Reflective Journal – Week 13

So this week we did our last portfolio submission – FINALLY. I think the portfolio is a great idea, man it was a ton of work. But now thats its pretty much done its super nice. We also did our modern healthcare and discussion. In our discussion this week we talked about how to boost morale in the workplace, it was good to have to come up with our own ideas about how to get staff involved. I honestly think that staff works better together if they have a relationship outside of work. I think bonding outside of work is one of the best ways to have fun at work because then you have friends and you can talk about something other than just work. I think employee recognition is also a HUGE part of why staff feel under appreciated. I think being recognized is a great feeling and really boosts morale. It also can ensure a little healthy competition. 

Overall, im glad next week is thanksgiving and we have a break, I need one. I am so ready to be done with my BSN. I just want to continue to work and eventually go on to graduate school. 

Reflective Journal – Week 12

This week was frustrating to say the least. We had to complete a collective bargaining assignment and it was the most confusing thing. I understand the importance of it, but I’m not a bargainer, nor do I want to be one. I think I’m feeling frustrated because I’m a bedside nurse, I want to learn skills that will help me in nursing, not arguing for a union for some company. While I can see why we do this assignment, it was very confusing and not in the least bit helpful to me right now. 

But, we did watch a really good movie this week called The Guardian. I honestly loved that movie and I will watch it again. It was about the Coast Guard and the divers who go into the ocean during storms to save people who are drowning and abandoned. It was such a great film and really had a lot of great leadership styles to watch and conflict resolution techniques. 

Overall, I think I’m feeling overwhelmed with the semester winding down, its time to get my big projects done and papers written, but I’m having a hard time focusing because I’m so close to being done. But, just a couple more weeks until freedom and I can finally get that piece of paper with my BSN!!

Reflective Journal – Week 11

Well, the semester is almost over, and I cannot wait. I am SO ready to be done with my bachelors. I just want to graduate and be done with my undergraduate! This week we did a really different assignment where we had to come up with a whole hospital plan and marketing strategy. I honestly hated this assignment. I am not at all interested in any administrative positions in healthcare, this is not my job nor do I ever want it to be. I love bedside nursing, I just want to care for patients and someone else can figure out expanding hospitals and adding different wings and specialties. 

We also got to have some input for future bachelors students on what courses should be taken and when, although I think they have already changed the whole BSN program, if I’m not mistaken we are the last group to go through with the old classes. I am really excited for the semester to be winding down and I just want to be done with school for a little while. 

Reflective Journal Week 10

This week we completed an interview, and talked about managing change. I actually really liked watching the little video we watched about change. I can really relate to it right now. I have a hard time with change at first, but then after a while I get used to it and I enjoy it. Since starting as an RN, I had a really tough time in the ICU for the first few months, but now I absolutely love it. Now, I want to move around as much as I can and get more experience. I have been having a hard time lately trying to decide where I want to go. I have debated staying on the unit I’m on because I’m finally comfortable there and I its really nice, but I also know I want to go to grad school and I think getting more experience elsewhere will also be really beneficial.

This week was great, I think a lot of these assignments are really applicable, which is a lot more than I can say for some of my other classes.

Budget Interview

I interviewed Cameron Little, he owns Ivory homes, a construction company.

1. What are the biggest barriers to budgeting effectively in your workplace?

  • I think the biggest barriers are generally trying to keep staff happy while still staying in budget and keeping clients happy, things easily get re-evaluated and cost more depending on the site. 

2. How often is the budget re-evaluated?  

  • As often as necessary, but at least every quarter. 

3. What areas are most often “cut” due to budgeting?

  • Usually we try to make small cuts to all departments rather than a large one, it makes the transition easier. 

4. How often are staff let go due to budgeting cuts?

  • Not very often, only a handful of times. 

5. What contingencies do you include in your budget to plan for lean times?

  • We have a fund that we can use if we need it. It is for when we go over budget. 

6. What do you do when needed expenditures exceed the budget?

  • Depends, but generally we contact the contractors and work out something. 

7. How do you advocate for your needed expenses to higher ups who control your budget?

  • Each department gets to pitch in their opinion and helps divide the budget. 

8. What are some strategies you use to engage your team members/employees to help keep costs low?

  • We generally just try to encourage to keep costs low and not spend more money than we have. 

9. Who determines how much is budgeted per category?

  • The manager generally helps determine the budget. 

10. What is done at the end of the year with any leftover monies within a budget?

  • We usually give bonuses at the end of the year with any leftover money. 

It was interesting to hear about budgeting. I know that the budget can be a tricky thing. We are always talking about staying in our budget at work. I personally do not have any desire to work in administration. Figuring out budgets sound awful, I think ill stick to bedside nursing for now. 


Reflective Journal – Week 9

This week we had to a staffing assignment which I found pretty frustrating. I have no desire to become a charge nurse at the moment because I hate having to figure out staffing issues. I love just being a bedside nurse and getting to really focus on my patients. We also have a lot of knew staff who don’t know what their doing and that is very scary to me to have be over our entire unit. 

We also did a couple of discussions about staffing and career development. I have been struggling with what I want to do exactly for my career and when to start. I love being a bedside nurse and I don’t want to stay out of school for to long, but I also want a couple years of experience, I feel like I’m no where near ready to go to graduate school. I also have been debating whether to do family practice or adult acute care. I love the hospital and currently, I think my dream job would be a neurosurgical NP. I love neurosurgery, I’ve done it for 5 years and its amazing. But, id basically be married to the hospital, which is also tough because it might be nice to work in a clinic or doctors office one day, but I also fear If I do that, I know id get bored quickly. 

