Week 13

1. What did you actually learn from the unit?

I feel like anyone who has been in a family or a committed relationship is familiar with conflict resolution. Hopefully, it is something that you have been gradually learning about your entire lives. Maybe that is nieve of me to think, but I know it is something my parents have been teaching me my entire life and it has proven to be a great help when it comes to the workplace, friendships, and marriage. It was good to review some of the effective ways to manage conflict and see how my teammates would manage a specific situation. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

I was a little confused by the bargaining assignment, to begin with, but once I dove into I was really interested and into it. It was interesting for me to see what the effects of a strike and the new demands of a company. We came to a consensus on our discussion that we would choose a plan that didn’t break the bank on the back but still proved to give a decent long term gain. It was also a plan that did not break the bank for the employer as well. We felt that this would be the best route to take. It was a great assignment that really taught a lot about what can come from placing some new demands as an employer. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

Like I said, conflict resolution is something that I would say most people utilize often in their lives. I plan to take a better approach to resolve conflict in my own life. Just because it is easy to engage in conflict when it is a sibling or a spouse does not mean we shouldn’t be doing everything we need to resolve the conflict. 

4. Your personal feelings about the material covered.

Most of my personal feelings were covered in the above write up. At the end of the day, someone needs to be good at resolving conflict so why shouldn’t it be me. It is truly a talent to resolve conflict and I hope to get as close to mastering it as I can throughout my life. 

Week 11

1. What did you actually learn from the unit?

Planning is one thing. Strategic planning is a whole other thing.  In order to help your floor, hospital, company etc progress and be competitive it takes strategic planning that includes short and long term goals to help you get to your ultimate goal. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

The competition we had with another team with the google doc was really interesting. It was interesting to put what we have learned into such a real-life situation. I don’t know if I will ever be a CEO, not exactly something I would ever want to be, but it was good to see how the process might work when it comes to building up a company and making sure healthcare facilities are located in areas that will not only serve the people in the area but are also in areas that will help the hospital make money. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

When there is a change to be made, I will make sure that I use strategic planning to enhance my plan to be the best plan I can present. I am currently not working so I plan to start using this planning when it comes to budgeting and goals I and my family have. 

4. Your personal feelings about the material covered.

Good planning is at the backbone of successful healthcare or any successful business. We can talk and talk about changes we want to see and throw out thoughts of how we might make those changes but until we sit down and make a strategic plan, they are only going to be thoughts and ideas. 

Week 10

1. What did you actually learn from the unit?

There was so much good information about helping those you oversee adjust to change and the appropriate way to go about instilling change within the unit. At the end of the day, it is important that you are involving those under you when it comes to making a change. Don’t just decide change needs to be made and send out an email letting everyone know. Make it personal. Get feedback from those who are going to be affected by the change and talk with them face to face when presenting a change. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

I have read the book “Who Moved My Cheese” more than once but it had been a while so it was good to be reminded of it. To be completely honest, I somewhat thrive off of change and it doesn’t take much for me to adapt to change. That being said, maybe a lot of change I have experienced in life hasn’t bee “major.” For example, I never lost a parent at a young age and had to adjust to that kind of change. That kind of change would be difficult. I have however made changes in majors and life plans. I have moved a handful of times and have lived in Hawaii, South Korea, Utah, Ohio, and Nebraska in the last 5 years. Those are just the areas I have lived, I had more than one apartment in some of those areas making for a lot of moving. Maybe I have had so many changes in the last ten years of my life that change is actually welcomed and I adapt pretty quickly. That is why I said I relate to scratch and sniff. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I am going to remember to be sensitvie when initiating change. It is really easy for me to say that now when I am the one not making the changes but being affected greatly by them. I think there is some kind of blinder to is applied when a nurse goes from floor nurse to a leadership position. Sometimes it is hard for them to remember what it was like to be subject to these changes and how much worse it was when it felt forced and like you didn’t have a say in it. 

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

Very insightful material. I am the type that flows with change, even in the workplace. It was good to read about and be reminded of the issues that arise with change in workplace and how to be sensitive to that. I think if I were the one to be making changes my hang-up would be that I expect everyone to think like me and adapt to the change with ease. That is not the case for many people and I need to be sensitive to that. 

