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Incredibly Easy blog
The Incredibly Easy blog will expand on selected topics presented in the print journal.
Monday, June 29, 2015

I’ve been working with staff on a mentoring project this week. There’s a wealth of available research on mentoring programs for nurses. I spent some time combing through articles and one thing I continually noted is the topic of retention. It’s during that first 30 to 90 days that you retain your employee. We know this is the time to engage them. Reach out, be supportive, and provide a safe environment where needs can be expressed and feedback given and utilized.

New employee mentoring is far more than orientation--the process whereby you show employees how to do their job and where to find what they need. Mentoring gives them a safe haven to vent, provide and receive constructive criticism, and learn how to navigate their new career and work environment. This should include short- and long-term goal setting.

There also needs to be a plan for long-term follow-up, checking in with them in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and 1 year. Are we meeting your needs? What have we done well? What haven’t we done well? Was your orientation effective? Has your mentor been effective?

Hopefully, the mentor relationship is something that will be maintained and continue. Does your organization have a mentoring program?

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
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Monday, June 22, 2015

I was browsing through some of my magazines trying to catch up and I always notice themes. This week’s theme seemed to be case management of patients. We know that a multidisciplinary approach is best when managing a patient’s care. Getting healthcare professionals from all of the supportive methodologies to weigh in on what’s needed, what’s working, and what isn’t. The difficulty comes when you attempt to pull all that data together in one neat package that’s neither duplicative nor missing pieces. This is where case management comes in.

When I speak of case managers, I don’t mean only those individuals designated as such, but also the nurse managing the patient’s care that day. When you sit and thumb through a chart, gleaning information on your patient and his or her course of care, you’re beginning the case management process. You’re taking the puzzle pieces, placing them in order, and making sure the borders are intact and all of the elements are present.

If pieces are missing, you’re attending to that need, identifying those items, and communicating with the team. This is vital to your patient’s care outcomes, satisfaction with care, length of stay, and rate of readmission--not to mention quality of life. This daily task means everything to the patient, the family, and the care team.

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
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Monday, June 15, 2015

I was browsing a recent issue of a nursing journal this weekend and came across an article dedicated to culturally competent care and instructions on using the ESFT model. We talk frequently about cultural competence and diversity in nursing; this is a great tool that aims to assist healthcare providers in determining patients’ perception of their illness.

Explanatory model of health and illness: What’s the patient’s explanation of what, where, why, and how?

Social and environmental factors: How will the patient manage medications, treatments, transportation costs, etc.?

Fears and concerns: What’s worrying the patient?

Therapeutic contracting: Does the patient understand the care plan and is he or she able to teach it back?

The overall goal is to enhance communication between the healthcare provider and the patient. Communication is a key factor in overcoming cultural barriers to care. How are your communication and patient interviewing skills?

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
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Monday, June 08, 2015

Taking a look at the headlines recently, I can’t help but think about how our culture and societal “norms” have changed over my 51 years of life and 30 years as a nurse. The national discussions regarding same-sex marriage, changing laws across the country, and July’s Vanity Fair cover story about the transition of Caitlyn Jenner have given all of us the opportunity to contemplate our viewpoints on these issues and our professional obligations.

Regardless of our political or personal affiliations, we are nurses striving to treat all patients and families with dignity and respect. Asking pertinent questions about family makeup, gender identity, and sexual orientation (as it pertains to healthcare concerns) must be done with professionalism with no assumptions made. Educating yourself on how to care for our diverse patient population is crucial. In addition, look within yourself to improve your approach to and understanding of your patients.

You’ll find a wealth of information in the Nursing made Incredibly Easy Diversity Issue. This issue is an award-winning resource worth reading!

For even more resources, be sure to visit Nursing Center.

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
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Resources:
Volume 12 Issue 6

Monday, June 01, 2015

The following quote is from an article on the American Nurses Association (ANA) website titled Ethics, Law and Policy by Vicki D. Lachman:

“The ethical obligation to support colleagues is outlined in a section of the Code (ANA, 2001, p. 9) below: ‘The principle of respect for persons extends to all individuals with whom the nurse interacts. The nurse maintains compassionate and caring relationships with colleagues and others with a commitment to the fair treatment of individuals....The standard of conduct precludes...any form of harassment or threatening behavior, or disregard for the effect of one’s behavior on others.’”

The importance of the quote and the excerpt from the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses is that it addresses bullying in the workplace and our responsibility to each other. It’s vital to remember that caring for each other isn’t just the right thing to do, but it’s also outlined as an ethical responsibility. The article covers several case studies in ethics and how the Code of Ethics for Nurses addresses each situation. In this particular case study, the issue was a new graduate student being bullied by an assigned preceptor.

Do you intervene when you see a coworker being bullied? Do you stand up to social pressures at work when you know something is wrong?

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
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About the Author

NursingMadeIncrediblyEasy
The mission of the peer-reviewed journal Nursing made Incredibly Easy! is to meet the ongoing educational needs of nurses in a refreshingly original, easily understood format.