5 Biggest Blunders Nurses Make in their Career!

NursingTogether.Com

By: Sue Heacock

Before jumping into the article, take a look in the mirror. See the human staring back at you? Nurses, like all other members of the human race, make mistakes. We are well aware that errors made by nurses can affect their career. It can impact the progression of healing and the life span of our patients. This article will not focus on those. Instead, we will concentrate on the 5 mistakes nurses make that impact their professional standing.

  1. Blame game. We have all worked with a “blame gamer”. He/she professes perfection in every way and any inconsistencies in practice are related to someone else. It was somehow Nurse Suzie’s fault that the blame gamer’s patient was administered the wrong dose of medicine even though Suzie works on the floor 2 stories up. Blame gamers quickly establish a reputation as complainers and a colleague not to be trusted. Don’t be that person and for that matter, don’t be personally associated with that person. Guilty by association will come into play with the blame gamer.
  2. Settling. Most of us get a position and like moss on an old oak tree, settle in for the long haul. Some nurses have no desire to elevate their career and further educate themselves. They become stagnant, losing both creativity and objectivity. I believe that you should never stop learning. Go for that higher degree you have been thinking about. This is not to say that if you are happy where you are it is not noble. But continue to educate yourself and excel in the position you are in. You don’t settle for the minimum in your personal life so you should not do so in your professional life.
  3. Not taking care of yourself. The combination of sleep deprivation, improper nutrition and lack of exercise lead to a highly ineffective nurse. Let’s be honest here. You are too tired to be “all that you can be” and you end up just going through the motions of patient care. Not taking care of yourself is a mistake that not only impacts your career but shortens your life. The irony of an unhealthy nurse is that he/she is educates patients on how to properly care for themselves and then runs out for the Big Mac or for a cigarette break.
  4. Cover-ups. Covering up a mistake simply compounds the error. There are HONEST mistakes, honestly! Remember the part about being human? If not, back to the mirror with you! Covering up mistakes demonstrates your lack of ethical fiber and forever tarnishes your trustworthiness. This is a career ender. If you make an error, fess up immediately so that any adverse impact to the patient can be quickly remedied. Early reporting also leads to quick root cause analysis and the elimination of similar nursing errors in the future.
  5. Burning bridges. Remember the “settling” part a few paragraphs back? If you burn your bridges, you can forget whatever you learned in that section as you will need to be settling in right where you are.  You will never get that promotion or positive reference. Visualize what happens a bridge literally burns.  That will be your nursing career going up in flames instead of the bridge and the ruble falling into the water is YOU! Treat your colleagues and supervisors with respect, follow the rules, and be the best nurse you can be for your patients. You can then step on that bridge at any time without having the fear of getting wet.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made as a nurse? How did you correct it? Leave a comment below!

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3 Types of Nurses at Work That Drive Us Nuts!!!

NursingTogether.Com

By: Jennifer Ward

Every day we meet a lot of various types of people. But handling different types of nurses at work can be a daunting task. It can be very frustrating working with lazy, difficult co-workers who don’t pull their weight. If you have been in this profession for any length of time, you know who I am talking about. Here are three types of co-workers that drive me nuts:

The Off-Duty Charge Nurse
This is the charge nurse who browses the Internet or reads a magazine while you are working. It can be frustrating trying to complain to management about this, and the only thing you can really do to protect yourself and your patients is to document that you have made him or her aware. If a situation is emergent, inform the house supervisor. If you are too overwhelmed with your demands, ask a co-worker for help. This doesn’t mean that you are incompetent. It just means that you are having “one of those days” and you will repay the favor when they have “one of those days.”

The Complainer
This is my least favorite. Every nursing unit has one. They express their complaints about everything: their assignment, the nurse aides, the patients, the weather…anything and everything. I usually try to change the subject and not give in to their complaining, or I just distance myself from them.