Budgeting Interview

I decided to interview Jody Lyman who is the manager of The Old Bank Creamery. In the summer’s the creamery acts as an ice cream store but during the school year, the building is rented out as a dance studio as well as a reception center on the weekends, upon request. If I learned anything from this, it is that a good budget can make or break a business. Budgets are great but do very little for you if you don’t stick to them. 

  1. How do you create a monthly budget and how do you decide how much to allot for something?
    1. I use excel sheets to create my budget. It is a free program that is user-friendly and has always worked well for me. I also really like it because it is easy for me to pull up last year’s budget and earnings and that is how I allot how much I will be needing for something for that month’s budget. 
  2. When you create a budget how do you stick to it?
    1. The key for us to sticking to a budget is making sure it is accurate. We would rather budget out more money than expected than less money. When you have a cushion for the unexpected it helps you stay on budget. 
  3. When you overspend on your monthly budget how do you go about fixing this?
    1. This is something that we will see every now and then during our summer months while we are selling icecream. The food industry is tough to predict and sometimes our numbers are off and we find ourselves over budget. We are in a  unique situation where we can usually make up for this loss during the school year usually by advertising our place more heavily for receptions and get more renters on that end. It is hard for us to make up for what we lose in the summer months immediately but we can find a way a few months down the road if we need to. 
  4. What different categories are included in your budget.
    1. During icecream selling season we have a lot more involved in the budget. We have to budget in mortgage on the building, utilities, employee pay, supplies, ice cream, and candy we sell on the side. Budgeting for icecream can be difficult because we may sell far more than we thought we would or far less. 
    2. During the school year months, the budget is simple. We budget in the mortgage and utilities and that is pretty much it. We do all the hands-on labor if it is ever needed so we don’t have to hire employees. 
  5. Do you do monthly budgets, yearly budgets, budgets that extend beyond those time lines, or all the above?
    1. We have a yearly budget as well as a monthly budget. I would say our monthly budget is usually more of our focus. 
  6. Do you utilize software to make and customize your budget? If so, what software do you use?
    1. Just good old fashioned Excel. 
  7. When creating a budget what your process of approval?
    1. My husband and I own this little place by ourselves. It is kind of my project so I do most of the budgeting write up. I do take everything to my husband for him to look over. He is an accountant so I would be crazy not to. 
  8. Budgeting helps a company track where a company is investing to increase profits or cut unnecessary spending. When creating a budget are you looking for expected or projected returns from the allocated budget?
    1. We definitely look for projected returns. We have a goal of what we would like to make off of the property over a year’s time and work towards that. This is not a very big business as you can see so we aren’t looking to make a lot of money. Just enough to make us feel like it is worth running. 
  9. At what point will you not fund a project/employee due to loss in profits? (specific percentage or trending loss?)
    1. Obviously, if the project appears like it isn’t going to bring in any value we won’t fund it. Some years we have discussed getting rid of the icecream part of the business because it can seem like it is more trouble than it is worth. But, at the end of the day, we are providing a service to the community and employing highschoolers who need summer jobs. 
  10. What are your priorities when creating your budget? 
    1. Bottom line? Making sure that we are not losing money. 
  11. When creating a projected budget, are you utilizing last years budget to income as a reference? And if you do what other factors do you consider that would influence budget to income? (ie holidays or events)
    1. We do look at last year’s budget as a reference. We look at what months were most prosperous and what might have influenced that. December always seems to be a big month because we are collecting on rent but there are also a lot of weddings happening with the semester ending so we have a handful of receptions as well. 
  12. If you have budgeted appropriately, and there is a surplus at the end of a year, what do you do with the extra income? 
    1. My husband and I plan a well-deserved vacation. We will also invest some of it make into the building. For example, we got new tile a few years back because we made more than expected. 
  13. How do you help your employees work through potential challenges that may arise from budgeting cuts?
    1. We haven’t seen too much of this. Because we employ people for only a short amount of time, there seems to be no problem big enough that we allow it to affect them. Even if we are in the hole throughout the entire summer, we see it as a service to give these kids jobs and we know we can make that money back later if needed. We love that we are in a position that we can put our employees first pretty much no matter what. 
  14. Who all has an input into the allocation of the budget?
    1. Me and my husband, but mostly me. 

