Posts Tagged ‘nursing’

WINN-NTF 2011 Recap

June 18th, 2012 | General Nursing, New Graduate Issues | 3 Comments

Thinking of all the nurses gathered together at CNA biennium in Vancouver this week makes me nostalgic for the great company and intriguing dialogue I experienced at the last nursing conference I attended – WINN-NTF 2011.

WINN-NTF (Workplace Integration of New Nurses-Nursing The Future) is a conference for managers, educators, mentors, preceptors, faculty, human resources, new graduates, students, government, professional associations and unions to share knowledge, experiences and strategies that promote successful integration of new nurses in the practical setting. Last December the conference was hosted in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was a particularly special event for me as it was my first WINN-NTF conference, and it was hosted in the city where my own transition into professional nursing practice took place a few years back!

Here’s a video that captures many of the moments shared at WINN-NTF 2011. At the end of the video is a compelling narrative shared by Krista Smith, RN, BScN, MN(s), Nursing The Future’s Cape Breton Liaison. Krista shared a very intimate account of her experience with nursing professional role transition, which held the entire room of conference delegates captivated and left them moved by her story. The dialogue that ensued during the question period following the New Graduate Panel gives testament to the significance of New Graduate Transition for novice and seasoned nurses alike.

Whether you attended this conference in person, have come across this video by another avenue, or missed out on WINN-NTF 2011 altogether, this video is a must-see recap!

Angela Espejo

CNA Sneak Peek! New Graduates in the Emergency Department

June 14th, 2012 | General Nursing, Healthcare System, New Graduate Issues | 0 Comments

Come find us at convention!

The CNA Biennium is upon us! The event, in lovely Vancouver, BC, is just days away. I won’t be attending in person, but I’ll be keeping updated via our NTF representatives and other friends who are attending the convention, as well as the live streaming that CNA is coordinating! The official CNA Facebook page, Twitter account (@canadanurses), and the convention hashtag (#CNAconv2012) are also sure to be a-buzz with convention excitement.

Readers, are any of you going to convention? What sessions are you looking forward to, and what do you want to take back to your work environments? Anyone presenting a poster or concurrent session? Will this be your first time in Vancouver, or are you a West Coast regular? If you are a first-time visitor to the city (or first time in a while), make sure to click on the “Vancouver, BC” link above – it directs to the Tourism Vancouver website and blog, which are loaded with local area tips!

Our Executive Director and Founder, Dr. Judy Duchscher, is presenting her work on the integration of new graduate nurses into emergency departments at a concurrent session entitled “Proceed With Caution! Integrating Newly Graduated Nurses Into An Emergency Department“. NTF Leader Sarah Painter, RN, BN, is co-presenting with Dr. Duchscher to share her perspective as an emerging professional RN working in the St. Boniface General Hospital Emergency Department in Winnipeg, MB.

Here are some areas that you’ll see covered at their concurrent session:

  • The preparation for, and integration of professional graduates into the dynamic climate of the contemporary workplace today, which is a continuing challenge to institutions of higher education and employers, as well as administrators and labour policy makers across North America.
  • Equally, the challenges of caring for an increasingly complex patient demographic, which are being made worse by reductions in, or the misappropriation of nursing human resources and diminishing practice support resources that threaten the quality of care that nurses can provide.
  • Perhaps hardest hit in these ‘do more with less’ times, the high-acuity practice areas that see the most unstable, least predictable and sickest on our health continuum; emergency departments and critical care units. Though some research and evidence of support initiatives exist regarding the practice of hiring newly graduated nurses into a critical care environment, this is not the case for emergency departments.
  • Insight into the experience of transitioning newly graduated nurses into a mid-western Canadian emergency department. Aside from anecdotal claims of this hiring practice, the primary author is one of few researchers who has published on this approach to staffing an emergency department from the perspective of advancing nursing practice and optimizing patient care outcomes.
  • The challenges and potential consequences of this staffing practice on new graduates and their experienced colleagues, as well as on patient safety and care outcomes. Recommendations for effective ways to identify, nurture, and integrate new high acuity nurses.