Overall, this week really got me thinking about my future and its all really tough decisions, but I am glad I’m thinking about them now. its stuff that I can start to focus on and really start to plan ahead for my life and potential career. But, for now, I love being a bedside nurse. I haven’t even been an RN for a year so id just like to enjoy it, learn as much as I can, and continue to build amazing relationships with my co-workers .

Reflective Journal – Week 8

This week was a little shorter due to fall break. But we have had a lot of good discussions lately about where we think the future of nursing is headed and if we support it. We listened to a lecture about it and I loved it. The lecture talked about how healthcare needs to start moving toward nurses being a FULL partner with physicians and I think thats absolutely right. Her talk was fabulous and their plans for the future were very attainable. They all are things that are not going to cost a ton of money, just some restructure of policy.  She also wanted to streamline further education for nurses, so it makes it easier for nurses to go from associates degree, to bachelors, to masters, and doctorate degrees. I think this is such a great idea. As I am currently doing my bachelors right now, I am so glad I went straight through after my ASN. I think I would have had a really hard time going back if I would have stopped. Nurses need to be more educated and we should be allowed to practice to the full extent of our education. I am all for more education for nursing, we are so often overlooked in medicine as “just the nurse” and there is nothing I hate more than when people say this. I think the reputation of nursing has started to change but we do still have some work to do. Especially when it comes to the reform of healthcare, and nurses should absolutely have a voice for that change, we are the majority of healthcare after all. 

Reflective Journal – week 7

This week we had our second portfolio submission. As much as I hate having to put together a professional portfolio, it really is nice to have for jobs. It forces me to update my resume, and start actually planning for my future. I had to look back from a year ago at my 5 year plan and update it, it was kinda nice to see the things I wanted to do last year and this years that I did complete.

We also did an interview about firing and discipling employees, it makes me think about the management side of things and its very different. It forces me to be in their shoes and how to handle tough situations. These interviews are actually somewhat helpful to just expand my thinking, because for the last 5 years all I’ve done is work towards being an RN. And now here I am, a nurse, and its time to start focusing forward on new goals. 

Overall this week was busy but good. I think we are covering some helpful material in this course, which I cannot say the same for my other classes. Getting my BSN has been frustrating to say the least, I just feel like in some of my classes I am wasting time doing papers, and case studies that are just plain unhelpful. For the most part this class does help with focusing on my future plans and really is about leadership. 

Firing/Discipline Interview

I interviewed Jed Little. He owns Elite Construction and manages all the employees there. 

1. How many disciplinary write-ups can an employee receive before they are dismissed?

– one verbal warning, then one written. Then they are terminated after that. 

2. Are verbal warnings given? If so, how are they recorded and how long are they kept?

– Yes verbal warnings are given, but not recorded. 

3. When terminating or disciplining an employee, do you have to include personnel from HR?

– Yes, every time. Not with verbal warning, those are usually more informal that I do in my office. 

4. During verbal or written warnings, is it made clear that the employee’s job is in jeopardy?

– Yes, it is made clear that this is their last chance after one written warning. 

5. Do employees have the opportunity to respond to allegations and if so, is it a verbal or written response?

– Yes. If they write it down, it is kept and documented. Otherwise if they are just explaining themselves verbally, then it is not usually written up, but it depends on the situation. 

6. How comfortable are you with disciplining or firing employees? If you are uncomfortable, how do you manage doing it?

– I guess I would say I am fairly comfortable with it, but one time they guy who hired me I had to fire. I had HR and CFO and president in room with me.

7. What rules and regulations exist to protect employees from being wrongfully terminated?

– HR rep and state laws- although, there is not much protection in Utah. 

8. How frequently is someone actually fired rather than just disciplined?

– Ive only terminated a few- but verbal warnings were 10X that. 

9. How do you go about firing an employee while attempting to remain on good terms?

– I would try to help them transition out, the company gives severance and a support system and I offer a letter of recommendation for them to find a new job.

10. Who is present from the company when an employee is getting officially fired? How does that meeting typically play out?

-Usually just me and HR rep and the employee, you don’t want a lot of people in the room, the employee is already embarrassed, but don’t wanna be alone for a risk of “he said she said”. Usually a 10 min conversation.

It was interesting to interview someone about hiring and the discipline process. As an employee, its nice to learn about the management side of things and how different it can be. These interviews have been very helpful to learn about management. 

Reflective Journal — week 6

This week we did a quiz, a test, did a movie review on my sisters keeper, and interviewed someone about doing performance evaluations. It was interesting to talk to someone outside of healthcare about how they view a valuable employee. I talked last week about my sisters keeper, and thinking about it this week made me think a lot about ethical issues. I think as a nurse we are sometimes put in the hardest position when it comes to ethical dilemmas. We are stuck in between the family, the patient, and the physician. I think its hard to not get attached to family members, but at the same time we also have so much medical background its hard.

Ethical issues are hard to deal with for me personally because I can see all sides. I sympathize with family members when they are in tough situations and it makes it difficult to stay impartial. I also think nurses are put in a hard spot because as the people who talk to the family day in and day out, we are the ones the family members come to for advice and help. Advice is particularly hard because I cant tell them what to do, but at the same time its hard not to help them.

Overall, it was a good week. I really like talking about ethical issues and being able to talk to other people about their perspectives. I read an article this week that actually mentioned how ethical committees are not helpful because since they are not in the medical field they should not weigh in on patient decisions, they didn’t go to medical school and cannot possibly understand all the complications of a patients diagnosis. I found this interesting because I had never thought about it that way before.