Week 9

1. What did you actually learn from the unit?

I learned a lot about my teammates and their goals. I also learned a lot about myself. It is always good to sit down and think about the goals that you want to accomplish and it is nice to read some articles to give you a little direction. I feel like as a mother and wife my goals are always changing and sometimes I feel like that is not ok for some reason. I feel like if you have a goal you don’t change it and you go accomplish it. But, over the years as circumstances have changed, I have realized I am not changing my goals necessarily, but rather focussing on more pressing goals, which often relate to my responsibility as a mother. 

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 it was really neat to see how everyone’s units do the scheduling. In some ways, it makes you really grateful for the scheduling system that you have but it also makes you jealous of some aspects that they have. Scheduling is rough! The assignment was a little difficult to figure out at first, but we made it work. And the funny thing is that I know it was probably a pretty simple schedule compared to what it could have been and what most schedules are. Sometimes I feel like my schedule alone is a mess. Then you take 20 other messy schedules and you try to make it work. Hats off to those scheduling in a hospital. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

Well, if I am ever in the position to make a schedule, I remember some of the different schedules I have been apart of and ones I have heard others being a part of and try to take what works best. I will also be using plenty of technology to help me out if it is available. I love scheduling programs. It is nice as an employee and I know it is nice for those scheduling. 

4. Your personal feelings about the material covered.

Like I mentioned above, it was a good week to reflect on what goals I have and think about the timeline I want to accomplish them. I feel like so many nurses have it all figured out down to what they want and how many years it is going to take them. I know what I want, but I don’t know how long it will take me to get there. But, I am patient so I know that eventually I will get what I want. 

Week 8

1. What did you actually learn from the unit?

This week was so refreshing. It was nice to do something that wasn’t the typical week for this class. It was nice to watch the lecture and ponder where we think nursing is going in the future. It also made me think about where I want my future of nursing to go and how I will improve nursing through my efforts. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

I enjoyed reading about other’s thoughts on the practicality of the future of nursing. I think we all agreed that most of the goals presented in the lecture were obtainable but it was going to take a lot of effort on all our parts. There might be some repercussions with it such as tension within nursing, but in the end, it will be a good thing. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I am going to remember these goals of nursing and work to accomplish them the best that I can. I may not be working to be a nurse practitioner in the very near future but I can take my knowledge to become a better leader in nursing and be a positive voice in the healthcare setting. 

4. You personal feelings about the material covered

Like I mentioned above, it was a good week. I really enjoyed the material we covered this week and I really enjoyed the lecture we were able to listen to. These are the kind of weeks I live for. I also like hearing what my colleagues think about the material covered. I am not one to argue with other opinions but I really enjoy reading them. 

Week 7 Journal

1. What did you actually learn from the unit?

It was really great for me to go over budgeting from a leadership perspective. It was kind of tough making decisions on the budget assignment we were given, and my decisions weren’t actually going to be used. It was hard to see that nursing needed a budget cut when I know that means either fewer nurses on the floor each shift or cutting jobs completely. I know what it is like to feel short-staffed on the floor and it isn’t fun. At the end of the day, there is a budget for a reason and it is leaders that are able to make the difficult decisions. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

Looking at all of our ideas for the budgeting project, we all had similar things that were included in our plans. There were a few who took a widespread approach at making cuts but cutting a little from each department, but most of us recognized that departments that were going over budget by large amounts and targeted them. I feel that that is the better option. In order to maintain the budget, you have to recognize these overages and take care of them so that they are not overages month after month and year after year. It will improve the budget for years to come if these areas are addressed. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I don’t know if I will be the one in a position to be making these decisions in the nursing setting, but I will be on the other end for a while. It is nice to get in the shoes of those who have to make these decisions. It is important that cuts aren’t being made for fun, but rather because they are needed. It also is a good reminder that using extra supplies etc adds up and sometimes those things lead to cuts being made in people’s salaries and jobs when it could be prevented with a little more care. 

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

It was all really great information. I am a big-time budgeter in my family and feel that I do a pretty good job with it but after this module, I feel that I am going to be even better. I also liked going through my portfolio and updating my accountability timeline and resume. They were pretty much up to date but needed a few adjustments. It helped me map out what I want to do with the next 5 years of my nursing career. 

Firing/Discipline Interview

I chose to interview my uncle Greg Brown. He is a professor at the University of Nebraska Kearny campus. He teaches classes such as biology, physiology, and pathophysiology. He tries to do lots of research and hires handfuls of college students to help in the lab. He also hires a TA when he feels he will need it that semester. Through this interview, I learned that no two situations are going to be the same when it comes to firing and disciplining an employee. It is important to hear them out and understand where they are coming from and give them a chance when possible, but it is also important to know when it is time to draw the line. 