The Constant Talker
This is the nurse who is incapable of being silent and focusing on the job at hand. No matter what you are doing or how busy you are, they will insist on telling you all of their history and personal information. There are a few things you can do:

  • Avoid making eye contact. Keep doing whatever you were doing; just answer with, ”Uh-huh.”
  • Move to another area. Especially if you are charting, move to a quiet room so that you document effectively without interruption.
  • Ask, “Are you already done with your charting?” Sometimes dropping these sorts of hints helps clue them in to stop chatting and to get moving.
  • Let’s face it, none of us are perfect, but in order to create a more positive nursing work environment that runs smoothly, these tips can be helpful:
    • Stay positive.
    • Avoid gossip, and avoid being a “tattle tale!
    • Keep complaints to a minimum.
    • Be supportive of new staff to establish productive and successful nursing unit.
    • Help out nurse aides whenever possible. This demonstrates teamwork.
    • Help out overwhelmed co-workers.
    • Offer compliments followed by constructive criticism.
    • Acknowledge a job well done-show or tell them that you appreciate them and their performance.
    • Make an effort to get to know staff. Simply ask if they had a nice weekend or invite a newbie out to lunch.
    • Never criticize or punish in public. If someone deserves criticism or being punished, do so in private or with only another manager present. Also document the discussion and the outcome. Properly address mistakes to build teamwork in nursing.

Creating a work environment with positive energy can be challenging. After all, there are many different personalities that make up our workforce. Properly dealing with different types of nurses will help you gain respect and increase you work satisfaction. Do you have co-workers who drive you nuts? How do you handle them?

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Nurses Week: Educating, Empowering, & Enhancing

This week we celebrate the nurses who educate, empower, & enhance the nursing profession. Each day this week we will showcase a nurse interview. With this blog, we hope to bring nursing closer together by uplifting each other through personal stories.

How long have you been a nurse? Is it your 1st or 2nd career?

EXECUTIVE PROFILE:

Accomplished Dean of Instructional Programs with 20 plus years of experience in higher education administration. I have demonstrated success in the following areas: A clear vision for  follow through leadership, directing and evaluating staff members; develop and implementation of health programs curriculum with student’s learning outcomes and competencies; working with a diverse students; develop and implement strategic plan, recommends allocation of resources and evaluates accomplishments; As an Administrative Nurse Manager I were responsible for providing leadership and clinical oversight, and ensuring delivery of evidence-based practice by professional nursing personnel and other staff in designated area of responsibility; I have the ability to communicate effectively with diverse administration, staff and the community; team management; interpersonal skills; the ability to think creatively, strategically and proactively; the promotion of diversity; the ability to manage complex budgets with budget driven focus; foster student centered learning; excellent writing and communication skills; ability to lead through a period of rapid change and growth.

What is your highest degree? Are you currently in school?

No

EDUCATION:

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, Argosy University

Atlanta, Georgia   

Education Specialist, Education Leadership, Argosy University

Atlanta, Georgia

Master of Science Administration, Area of Concentration-Health

Service Administration

Central Michigan University, Michigan,

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of South Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Associate Degree in Nursing, Mississippi Valley State University,

Itta Bena, Mississippi

What is your current position/specialty?

Atlanta Technical Institute                          Atlanta, GA               09/93 – Present

Atlanta Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, located in the city of Atlanta, is an accredited institution of higher education that provides affordable lifelong learning opportunities, associate degrees, diplomas, technical certificates of credit, customized business and industry training, continuing education and other learning services using state-of-the-art technology. The integration of academics and applied career preparation to enhance student learning is essential in meeting the workforce demands and economic development needs of the people, businesses, and communities of Fulton and Clayton Counties.

Dean of Health and Public Safety Technologies Division (07/04 – Present)

Dean of Health and Public Safety Technologies Division: Skilled Trades Division (07/04 – 07/07

Director of Health Occupation Division: Human Services Division (09/99 – 2004)

Department Chairperson, Practical Nursing Program (09/97 – 1999)

Vocational Instructor, Practical Nursing Program (09/93 – 1997)

What areas of nursing have you worked in?

Higher Education, Psychiatric, Medical Surgical, Dialysis

What have been your fondest memories during your nursing career?

Teaching in higher education & building and developing of health career   programs.

What are your professional nursing goals?

To start a Healthcare Career Training Center to educate and develop

Healthcare career paths for persons to enter the health care profession.

How do you feel about the “BSN in 10” law?

I believe that you must have standards in all profession. This requirement will set a standard. We have to think will it be effective for the care of all citizens urban and rural. I do not believe it will solve our ever-changing needs to improve healthcare across the country.

