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Think About It
A forum for discussion of the latest news and ideas in nursing management and healthcare.
Monday, July 18, 2016

Again, we’ve sadly watched violence unfold in our country this past week. As healthcare workers, we’re in the middle of these scary times. The very nature of our roles as caregivers, emergency responders, and advocates for social awareness/justice places us at the heart of each crisis. I know this is sparking reflection and dialog at home and work. We must be mindful of our thoughts, feelings, and innermost fears. The ability to maintain the core beliefs that led us to care for others will keep us strong. Please take the time to share your thoughts honestly and respectfully as we move forward. It’s essential to your personal and professional growth, as well as your stability, that you look inward at how your concerns are affecting you: as an individual, a family member, a friend, a coworker, and a professional. If you feel like you need help, see what resources are available where you work, live, or gather.

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

Monday, July 11, 2016

I’ve been trying to work on myself this past month by reading up on healthy habits - both physical and mental health. As a nurse, I know that caregivers are often the worst at self-care. In addition, we frequently work in an environment that doesn’t always lend itself to self-care. Long shifts; poor staffing; junk food; infrequent or nonexistent breaks; missed family functions, abuse from coworkers, families, and patients; and the list goes on. This takes its toll on us internally and externally, and we process that stress somewhere...

How do you manage your stress? How do you take care of you? How do you prevent taking stress out on others and how do you keep from turning it inward? Does your organization have an employee assistance program? Does it encourage healthy eating, exercise, regular break times, and allowances regarding limitations on shift length and overtime hours worked weekly? What’s the stance on harassment, respectful communication, and anger management? Take a look at what your environment is really like and how it meshes with your life and your personal and professional goals. If you don’t like what you find, consider making the necessary changes to promote self-care and decrease your stress levels.

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

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I read a great article on my social media pages this week from Nursing Management! It was about opioid abuse and nurses stepping up to the plate to combat this epidemic. Nurses are very involved in the national safety initiative to impact the current state of emergency surrounding opioids: over use, over prescribing, mixing with benzodiazepines, inappropriate self-medicating, physician shopping, and failure to re-evaluate appropriateness of prescriptions. This is a huge issue and it only covers patients taking opioids legally. It doesn’t even approach the issue of illegal usage and dispensing. Nurses play a large role in patient education, monitoring, observation, and evaluation, as well as following the guidelines, diligence in enforcing the guidelines, and holding ourselves and our coworkers (physicians included) accountable. Only as a team can we hope to have a positive impact on opioid abuse. What’s your facility doing to fight this battle? How are you monitoring your patients? What about urine drug screening, usage contracts with patients, and pharmacy oversight? Share your best practicesI

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I’ve recently been polishing up my curriculum vitae (CV) and I started wondering about what others use for their professional advertisement (if you will). People seem to prefer different approaches. There are certainly a large variety of styles from which to choose. CV or resume? Should you include a cover letter? How do you know which design style to utilize and how about language style? How long is too long? My advice is to first look at several examples. Then, speak to people within your professional goal point who are responsible for interviewing candidates. What are they looking for? What appeals to them? What makes them say “yes!” Do your research and then choose the design and content that best suits your goals, experience, and individual style. Finally, remember to periodically review your CV/resume to ensure that it’s still an accurate reflection of who you are and where you’re at professionally.

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

​Social media continues to be a place of dialogue about the tragedy in Orlando. The event has had a huge impact on everyone. One much discussed topic revolves around the way healthcare personnel from all disciplines and departments arrived without being called. I started thinking about the practice runs that all facilities do, often referred to as a code green or mass casualty alert. We practice (often halfheartedly) because drills are important, but inconvenient, and we know what to say and do, and where to find the policy. But what happens when it’s real? Do you think your facility would respond the way staff in Orlando did, rising to the occasion and meeting the challenge head on? Would your teammates house-wide just show up ready to work? Talk to us about your thoughts on this personally and globally.

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

About the Author

Nursing Management
“Think About It” is an extension of Nursing Management. Here, you can read and discuss professional information geared toward helping nurses excel as leaders. This blog tackles important topics without the worry of print publication deadlines!