The ability to think clearly and solve problems is a vital skill for healthcare employees, regardless of position or title. The decisions that frontline employees make can have an immediate impact on the efficiency of the unit, the quality of care received by patients and their families, and the reputation of the healthcare organization... and that's nothing to sneeze at.
Employees with strong critical thinking skills are well-informed and more flexible in their approach to daily work. They understand how to gather relevant information and when to change direction, which is essential in an on-your-toes healthcare setting. Strong thinkers and problem solvers also know how to identify issues and proactively implement solutions to avoid costly mistakes.
When HCAHPS surveys show opportunities for improvement, leaders turn to several places for insight before taking action. By looking at specific questions and targeting the roles responsible for them, improvement teams can target role-specific employee engagement survey results. When conferring with floor and team managers, individual performance reviews may produce some candidates for learning and skill development.
In any case, healthcare employers never fail to draft improvement plans - these usually include learning seminars which address topics such as:
▪ Understanding the steps in the problem solving process
▪ Determining the root causes of problems
▪ Using critical thinking skills to improve decision making
▪ Practicing the key skills of analyzing, evaluating and reasoning
Winning Strategies for Charge Nurses
When transitioning from a staff nurse to a charge nurse position, it is important for new charge nurses to build trust and respect within the unit. With increased responsibilities as well as co-workers to manage, it helps to have a plan and an understanding of key nurse leader skills. Here are three winning strategies to help ensure success:
These skills and other behaviors can be emphasized through charge nurse leadership training. Learning programs that use real examples and scenarios will help charge nurses recognize where and how they can have a positive impact.
Many healthcare organizations invest in the development of new nurse leaders to increase engagement and retention, and ultimately improve patient care.
NCharge, created by Catalyst Learning Company, offers an evidence-based curriculum that gives first level supervisory nurses the insights, interpersonal skills and business knowledge they need to more effectively manage, inspire and lead. Please contact Catalyst Learning for information on charge nurse leadership training and how to strengthen nurse leader skills within your healthcare organization.