Where do you see nursing headed in the next 5 years?

Aging baby boomer means demands on the healthcare system will only increase in the coming years thus, we will continue to be facing a shortage of nurses to serve the needs of the healthcare industry. Aging baby boomers mean demands on the healthcare system will only increase in the coming years.

Aging baby boomers mean demands on the healthcare system will only increase in the coming year.

What do you think are challenges facing the nursing profession? Current and future?

We have a shortage of nurse educators to teach and train the next generation of nurses.

How do you feel about the new graduate nurses and their transition from nursing school to the field?

Graduates of two-year nursing programs are struggling to adjust from the theoretical to the practical. We as educator must ensure that the entrance level nurse is ready to enter the workforce and be ready for the daily practical application for which we have prepare them for in the classroom and clinical experience.

At the same time, graduates of two-year nursing programs are struggling to adjust from the theoretical to the practical.

If you weren’t a nurse, what would be your profession?

WOW, this is a hard question to answer. I want to say a professional dancerJ

What is your personal and/or professional mission statement?

I am an educator from the heart. I am passionate about supporting the growth and education of others in whatever context that might be. I am a strong advocate for empowerment of others to be the best they can be, I also believe that no one should determine another person’s destiny. We are here to support and encourage others to be the best they can be. I am part of a larger community as such, I will strive, always, to encourage and support the dreams and aspirations of others, learn about others, and contribute to the betterment of my community. 

CORE ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • Have a proven track record of program development by growing the division from four Allied Health programs to twenty-five Allied Health programs;
  • Manage Health Program’s (Occupational Therapy, Surgical Technology, Dental Hygiene, Radiological Technology, Medical Assisting, EMT/Paramedic, Health Information Technology, Practical Nursing, and Physical Therapy) self study, accreditation process and program’s annual reports.
  • Coordinates and implements plans and procedures to meet criteria for college wide accreditation.
  • Taken Initiative to serve on the State of Georgia Board of Nursing and collaborated with the Department of Human Resources in developing the Qualified Medication Profession for the State of Georgia;
  • Demonstrated the ability to interface with architects and planners in developing a $14 million state of the art Allied Health Facility and Health Lab for the Hapeville Charter Career Academy High School; 
  • Perform detail reports and served as liaison in coordinating instructional curriculum delivery for a 2 million dollar community based healthcare job training project by the Department of Labor for Allied Health Programs;
  • Rebuilt and rejuvenated leadership staff into unified, top performing, highly motivated team with successful outcomes for student’s performance on required board examination;
  • Expand Allied Health programs into the local community market, delivering exceptionally with student retention rates 35%, graduation rates 89% and placement rates 98%.
  • Provides communication to accredited institutions and other accrediting bodies of accreditation actions regarding programs accreditation and programs annual reports.

Constance Russell, Ed.D, MSA, BSN, RN

Dean of Instruction

 Website: www.healthcarecareerstraining.com

  Services:

  • CPR Certification
  • PPD Testing to the public
  • LPN  NCLEX Review                        
  • RN    NCLEX Review
  • PTCB Exam Review Course ( National Pharmacy Technician Exam)
  • Allied Health Programs Curriculum Design
  • Health Wellness Education Workshops

For the above services, please call: 678-561-HCTC (4282)

Thank you for all your support……

Nurses Week: Educating, Empowering, & Enhancing

Nursing First Member

This week we celebrate the nurses who educate, empower, & enhance the nursing profession. Each day this week we will showcase a nurse interview. With this blog, we hope to bring nursing closer together by uplifting each other through personal stories.

How long have you been a nurse? Is it your 1st or 2nd career?

 I have been a nurse for 7 years.  It is my first career, but second degree.  I was in school for psychology first… and graduated with that.  But then went immediately back through an accelerated nursing program. 

What is your highest degree? Are you currently in school?

My highest degree is a masters’ in nursing and in business.  I am in school, but for nutrition health coaching.  It is an online one year course through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  I seem to always be involved in some sort of schooling!

What is your current position/specialty?

As a nurse, I work part-time at the hospital as a clinical nurse researcher.  My previous specialties include psychiatry and community health.  I also own my own business as a holistic health nurse and integrative wellness coach.

What areas of nursing have you worked in?