You may also find interest in Dr. Duchscher’s publication with co-author Dr. Florence Myrick, a Professor and the Associate Dean of Teaching with the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Nursing:

  • Duchscher, J. B. and Myrick, F. (2008), The Prevailing Winds of Oppression: Understanding the New Graduate Experience in Acute Care. Nursing Forum, 43: 191–206. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6198.2008.00113.x

If you see any NTF friendly faces at convention, be sure to say hello! We love nothing more than connecting and sharing dialogue with fellow nurses! In addition to Dr. Duchscher and Sarah Painter’s concurrent, lookout for:

  • Kendra Ayers, Heather Dickie, and Jennifer Parsonage, part of the emerging leaders pre-convention planning committee, participating as presenters with CNA’s pre-convention workshop, “Shaping nursing today for tomorrow: A call to action” on Sunday, 17 June
  • Throughout convention, Sophia Lepore and again the lovely Sarah Painter, womanning the NTF booth on the Exhibitor Floor (Table 38 on this map) … who knows, you may also the other leaders at the booth, as well!
  • Of course, our enthusiastic Executive Director, Dr. Judy Duchscher

Enjoy convention!

Angela Espejo
NTF Leader

The Patronizing Hat

January 23rd, 2012 | General Nursing | 2 Comments

My manager approached me recently and asked if I would consider being a preceptor. My first reaction was, “YIKES! Really? Me? But I’m still new to this whole nursing thing myself.” But after thinking it through, I reminded myself, “You have been nursing for fours years now, you really aren’t that new any more.”

I knew that I eventually wanted to be a preceptor and mentor new graduates coming into the nursing profession. I wanted to be that one nurse who could inspire the next generation, the ‘go-to’ nurse that everyone felt comfortable talking to and asking questions… I guess I just didn’t picture it happening so soon!

Evidently, I did agree to be a preceptor, as I thought it would be a good learning opportunity not only for my student, but for me as well.

My student was fantastic! He was an eager and quick learner and our personalities matched perfectly. We established good communication right off the bat and would consistently try to be on the same page. We were open with each other in terms of our teaching and learning styles. My student would express his satisfaction (or dissatisfaction!) as to how I was teaching, so I could change my technique to accommodate his learning. Closer to the end of the preceptorship period, I started to give my student more room to grow and become independent. I was trying to teach him what it would be like once he graduated and didn’t have me there as a safety net. I began to have higher expectations of him since he was doing so well, and would give him increasingly challenging tasks to complete.

There was one instance where I quickly recognized how easy it is to put on the “patronizing hat”. I have heard so many stories from new graduates where seasoned nurses have “eaten their young” and instead of lifting them up and teaching them, the senior nurse kept them low to the ground, making them feel incompetent or inferior. Unfortunately, I had, in one instance, become one of those nurses. I had given my student a hard assignment, which he completed for the most part independently, but had missed a couple of things. I started to patronize him stating, “You should know this” and “it’s obvious what you are doing wrong.” At that moment, I felt powerful because I knew the answers and he didn’t; I had the knowledge and he didn’t; I was senior and he was junior. And just like that, I had become one of those nurses whom I had vowed never to be like, because I know what it feels like to not have the answers, not have the knowledge, and be junior.

I was so thankful that I recognized what I was doing, and I was able to quickly stop my thought process and apologize to my student. I saw that I was jeopardizing the learning environment by putting him on the spot with other nurses watching and judging, and that I was treating him disrespectfully in an uncalled for manner.

It is so surprising to me that having been a part of Nursing The Future for the past several years, and studying about horizontal violence (even having experiencing it myself!), that I got caught up in it, too. However, I think BECAUSE of these factors, I could easily recognize my actions and correct them appropriately before it got out of hand or disrupted my student’s learning.

As nurses, I believe we need to consistently reevaluate our practice, not only focusing on how to conduct our patient care, but also on our teaching technique; throughout our practice, we especially need to be weary of the horizontal violence that can so easily creep up on us.

