Risk Management & Legal Responsibilities- Week 16

1. What did you actually learned from the unit: I learned that there is a lot that goes on with risk management. There is usually a risk management team that takes care of specific situations. There is a lot of be reviewed if there is a problem. Also, it is best to be safe and chart everything to avoid having to go to court and losing a license. 

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 team activity was very interesting. We all had similar ideas on how to best approach and deal with the situation. I thought everyone did a great job with adding their thoughts. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice. I will be very careful while at work. I will chart carefully to cover my butt and keep my patients safe. I will follow all protocols to the best of my ability to avoid situations that could have been avoided. I will also stand up for what I believe is right no matter what. 

4. You personal feelings about the material covered. It terrifies me to go to court over something work related. It is like my worst nightmare and I think it is for a lot of other nurses/healthcare workers as well. I don’t ever want anything to put my license at risk. 

Motivation- Week 15

1. What did you actually learned from the unit: I learned that it is very important to motivate your employees. I also learned many ways that managers can do this. This is such an important thing. It can reduce turnover and make the unit a happier and more positive place to be. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why? I really liked everyones ideas on motivating employees. There are a lot of simple things that can be done to improve moral and unity. We all had similar ideas and were on the same tract with motivation. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice: If I ever get in a management position, I will try to be good at motivating and recognizing when a good job is done. I will try and make it an open environment to express opinions and ideas to better improve the unit. For now, I will be helpful with management and participate in what they set up to motivate our employees. 

4. You personal feelings about the material covered:  I can definitely see why it is important to motivate your employees. It feels good to be recognized for your hard work and efforts. It makes you feel beneficial to the unit when you do something outstanding and are applauded for it. Motivating employees is something that helps with moral and team unity. 

Conflict- Week 14

1. What did you actually learned from the unit: I learned more about communication styles and which are effective in the workplace. Assertive communication is direct, acknowledges the differences between fact and feeling, is respectful and free of intimidation. It is expressing your feelings in a confident way that is not aggressive. I believe this is the best type of communication in the workplace, especially when making big or quick decisions. I also learned that there are big risks associated with bargaining. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why? It was interesting to see what my team members thought about conflict and different types of communication. I learned from their examples and got ideas for how to deal with people who display aggressive communication. We all had similar ideas of what the different types of communication were.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice: I will try harder to use assertive communication. I usually am pretty passive and sit back without saying much. I don’t like conflict and try to avoid it at all costs, especially with coworkers. I need to step up more and be more assertive when dealing with things I am passionate about. 

4. Your personal feelings about the material covered. I think communication in the workplace is key to avoid conflict. I believe effective communication is what makes a difference among units. It avoids drama and talking behind other peoples backs. Aggressive communication should be avoided because it does not improve the conflict, instead makes it worse.

Strategic Planning- Week 13

1. What did you actually learned from the unit: Strategic plans need to be data based to support where you are going with your goals. This is something I hadn’t really thought about before but it makes sense to base goals off of supported data. This will make the executed plans more successful. These can be short or long term plans such as a couple months to many years. It shouldn’t be something that is rushed. I also learned that mission, vision, and values is the makeup of an organization and what there are striving to achieve. It is what they see as their goals and drives strategic plans.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?: I liked hearing what everyones thoughts were on what program to involve in UVU. We were all in agreement in the ideas that we had. Also, it was interesting to decide what buildings and facilities to add into the towns. It was a little difficult to decide which facilities would be of the most benefit. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice: Just because I am not in administration doesn’t mean that strategic planning doesn’t apply to me. It takes everyone’s effort to get there. I will do my best to help with the plans going on in my unit and my hospital. 

4. You personal feelings about the material covered: I think I realized that plans can take years to happen so I will be patient not just in my occupation, but life as well. I think strategic plans are very important and keep businesses going. 

