Final Week

As I’ve been reflecting on this course throughout the semester, I’ve realized just how much I have to grow as a nurse leader. I appreciated the complexities and information many of us don’t think about when it comes to taking the lead for a unit or hospital. I have a greater appreciation and understanding for my own nurse leaders. The other part of the course I appreciated is how I’ve learned to lead within my role as a floor nurse. Though I’m not in a leadership position, I do understand that part of my role is participating and being involved in improvement processes. We’ll see where the future takes me, but I’m looking forward to the many opportunities nursing has to offer!

Motivation

I really liked this week’s discussion on motivation. I think it’s good for us to think of these issues before we take on leadership roles in our workplace. Motivation needs to be a long term focus of different floors. Employees like to feel valued and appreciated. This week helped me really dive into what motivates me as an employee. As a new nurse, I’m feeling pretty down on myself and my skill base at times. I feel stressed more than normal, I don’t get enough sleep, and I have found that my personal life has been almost non-existent.

I was able to think of some things to help motivate me more to continue to plug along in my job. Sometimes it’s as simple as doing my hair a special way one day, going for a walk outside, talking to my coworkers and laughing, enjoying conversations with my patients, etc. Caregiver fatigue is a real thing. Though I’m new, I can already tell you that I’ve reached many of the signs and symptoms of caregiver fatigue. Finding ways outside of work to channel my stress has helped me significantly. I’m glad we made this a discussion this week because I forget to remind myself that I need to be a person and live a little!

Week 14

This weeks group activity was very challenging. I have been more challenged in this class than any other class in the BSN program. The reason this class is challenging is because it has made me aware of how much truly does go into healthcare systems. I’ve never thought of healthcare as a business, but this weeks team activity made me realize that there is strategy behind the placement of facilities and everything we do. I am not very fluent in the business realm of healthcare, but I now have a better idea of how it works. I do think that we should be involved in the business side of healthcare because we run it. We know how it works. I think we can create more effective systems if we don’t always leave everything to the men in suits. I am glad to know of the different opportunities nursing can provide me and am excited to explore them in the future.

Team Activity

I enjoyed this week’s team activity because it got me thinking about the different programs available in Utah and the kind of continuing education I want to go for after my BSN in completed. We opted as a team to include a nurse practitioner program, particularly one with pediatrics, for UVU. It’s interesting how much thought and effort goes into thinking about programs to offer. It’s important to bring competitiveness and appeal to a program. I was surprised to discover that no pediatric NP programs are available in Utah. I personally want to go on and get my masters in nursing education. I think becoming a teacher would be such a rewarding aspect of nursing that I can’t wait to be a part of. We have plenty of universities in the state that offer programs for what I want to do. I’m so grateful for UVU and everything it’s done for my career. I’m excited to see what lies in its future.

Managing Change

I enjoyed this week’s lesson because it reminded me of the importance to learn to expect and adapt to change. It’s not easy rolling with the punches, but we are better off learning to do so. Not adapting to change truly does have a psychological effect on a person. It is unhealthy to panic at the turn of an event. I am grateful to be in a profession where I am expected to constantly be thrown into a changing environment. I have become more resilient because of my job. I never know what to expect when I enter the hospital doors. I’m good at not becoming too overwhelmed on the job. The key is for me to learn to transfer that attitude to my personal life. That’s the real challenge but I know that with practice I can do it!

Budgeting Interview

I interviewed my friend who budgets for a call center.

1.When planning a budget, what percentage do you allocate for employees’ salaries?
“Our salaries are a fixed rate. We pay by the hour so we always budget our salaries first. I would say 50% of our budget goes to paying employees.”

2.How often do you review your company’s budget?
“I review all the time. I would say at least once a month I’m looking at our monthly costs and adjusting as necessary.”

3. Do you receive bonuses or raises depending on meeting budget goals?
“We do receive bonuses or raises depending on meeting budget goals. The purpose behind the bonuses is to reward those who are doing all they can to save our company money. It helps with compliance.”

4. What budget goals are you given to meet? Over what time period are these goals for?
“I am mainly in charge of managing worker salary budgets. I’m supposed to make sure everyone is clocking out on time so that we don’t go into overtime. We really like to save money with overtime as much as possible. I usually have quarterly goals.”