Lindsey White

Lindsey with a thank-you card from her student at the end of his preceptorship :)



Discrimination against Nursing Specialities

May 17th, 2011 | General Nursing | 0 Comments

A wise nurse once told me, “If you work in the Operating Room, you are going to lose all your standard nursing skills!”

I have become increasingly annoyed by this exact statement, which I continue to hear throughout my nursing career. Why is it that nurses not only “eat their young”, but also discriminate each other based on our different specialties? I have figured it is due to ignorance. Do nurses really know what goes on in the Operating Room? Do they really know the role of the Operating Room nurse?

This is why I have decided to give a little education……

So…..What does an Operating Room nurse really do?

Besides the obvious of just “passing instruments all day,” I coordinate, organize, set-up, initiate, produce and maintain the essential sterile field for a surgical procedure.

When a surgery is booked, I know the proper instruments the surgeon will need, what he prefers, and usually how long the surgery takes.

Even with a mask covering my face and a hat covering my hair, I am able to comfort a patient during the most vulnerable period in their life and give reassurance with only my eyes.

I am able to assist the anesthesiologist with putting a patient to sleep, and know the proper signs of a good intubation. I know the standard drugs and equipment used during a difficult intubation and the difference between a BURP and Cricoid Pressure!

I know how to properly position a patient for any type of surgery. I know all the pressure points, what kind of padding to apply, what extra equipment is essential and the proper O.R bed to use. I take all precautions, while the patient is asleep, to keep them safe!

I not only know the names of every instrument on my table, I know what their used for, how to put them together, how to properly pass them, know what their nicknames are, and know the exact moment when a surgeon may need them.

I have memorized the string of instruments that is of course: needle drivers, scissors, snaps, mosquitoes, allis, babcocks, kellys, kockers, lowers, and mixtures AND know the there are usually 10 snaps and 5 mosquitoes in a string. Why could this ever matter? Because in an emergency, I don’t even have to think of where, what, and how many instruments I have, I just know!

I know that when a surgeon usually asks for an extra long allis, he has probably hit a major vessel and he will need to clamp it in order to suture it. Oh and by the way, he will probably use a prolene suture on a small needle such as a C-1 or BB with a long rider driver, depending on his preference.

I am able to stand at most 16 hours and still be able to stay one step ahead of the surgeon in order to anticipate his next move.

So at the end of the day, the wise nurse was right, I haven’t used one standard nursing skill. But then again, I’m not just a standard nurse; I’m an Operating Room Nurse!

Lindsey White, RN, BScN

Forget the 9-5

March 7th, 2011 | General Nursing | 0 Comments

When I graduated from my first degree, all I wanted was a “nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday” office job… and I got it. Fast-forward a few years to when I chose to change careers and pursue nursing: I was so sick of the 9-5 that I could nearly scream!

For many of you, the Monday to Friday may seem ideal: weekends off, same schedule as many of your friends, a “normal, routine” life… But take it from someone who has been there – it’s NOT all it’s cracked up to be.

Why? You get two days off a week. That’s it. Only two. And they are your only two days to get all that “stuff” done that inevitably piles up. Also, it’s the same… every single week. Some people enjoy that – others, like me, think of it as monotony.

So here are some benefits to that crazy life we call shift work:

  • Easy to schedule doctors/dentist/bank appointments
  • Grocery shopping is not nearly as hectic at 10am on a Wednesday morning compared to evenings and weekends
  • It’s easy to make lunch dates with your friends
  • You don’t have to feel bad for sleeping in until noon on a Thursday
  • You are free to do volunteer work that is only available during the weekday hours
  • You can go to the gym at non-peak times
  • Travelling is much easier because you are not confined to the weekends or standard times like everyone else.

If you are on a four days on, five off schedule like me, here are some added benefits:

  • FIVE DAYS OFF in a row. Need I say more?
  • Swap four shifts and you’ve got two weeks off!
  • Did I mention FIVE DAYS OFF in a row?

I know that the grass is always greener on the other side, and it can be hard to look at your friends with the 9-5 life and not feel jealous. But when you have those moments of envy, remember the advantages mentioned above and you may feel better.

So tell me – what do you like about doing shift work? Would love to hear your comments!