  1. What is the first action you take when an issue is brought up about an employee who needs discipline?
    1. I go to the source of who brought up the issue and get all the details that I can. I then talk with the employee one on one and discuss the issue. I like to hear the “problem” employees side of the story before I jump to any conclusions. It could all just be a simple misunderstanding. And, seeing that I work with young college kids, there is sometimes unnecessary drama that works itself in the situation. 
  2. Are there several steps that are taken to discipline an employee before termination?
    1. To an extent. It depends on what they offenses are. If I have a TA that is giving away test answers, I fire them on the spot because that is a very serious issue and conflicts with our school’s honor code in so many ways. If it something more along the lines of them continuously showing up late, I usually give them up to three chances to change their ways. It all varies from situation to situation and person to person. 
  3. When do you usually fire an employee or discipline them? Do you do it before the weekend?
    1. Like I mentioned above, if my TA is giving out test information, I fire them the second I find out. There have been times our funding has been cut and I am required to let go a research assistant. In this situation, I usually wait until the end of the pay period or as long as I can hold on to them before letting them go- the day of the week doesn’t play a role in my decision making. 
  4. Are you required to give severance pay if you fire an employee? If so, does this impact your decision on whether or not to fire them?
    1. No severance pay required with the employees that I hire. 
  5. Do you have the final say in whether or not an employee needs to be fired? Or is there a committee/someone over you that makes the final decision and you execute those decisions?
    1. I pretty much make the final decision when it comes to firing. If the budget is low them I am told I have to fire people, but I still chose which of my employees I will be firing. 
  6. Who all is involved in the firing process and discussion with the employee when they are fired.
    1. It is usually just me. I will often give them HRs numbers if they have any questions about their final paycheck etc. 
  7. How long is the discussion with an employee about them being let go?
    1. I try to keep it as short as possible. If they are being fired and they know that they have been slacking, they often show up knowing they are getting fired. This just makes for a situation they don’t want to be in and I don’t want to be in. So, short and simple it is. 
  8. Do you utilize verbal/written corrective discipline and education? If so how many times do you do this before proceeding to the termination of the employee?
    1. I’ll usually just verbally discipline when needed and I don’t have a set number of times. Often, the students I have work for me are top of the class and I have handpicked them. They are generally great people willing to change and adjust when needed. So, talking to them once usually does the trick.  
  9. Does the process of termination for the company you work for every hinder you from terminating an employee?
    1. No, it is pretty straight forward. I just have to make sure that the reasonings for them being fired are stated clearly and written down. It is too easy for people to try to sue, saying it was discrimination against them. 
  10. What is done to prevent gossip and retain the trust of employees in the workplace when terminating an employee?
    1. Shut the gossip down when it has been brought up in the workplace. I can only control what is said in the workplace as far as gossip is concerned. What people talk about outside of the research lab I have no control over. I try to control what I can. 
  11. What types of issues/offences do you fire/ terminate over? What constitutes termination and what is discipline worthy?
    1. I use our school’s honor code as my guide. If they are doing anything that is against the honor code, I fire them, often without much discipline. If it is something simple like being late, then they get disciplined. 
  12. How many warnings/ offences do you allow before considering termination?
    1. It depends on the person and the situation like I mentioned before. If they are minor offenses I usually stick with the “three strikes and you’re out” method. 

Week 6 reflective journal

1. What did you actually learn from the unit?

I thought it was great to see the leadership side of coming to conclusions on ethical dilemmas. I think so often as a young nurse I safety guard myself by saying, “someone else older and wiser will figure it out.” But in reality, it is very likely that  I will be that “older and wiser” nurse before I know it and I need to be able to step up when the time comes. Ethical dilemmas are just that, dilemmas! It is not easy stuff to come to a conclusion on, but someone has got to do, and they need to do it gracefully and compassionately. It was great to learn a little bit more about how that happens.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

Discussions are great, but some weeks I feel like it is an assignment that is just part of the weekly routine and does not add as much to my learning as it should. This week was not one of those weeks. I thought it was great practice for us to discuss the ethical dilemma of starting dialysis on the brain dead patient. We were able to discuss our points that were backed by research and come to a conclusion, much like a ethics committee would. It helped that we were all on the same page. In our other discussion, however, we all brought up different ethical dilemmas in nursing and gave our opinions on how we think they should be handled. In that discussion, we didn’t have to come to a consensus on every ethical dilemma but we did have to state our opinion. It gave us a good chance to respectfully agree or disagree with topics that run deep and can tug on the heartstrings. I really felt like it was good practice for discussing ethical dilemmas professionally. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

First of all, it will help me remember the process in which tough decisions are made. When ethical dilemmas hit close to home, you might feel like it was not handled properly, but 9 times out of 10 the decision made was probably discussed and thought over by many people for many hours and the decision that they came up with was one backed by research and the one they felt was the best for the situation. 