5.How do you approach budget cuts related to staffing?
“I really make sure that I keep the staffing cuts logical rather than emotional. I grow attached to those that work for our company and hate to let them go. I have to think about the overall good for the company and the other employees we need to keep when doing budget cuts.”

6. What kinds of rules or restrictions do you put on your employees to help them comply with staying within the budget?
“We don’t give raises to employees that consistently clock out late. It’s to help them be more motivated to end on time and stay within our salary budget. We warn them before we go as far as to withhold a raise or bonus. I usually give them 5 chances.”

7. What do you look at when you are over budget? Where do you go to first to cut back?
” I first go to overtime. If my employees are clocking out late, that’s where most of our money is being lost. If we are exceeding our salary budget, I first try to cut back on the amount of employees on a shift while still keeping all our staff employed. They may just be getting less hours in a week. If that doesn’t work I have to cut people.”

8. What is the hardest part about budgeting for your company?
” The hardest part about budgeting is keeping my employees happy and my boss happy. It’s a fine line between both.”

9. What would you say most companies struggle with when budgeting?
“I would say the most difficult part of budgeting is the salaries. It’s hard to let people go and stay on top of what you can and can’t afford. You grow to love those you work with and it’s hard to let anyone go you care about.”

10. How often do you adjust your budget?
“Quarterly or really as needed.”

11. What incentives do staff receive if budget is met? If none, what is used to motivate staff to hit budget?
“They get raises and bonuses. If they don’t hit budget they don’t get raises and bonuses. It seems to help motivate our staff.”

12. Is hitting budget an “all or nothing” or does the amount over or under affect the rating?
” Hitting budget is a gigantic grey area. It’s definitely not an all or nothing thing. We really take into consideration which costs are helping our company generate more revenue and which costs are taking more money than we’re getting in return.”

The Future of Nursing

I am very excited to be a part of this new age in nursing. The profession has changed significantly over the years. Nurses have grown into taking over more leadership positions. Nurses are expected to think more critically and guide the direction of patient care. It’s intimidating to be given more responsibility as time goes by. I often think back to how much I underestimated my role in the workplace. I am looking forward to the growth I’ll experience throughout my career. I am all for the new change that’s coming to nursing. I’m a big believer in keeping people educated. It’s always important to continue to grow and expand horizons. I hope to be a professor in nursing someday and can’t wait to see how the curriculum will change from when I was in school. Yay for the future of nursing!

Staffing

I found the group assignment this week challenging. I have never had to think about everything that happens with staffing on a hospital floor. Having done this I don’t think I ever want to be held accountable for having to create staff schedules! It is so messy. I was sitting in front of my computer trying to figure out how to stay within budget while still making sure we had enough members to care for our patient loads. Forget sudoku, this was plenty of mental work! I’m glad that within this class we are learning more and more about leadership positions within the hospital. My appreciation for those I work with has increased. I forget that there is more to where I work than my job as a floor nurse. I appreciate the challenges and know that by doing activities such as these, it’s preparing me for leadership positions in the future.

Budgeting

This was an interesting topic to discuss. I don’t often think about the business side of health care and appreciated diving into that world for a small amount of time. It’s amazing the amount of thought and detail that goes into running a hospital and keeping it well staffed and stocked. I don’t often think about budgeting outside of my personal life. I realize now that in order for a company to make a profit and survive, it has to budget. I’ve seen this in action within my own facility. Pharmacists are being let go due to reduced spending for the hospital. I’m grateful to know that we track our healthcare costs so we are able to provide the right equipment and materials. Though budgets and budget costs are difficult, it’s an inevitable side of any business. I’m more motivated to do those things on my floor that help us stay within budget and prevent loss of money or employment to coworkers.

Genders and Leadership

This week we learned about the different characteristics of male and female leaders. We were posed a question on who are better leaders: male or female? It was such a difficult question because I find that the person makes the leader, not their gender. I reflected this week on who have been leaders in my life. I realized that different leaders in my life have not all been work related. Many affect my life on a personal level. Each gender has played very important roles in my life and I would say that’s how it is for almost anyone. It’s not that men and women have to be great leaders in the same role. We all play our part differently and I was grateful of that reminder this week.