Medication error is a scary thing. Provision 3 can be applied to this scenario. As nurses, we have to protect the rights, health and safety of our patients. When errors occur, it is our duty to follow our institution’s guidelines in reporting errors to the appropriate authority and ensure responsible disclosure of errors to the patient. Provision 4 can also be applied which states that as nurses, we should be accountable and responsible for our nursing practices, decisions, and actions. Personally, I recognized that I was fully accountable of my action. By doing so, we are creating a culture of openness and excellence which is critical to maintaining a safe patient care environment. Errors should not be punished; it should be corrected and remediated (NCSBN, 2016).
The four nursing leadership qualities and traits I believe represent excellence in nursing are: has a strong communication skill, a team player, has the ability to use critical thinking, and ability to managed time effectively.
As a professional nurse, I always exhibit these leadership qualities and traits at the bedside and within my interdisciplinary team.
At the bedside, we connect with the patient, family members, and visitors through effective communication. Effective communication can either be spoken or through the use of alternative communication devices. If the patient has hearing problems, a hearing assistive device can be used. If the patient is mute, then sign language (ASL) can be used to convey their ideas and thoughts. If the patient speaks another language, then we can use an interpreter through video or phone. Being a team player, the nurse performs the job by working with the patient and family members to promote high quality patient care. By encouraging patients to be pro-active and be involve in their care, by keeping patient and family members be involve in teachings and education regarding post hospital care to help with the recovery process. Nurses possess the ability to use critical thinking and judgment to solve and identify problems especially in stressful situations like CODES. We have to be flexible and adapt to changing scenarios. We have to think fast but cautious because to save a life, every second counts. In everything that we have to do, perform, administer to our patients, we have to stop and think if this is safe or will do harm to our patients. Lastly, nurses have the ability to manage time effectively. When caring for our patients, all of them are important and should be treated equally. However, we want to cluster our nursing care to save time and spent it to patients who has more needs and attend to other important matters as well.
Within the interdisciplinary team, communication is an integral part in patient care. As nurses, we collaborate constantly with other health care staff to coordinate patient’s quality and ethical care, may it be regarding patient’s medications, lab results, or their immediate needs. Communication is also important to avoid errors and promote safety. Team work is constantly demonstrated as we work together to provide and improve quality care. Being a team player means nurses have a trusting and respectful relationship with other health care staff. It also means having a can-do attitude to promote camaraderie and team spirit. Working as a team makes our job easy, worthwhile, and stress-free. Use of critical thinking is needed to improve protocols and patient care. Before asking and making a suggestion to the physician regarding a medication order, we have to think critically if this medication is safe and will not interact with other medications or treatments. Nurses are diligent and cautiously pay attention to details especially to doctor’s medication orders to prevent error which is harmful and detrimental. Before delegating nursing care to other staff, we have to think if this is a contraindication. We have to ask ourselves if we follow the evidence-based practice in our patient care because if not we are bringing more harm to our patients. Lastly, nurses manage their time effectively by delegating tasks to the appropriate staff. By doing so, we can focus on other patients and be productive and attend to other important tasks.
My work environment impacts my nursing leadership. I am lucky to be part of my team because my nurse managers and senior nurses never cease to encourage me and my co workers to be leaders and team players. We are constantly asked to lead unit committees to improve our nursing care and practice. They keep the staff informed and updated with the latest policy updates.
My work environment impacts my decision-making. My co- workers have been supportive in helping me make sound decisions for my patients. And when it comes to decision-making for the entire unit, everyone is involved through a voting process. As a unit, we decide what is best for our unit and we make sure our voices are heard.
My work environment impacts my professional development. Trainings, online education, and annual competencies are offered to improve our skills and be competent. Also, the hospital is supportive in advancing the careers of the staff. Tuition reimbursements are available to all full-time employees. My nurse managers and senior nurses have been encouraging and supportive while I was trying to complete my BSN. Having a positive and supportive working environment makes my student life easier and less stressful.