Nurses handle almost every aspect of patient care and are primarily responsible for ensuring that patients receive the best possible care. Therefore, having a team of nurses trained to keep patients healthy and happy is a cornerstone of well-managed medical practice.
The goal to recognize the nurse should not only nurse retention but also must ensure that nurses feel respected and valued. Nurses who feel they are part of a growing, evolving, and challenging field, in which they are an integral part and have influence, are nurses who not only survive but also excel.
To achieve this goal, you must first get to know your individual nursing staff.
Find out some important information about each nurse such as their favorite color, family members, favorite food and what they do for leisure. Next, watch your staff during the day so you can quickly recognize a job well done and make that acknowledgment personal and public. You should always sign notes, cards, personal letters, and any awards to add a caring, personal touch.
For public recognition, consider your nurse’s personality. For shy nurses, giving them a plaque to display is a better alternative than having everyone congratulate them on lunch. For nurses with a sweet tooth, giving them a basket of goodies to share with the rest of the staff is the perfect gift. This shows that you understand your caregiver well enough to personalize gifts and sharing gifts will strengthen teamwork and communication.
If your nursing team loves games, create a points system where they can earn rewards such as a thirty minute break where you cover their shift, catered lunches, paid holidays, and recognition in the hospital newsletter.
Create a safe work environment where nurses feel comfortable talking about problems or concerns.
Management of health services with an open door policy found that it relieved office tension. An open door policy also allows any issue to be raised quickly before it escalates or causes serious conflict. Managers need to be approachable and flexible to deal with the various personalities in their nursing staff. Nursing managers should think of themselves as part of the collaboration with their nurses.
Schedule regular check-in times with your nursing staff.
Regular lunches or short weekly sessions of contact with your nursing staff are invaluable ways to ensure that nurses are an empowered part of the decision-making process. Set up a meeting where any issues raised quickly move from problem to plan for change. Involve the entire nursing team in the process of understanding the problem and solving it.
Professional development opportunities.
As an added incentive for nursing excellence, offer regular outstanding nurses awards that will add to their professional development. Examples of appropriate awards are subscriptions to nursing journals, trips to nursing seminars or classes that will further their career.
When a member of your nursing staff has been repeatedly recognized for excellence, find ways to promote it. If there are no positions available for them to move on, offer a raise or additional perks towards their accomplishments. Another option is to give them a leadership position within the staff or adjust their workload to include more tasks they find rewarding and or challenging.
Nurses are leaders in ensuring patient safety, creating order from chaos and improving the quality of healthcare, so take a moment to recognize these great people today.
Trisha Vivona is a freelance writer and social media talent who values innovation, hard work and a relentless approach to creating value for clients and stakeholders.