Think about life outside the hospital, life outside the clinic, or the ambulatory facilities. Life happens in the home. Health starts in the home. In fact, in the early 1900’s, even the sickest patients would be cared for at home. The hospital was a place for surgeries and research, and above and beyond that, not necessarily a place with the best outcomes.
As a nurse manager, you want your nurses to provide the best possible experience for their patients. But providing great healthcare and being sensitive to a patient’s needs takes a lot of energy. Forcing your staff to stay late and put in a lot of extra hours can lead to fatigue and nurse burnout. When a nurse gets burnt out, they will have a hard time staying focused on the job. They are more likely to mess up a patient’s chart, give them the wrong medicine, or make a patient feel uncomfortable. On top of that, your nurses might be doing lasting damage to their bodies and their minds, depriving them of sleep and a happy, healthy lifestyle. If you’re worried about some of your nurses, learn how to spot nurse burnout before it’s too late.
A while back I spoke at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing NED (Nursing Education Department) Talks. One of the most frequently asked questions were for a few short and simple tips for New Grad Nurses. Here are the top six pieces of advice that I gave the Johns Hopkins nursing students:
This is an excerpt from an interview with Scrubs Magazine. By Katie Duke. You’re a major advocate for continued education. Who inspired you to further your own? I have always been inspired by both of my parents, who have master’s degrees—my mom in nursing and my father in physics, and my sister Rebecca has an MSN.Advertisement I knew a few years back that I wanted to attain the highest level of education within my field because I wanted to make change, and we all know that knowledge is power.
What is the ideal nurse-patient ratio? What are the errors that begin to occur when staffing breeches that magic number? Imagine the busiest shift you’ve ever had. How many patients were assigned to each nurse? If you don’t know the answer, or if you think the number isn’t particularly important, you should read an important little study previously published in the Journal of Nursing Care Quality.
In December of 2008, I remember watching the pinning ceremony for the nursing class graduating half a year before me. I attended Washington State University’s Nursing School in Spokane, and we turned out about 100 new nurses every half year. As part of the ceremony, it was tradition to say where each graduating nurse had a job lined up.
Bullying is an everyday occurrence in nursing and health care. Nurses bully each other. Physicians bully each other. Supervisors bully employees. This often leaves us wondering how is it that people in an industry centered on service, compassion, and patient care can be so awful toward each other. Are we burnt-out caregivers? Is this our way of “venting” the chaos and emotional strain that we endure on a daily basis?