Managing Change- Week 12

  1. What did you actually learned from the unit: Change is inevitable. Healthcare is always changing and it should be. It is an important thing because it keeps the system going and improving. Implementing change is something that should be an easy transition if it is done correctly. If the correct steps are not taken towards a big change such as preparation and execution, the change could be difficult and not for the best. 
  2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why? It was interesting to see how my teammates deal with change. It seemed that we were all similar in that we don’t necessarily like change at first but tend to jump on board and find benefit in it eventually. It can just be difficult because it takes you out of your comfort zone. 
  3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice: I will discover ways to embrace change and have a positive attitude about it because of how important it is. Change is difficult enough for management, so it is better to have employees willing and no resisting. I think I am a “Haw” type of person with change. I like having a routine and sticking with it. I then realize after that the change was usually a good thing. However, I always jump on board, it just takes some time for me. I need to embrace it more.
  4. Your personal feelings about the material covered. I am not a person that likes change but it is something I need to get better at embracing and deal with. I know change is happening constantly in healthcare especially so I need to find a way to deal with it better.

Career Development & Staffing- Week 10

  1. What did you actually learned from the unit: I never realized how difficult staffing is. There is so much that goes into it and it can be very time consuming. I also learned that my career should be whatever I want it to be and I shouldn’t feel influenced by others. Because I am planning to stop after my bachelor’s degree, I sometimes feel embarrassed or that I am slacking off. I learned that if it is what I want, then it doesn’t matter what others think.
  2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?: This team activity was difficult. Everyone had different ideas about how to staff and what they think would be the best way to go about it. They brought up idea’s I hadn’t thought about before which made it easier to schedule. Staffing can be very difficult! 
  3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice: I think I will be more appreciative towards the members of the staffing team. I didn’t realize how much of a pain it is. It can take a very long time. I also will be more willing to switch shifts if I am able because I now know how much it can really help the staffing team.
  4. Your personal feelings about the material covered: I had no idea staffing was such a difficult task. I like that my unit does self-scheduling. I think it benefits everyone involved, especially the staffing team. I have noticed that I am able to get time off more easily when I need it. I also think career development and planning is a great thing to do when you are first starting college. It is good to plan how long it will take you and have something to follow.

Budgeting Interview

I interviewed Steven Low from Medical Review Institute of America. This company deals with insurance claims. 

1.     When planning a budget, what percentage do you allocate for employees’ salaries?  This year I allocated 27.5%.  As we grow this percent is coming down due to scale.  
2.    How often do you review your company’s budget?  Annually during our budgeting process and then every month in review of our performance against budget.
3.    Do you receive bonuses or raises depending on meeting budget goals?  Yes
4.    What budget goals are you given to meet? Over what time period are these goals for?  Primary goals are to meet our budgeted sales/revenue and EBITDA.  Another critical goal is our cost of sales number.  If we hit this we are more likely to hit EBITDA.  Goals are annual.  
5.    How do you approach budget cuts related to staffing?  We’ve never been in a position we’ve had to deal with this.  Since we’ve been growing like crazy our challenge has been being able to hire and retain enough people to get the work out.  
6.    What kinds of rules or restrictions do you put on your employees to help them comply with staying within the budget?  We provide our management team MBO’s (management by objectives) bonuses if they meet certain budgeted targets.  This is a significant incentive.  Additionally, we’ll review progress against budgeted plan with them and discuss if they’re falling short.  The primary rule related to employees that have the ability to spend the companies money is to “Spend it as if it were your own”.  
7.    What do you look at when you are over budget? Where do you go to first to cut back?  40% of employee bonuses are contingent on the company meeting it’s sales and EBITDA goals.  That’s the first lever.  We would also look at “extras”, not necessities.  We could also cut back travel.  This has not been an issue for us as we’ve hit our budget for 10 straight years.  
8.    What is the hardest part about budgeting for your company?  Projecting revenue by customer by product.  Also projecting new business.  Most of our expense categories are pretty consistent so not as hard.  
9.    What would you say most companies struggle with when budgeting?  The budget is our best guess for a year.  Things always changes and there’s always variability with customers, expenses, etc.  The key is to have strong, experienced professionals to help you figure it all out.  
10.  How often do you adjust your budget?  Usually once a year, around now.  By then we have a good sense if we’re trending the right direction.  If an account we thought would be huge delivered or not or if new business we budgeted is coming in or not.  
11. What incentives do staff receive if budget is met? If none, what is used to motivate staff to hit budget?  Executive staff is given bonuses based on hitting budget.  We also have a profit sharing program which all employees participate in, even on the front lines.  If the company does well everyone is rewarded.  
12. Is hitting budget an “all or nothing” or does the amount over or under affect the rating? Amount over/under is very important.

