meaning in the work they do. A nurse leader can do this by discussing the important reasons behind the things that nurses are asked to do and answering questions to help employees understand why there are asked to perform certain jobs or tasks.

7.       Leadership is about balance – Nurses demonstrate leadership by being able to balance many different aspects of their job as well as balancing their job with their personal life. Nurses balance their load by placing sufficient focus and each an every important element without placing too much or too little focus on any one thing.

8.       Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they recognize their need to always strive to learn and improve and move forward to do just that. By staying up-to-date on certifications, licenses, continuing education and by simply welcoming new and updated information, a nurse leader can demonstrate this leadership characteristic.

9.       Leadership is about effective decision making – A nurse leader makes effective decision that will benefit her team. Even when a leader is under stress or pressure, she can make effective decisions by staying calm and level headed and viewing the whole scenario.

10.   Leadership is a political process – A nurse leader understands that leadership is often a political process. In understanding this, the nurse realizes that making connections and moving your way up if often how leadership positions are obtained. Therefore, a nurse leader will get to know and listen to managers and directors above her.

11.   Leadership is about modeling – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they model the behaviors they expect from others. The nurse leader teaches by example, not just word. If she expects her team to talk to and about patients with respect, then she herself will also talk to and about patients with respect.

12.   Leadership is about integrity – A nurse leader is true to herself, no matter the scenario and who is or isn’t watching. She charts what she did, not what she intended to do; she treats patients with respect, even if no one is watching; she is honest about mistakes she makes.

DISC Personality Test

Today’s assignment in my Nursing Leadership class, was to take a personality test called the DISC Personality Test and to answer a few questions about my results. The test consisted of 15 sets of 4 adjectives. To take the test you select one adjective from each column that bests describes you. Here is the table, with my results in bold:

  Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4
1 Strong-Willed Persuasive Kind Humble
2 Independent Sociable Pleasant Cooperative
3 Bold Lively Loyal Passive
4 Competitive Cheerful Obliging Open-minded
5 Daring Humorous Calm Precise
6 Pioneering Trusting Lenient Tolerant
7 Persistent Entertaining Obedient Neat
8 Energetic Sociable Lenient Peaceful
9 Risk Taker Good-mixer Patient Precise
10 Determined Energetic Self-controlled Systematic
11 Aggressive Charismatic Good-natured Careful
12 Restless Talkative Controlled Conventional
13 Decisive Popular Neighborly Organized
14 Adventurous Friendly Moderate Receptive
15 Brave Inspiring Submissive Shy

Column 1 refers to Dominant Personality.

Column 2 refers to Influential Personality.

Column 3 refers to Steady Personality.

Column 4 refers to Conscientious Personality.

The Results of my TEST:

With 9 of my adjectives being in Column 3, 4 in Column 2, and only 1 in each of Column 1 and 4, this test shows that I am clearly a Steady Personality with a tad bit of Influential and almost no Dominant nor Conscientious. 

Was This a Revelation/Knew Knowledge About Myself:

I would have to say no. Taking tests like this can be a little hard because sometimes you can see yourself with more than one of the adjectives in the set. Or, depending on the situation you may see yourself displaying one adjective or another. However, I tried my best to select the answer that I felt was most true to me most of the time. I think the results show pretty clearly who I am. It is no surprise to me, or probably to anyone who knows me well, that I am a steady person. That is actually a great way to describe me. Though I am social, like to have fun, can take charge when needed, and am learning to be more organized and precise, I am overall a very steady person. I am very comfortable with who I am and stick to what I know and believe.

How Will This Affect My Leadership Style:

I love that this test talks about the strengths and weaknesses of each category. Seeing that I am Steady, I can see that I am very valuable to a team, that I am able to follow a dominant leader, but that I can also take more supportive leadership positions such as managerial or assistant roles. I like that this test reminded me that I am not a dominant personality, but I do not need to be a dominant personality to still lead. I can use the strengths that I have to lead in my own way. In my own leadership style, I can also recognize my weaknesses, and delegate things to other people who have different strengths than I do. For example, I am not a conscientious personality, so precision and organization are not my forte. Therefore, I can learn to delegate as a leader and give tasks that require those traits to people who have the personality more fitted for such tasks. Overall, I think this knowledge will help me to develop a leadership style that allows me to use my strengths and the strengths of others effectively.

What Will I Do With The Knowledge I Gained From This Test:

One thing that stands out to me as I took this test and study the results, is that although I may be dominant in one personality trait, I can still develop areas in the other categories as well. I will use this knowledge to focus on my strengths that come along with my personality, while still working towards developing other aspects of my personality. For example, I can work on being more independent, bold, and decisive, even though I am not a dominant personality and those things don’t come easily to me. Also, I can set goals to become more organized and neat, even though I am not naturally that way. I think this test is very valuable in this way, to help me recognize what things come easily and what things I can work on to be a more effective leader. I hope that by focusing on my strengths and working on my weaknesses, that I will be able to develop myself and be better prepared to lead in my workplace and in other aspects of my life.

All About Me! And Why This Blog Exists

Hello! Welcome to my blog! I’m Kellie, and I am a nursing student at Utah Valley University. I graduated with my associates degree in Nursing and became a registered nurse about 2 years ago and have been working with new mom’s and their babies ever since. I absolutely love my job. Working with brand new babies is the best! And another great part of my job is that I can work and be a stay-at-home-mom simultaneously! Yay! I am from Livermore, California, but have now lived in Utah for almost as long as I lived there, crazy! I love spending time with my family, being outdoors, participating in any event that involves water, having friends over for barbecues, and having spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen.

Ok, enough about me, now for why I am starting this blog. This blog is starting off as a school assignment, and we will see if maybe it will trigger a life-long love for blogging. I am currently working on finishing my bachelor’s degree in nursing. I only have 4 classes left, but I have been chipping away at them very slowly. This semester I am taking a class called Nursing Leadership. It is a class that will help me to develop skills and knowledge on how to be an effective leader in the nursing field. I am actually pretty excited to see what I learn from this class. I know that I have some strengths in the area of leadership, but I also think there is a lot that I can still learn that will be very valuable to me. As part of the course, we have been given the assignment to start a blog which we can use as a ‘reflective journal’. This blog, or ‘reflective journal’, will be a place where I will keep thoughts, information, questions, and a record of what I am learning. I may discuss class topics and readings and what I learn from them or how I can use them in my career. I might write about goals and how I plan to meet those goals, and updates on my progress. I might make notes on things that I don’t fully understand but that I hope to grow my knowledge on.

Anyways, I am interested to see how exactly this blog will evolve, and how it will impact my learning. For anyone you may come across this blog, I am sorry if it’s not exciting to you! But if you are interested in nursing, or leadership, or random peoples’ thoughts, then maybe you will actually enjoy reading it. Wish me luck, here I go! 

css.php