Oops!  I guess I can say see above.  But I have worked in inpatient psychiatry for five years.  I then worked in community nursing- at a wellness center running a physician referred exercise program.  Now I am back at the hospital in the research setting.

What have been your fondest memories during your nursing career?

My fondest memories have been my education, my chance to travel and present posters at various association conferences and seeing the patients “get it”.  When someone figures something out- when that light bulb goes on… it is wonderful!

What are your professional nursing goals?

My goal is to be working full-time and solely in my company in the future.  I hope to create virtual conferences, speak at large events, and teach as many nurses as I can about the important of self-care.  Even more than just teach about it or speak on it, my goal is to live a life that is a living example of what healthy, happy, and whole looks and feels like as a nurse.

Where do you see nursing headed in the next 5 years?

I see nursing as gaining more and more power.  With so many changes in health care, we are the profession that continues to be necessary, valued, and important.  Nurses are healers.  We are compassionate, kind, and gentle.  If we are able to take care of ourselves, first and foremost, we will be able to impact health care- at a global level.  The public respects, admires, and trusts nurses.  So we really have a voice and we are going to gain more and more momentum to use it.  We will embrace and foster healing at a mind, body, emotion, and spirit level.

What do you think are challenges facing the nursing profession? Current and future?

The main challenge is making time for us.  We are so busy taking care of everybody else we fall short on our own self-care.  We want to help, give, and care for other people all of the time.  When we do this we let our own well-being go.  We are challenged with trying to find and make the time for ourselves.  We are challenged with being aware of the significance of putting ourselves first.  We are challenged with trying to balance it all. 

How do you feel about the new graduate nurses and their transition from nursing school to the field?

I feel new graduate nurses are so bright-eyed, so excited about what is to come.  They are stepping into a new profession and are proud to be here.  It is such a wonderful time!  We need to support, encourage, and foster their growth.  We need to be role-models to the new graduates that they must take time for themselves.  We can start with self-care at this early stage of nursing… that way when the “honeymoon” wears off… they are able to cope with and handle the stressors that they will probably face in this beautiful profession.  It is not always easy, but it is so worth it.  If we groom them to realize that self-care is the most important aspect of being a good nurse, we will be doing the entire profession a valuable service. 

If you weren’t a nurse, what would be your profession?

I think it would be working outside with the earth.  I loved some of my childhood jobs: lawn mower at a county park, farm hand at my local apple and flower stand, etc.  I love gardening now and have so many plants and flowers of my own.  I look at the men and women working on the landscaping of our hospital as I walk in every day to work, with a bit of envy… at times, I would love to be doing that!

What is your personal and/or professional mission statement?

Personal: Take care of you. Invest in your own health. Love yourself.

Professional (taken from my website, so if you want to leave this out because it says Living Sublime Wellness… that is fine): Living Sublime Wellness provides nurses with support in reaching, maintaining, and optimizing self-care and healthy balance. As your coach, my mission is to partner with you to improve your holistic health, well-being, and happiness. I believe that when we make time to receive holistic self-care modalities we enjoy greater fulfillment, live our healthiest and ideal life, and create lasting peace of mind.

Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN, Health and Wellness Coach, Reiki Master

www.livingsublimewellness.com

www.facebook.com/LivingSublimeWellness

coachscala@livingsublimewellness.com

The Image of Nursing

Nursing is “The Most Trusted Profession” according to the Gallup survey of public perceptions for 2011. Yet we continue to have so many negative images in the media that plague our profession. Most trusted profession? Tell us what you really think? Would you trust the “naughty nurse” to start your I.V.? Or would you trust the nurse who commits adultery and steals drugs from patients to give you health and wellness advice? I am sure you would answer no to these questions yet this is the image of nurses in the media today. I am honored that the public has voted our profession as the most trusted. It says to me that what we do every day, one on one, with our patients does not go unnoticed. So, why doesn’t the media portray the same image our patients have of us? What is the solution to the negative Hollywood image that makes us appear as doctor’s pets and doctors as life saving professionals? Truth is, the best doctors could actually be nurses 🙂

Nurses….we need your support! Join our movement to ensure that the “Most Trusted Profession” is respected in the media! Visit www.truthaboutnursing.org and sign up TODAY!

Continue reading “The Image of Nursing”