From the responses I got, I think this company does well with their budgeting. I think it is good that they review their budget against performance to keep on track then adjust annually. I like that they teach their employees to “spend company money as if it were their own.” I think this is smart to live by to stay within company means. I also like that they give bonuses based on if they meet budget or not. This gives workers an incentive to reach budget. 

Future of Nursing- Week 9

1. What did you actually learned from the unit. I learned what the future of nursing could look like and ideas to improve nursing as a whole. I saw a common theme of continuing education and promoting diversity in nursing. I think these would be great things to work towards. I learned that the future is bright for nursing and there is great optimism. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why? It was interesting to learn about how my other team members see the future of nursing. They brought up some points that I hadn’t thought about before. I noticed others were a bit more optimistic than me which is a good thing! I see nursing as growing and continuing to improve and so did my other teammates. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice. I think it is important to continue education which is why I am currently in this bachelors program. I will look into continuing education even after this program if I am financially able. I also will be open to pursuing other aspects of education as they come up.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered. I think these are great ideas but there just needs to be plans to make it happen. I have a hard time seeing nursing go to needing a bachelors to practice because nursing is in such high demand right now. Also, I am not sure how you can make a career more diverse. But it would be something that I think would be good for the occupation.

Managing Healthcare Resources- Week 8

  1. What did you actually learned from the unit: I didn’t realize how difficult and complex budgeting is for a hospital floor. I can’t even imagine how an entire hospital does their budgeting. There are so many components that go into budgeting and I learned how hard it is to cut back! I didn’t know wages for all the workers comes from the floors budget.
  2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why? This was the first week where I saw many different opinions from my team members. We all had different ideas on where to cut back from the budget. Some people were a little more aggressive like wanting to lay off employees right away. Others, including me, wanted to try and cut back in other areas before laying anyone off. I can’t say I was ever convinced to lay people off because I think there are other options before needing to get to that point.
  3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice: I think I learned to be careful with supplies and with clocking in and out because it all goes towards the budget. The floor that we looked at this week went thousands of dollars over on patient supplies. I wonder if that could have been avoided at all from the staff just being more cautious with what they were using. I will only use supplies I need for my patients and not be careless with what I don’t need. I will be more careful about clocking in and out accurately. I will also try to stay informed with the budget of my floor.
  4. Your personal feelings about the material covered: I thought this material was very interesting and honestly it was something I haven’t had the opportunity to learn about before. I didn’t realize how much actually goes into budgeting.

Organizational Structure and Power- Week 7

 

  1. What did you actually learned from the unit: I learned the different roles of a staff nurse to charge nurse to nurse manager. I had never learned how much more money a charge nurse and nurse manager makes compared to me as a staff nurse. It was a little more than I expected! I also wasn’t aware that the house supervisor was just the one that was there after hours and they also don’t make much money. I learned about power and that is can be authority and influence. I learned that it is something that is EARNED. Even if you are not in a leadership position, you can still have power on your unit. With increase responsibility comes increase wage because of the increased responsibility. I also learned from when you go from culture to culture you have to change how you act based on the output you need
  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 it very interesting to see who my team members thought were better leaders- men or women. Most agreed that men tend to be better leaders. It was difficult to state my opinion in fear of offending others. However, in our society today, we see more men than women in leadership positions. My team members brought up the idea of culture which is something I hadn’t thought of before.
  3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice:  I will utilize power effectively and not abuse it. With great power comes great responsibility! I will remember this in my nursing practice. I hope to be someone that people can look to for help as I continue in my nursing career.
  4. You personal feelings about the material covered:  I thought it was very interesting the the differences between boys and girls starts at birth and continues on through life. They learn different skills based on what the do and how they play as kids. I learned that men and women do things very differently but as long as the output gets done then it doesn’t really matter how it is done. I feel that we learn gender differences and hang on to these as we go through life and anyone that is strays from these is looked at as different.