I will also be sure to always show respect to my coworkers when discussing different ethic dilemmas. I don’t need to agree with them, but I do need to be respectful of their thoughts and hear them out. You can learn a lot about a dilemma when you hear both sides of reasoning. It doesn’t necessarily mean your opinion is changed, but it helps you be more understand and knowledgable on the topic. 

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

It was a great week. I thought the materials covered were very relevant. I think our patients and their families could benefit from taking this week of course load so they can better understand ethics committees and how conclusions are made when tough decisions arise.  It is important to be a good leader in these situations. If you are a good leader, you know how to talk with these families and help them understand the situation. It doesn’t make the situation any easier, but I least they understand the reasoning behind everything. 

Performance and Appraisal

I interviewed Dave Sieter. He owns his own restaurant called Pop’s Burritos. He has owned the business for a little over 2 years now. Before owning his burrito place he was a foreman for a construction company. He is new to the restaurant business but not new to the leadership business. He has years of doing performance and appraisal interviews. However, he said it is much different now that he is the head guy making the final decisions on a person. I learned that every leadership position requires you to make decisions that really can affect a persons life and their well being. It is important to make sure you really hear these people out and listen to their concerns and reasoning for some of their mistakes. 

  1. How long do your performance interviews last and do you feel it is an adequate amount of time?
    1. It depends on the employee but I usually allow for 30 minutes to do the interview. If the employee has been having struggles it may take longer.  
  2. How often do you hold performance interviews with your employees?
    1. I have been doing them once a year since I opened my business. I feel like I need to do them more often because many of my employees are seasonal because they are high schoolers, and there is generally more turn over in the food business. I think I will be doing them quarterly in the future. 
  3. Do you encourage or require your employees to set goals that they can work on throughout the year?
    1. Not officially. I ask them what their goals and how they are planning to accomplish them but I don’t have them write them down anywhere. It is more for me to get a feel for what they want to see improve. 
  4. Do you use a one on one method when doing a performance interview or do you have others in attendance? 
    1. For the most part, they are one on one. Sometimes I like to have my manager run some of the interviews and I will often sit in on them when she does. I am trying to train her so I don’t have to take on the responsibility of doing all of them. 
  5. What kind of a setting do you hold performance reviews? A more formal time set aside outside of a shift? Or do you take people aside before during or after a shift in more of an informal setting? 
    1. For the sake of my employees, I usually ask them to come in early for a shift and we hold them. I often do them in my office in the back of the restaurant. 
  6. How do determine the results of a performance review? Do you use some type of scale to grade employees?
    1. I don’t use an official scale or grading. I have wanted to implement one but have not done so yet. I know my employees really well and know when they are in need of discipline and when they deserve a raise. I don’t rely on a scale to make that decision for me. 
  7. Are you employees pay/ raises affected by their performance review?
    1. Yes, they are. This is why I have only done them once a year. I felt like if I did them quarterly people would be looking to have raises quarterly. 
  8. Do you have coworkers and employees evaluate each other? Is what they say taken into account when making decisions?
    1. I usually do not. I do take employee concerns and complaints and those can affect performance reviews. 
  9. Do you ever give employees a “perfect” score on a performance review? Why or why not?
    1. I wouldn’t say I have a “perfect” employee, but I have some really great ones and they are as perfect as they come. They receive the highest raise I can possibly give them. 
  10. What qualities are you evaluating? Attendance, ability to get along with coworkers, get projects done, etc..? 
    1. Attendance is a huge one. When I work with as young as 16 you get people not showing up for work more often than I would like. This has a huge impact. Also, if they have people continually complaining about them that is cause for concern. I take note of their ability to work with others and how they work. Honestly, a performance review really never ends. I may have an interview once a year but I am evaluating all year long.