NURS FPX 4010 Assessment 3 Interdisciplinary Plan Proposal
Interdisciplinary Plan Proposal
Nurse understaffing is a major challenge for Sanford Medical Center as it compromises the welfare of patients and nurses may not fully engage with patients. Through this, patients may be left feeling dissatisfied with nurse performance. The goal of this proposed plan is to help the top-level management team at Sanford Medical Center to attract and retain excellent nurse staff to alleviate the problem of understaffing.
Implement policies and programs that provide hiring, effective management, efficient use of employees, continuous staff training, and better clinical outcomes with an aim of helping the hospital retain staff and build a reputation that makes the hospital attractive to prospective new nursing staff to reduce the problem of understaffing. If successfully implemented, there will be adequate nursing staff which will ensure better care for patients and prevent nurse burnout, reduce fatigue, and improve patient satisfaction.
Questions and Predictions
- Is there any connection between nurse understaffing and unfavorable patient outcomes?
- Hospitals without adequate nurses on duty can endanger the safety of their patients. Overworked nursing staff can suffer burnout or fatigue that can hinder their ability to perform their roles which could lead to medical errors, missed nursing care, and a lack of engagement. People seeking treatment in understaffed healthcare facilities experience a high risk of infection, in-hospital mortality, and an increase in postoperative complications.
- In which ways does understaffing impact nurses?
- Inadequate nursing staff means the same amount of work falls to fewer nurses who end up working longer hours. Working for long hours without relief can cause a breakdown in physical, mental, and emotional health. Injured or sick nurses may not show up to work thus compounding the staffing challenge. Besides, nurses who experience ongoing stress can develop multiple health problems like depression, hypertension, anxiety, and exhaustion.
- Can hospitals solve the problem of understaffing by doing a better job of selecting nursing employees in the first place?
- By using proven behavioral assessments to examine behavioral competencies, defining behavioral competencies, and becoming better at interviewing candidates, healthcare organizations can solve the problem of understaffing.
- What does it take organizations to attract and retain nurse staff?
- Some of the strategies for reducing turnover among front-line and nursing staff include encouraging staff input on critical issues; placing and training managers who develop, value, and engage front-line staff; not tolerating lateral violence; clarifying work expectations during recruiting and onboarding; supporting career development; building teamwork; optimizing schedule flexibility. Also, ongoing in-service training can improve outcomes and promote improved job satisfaction. In addition to preventing errors with increased high costs, team training can promote a more needs-based use of the equipment and promote personal development (Hutchings et al., 2011)
Change Theories and Leadership Strategies
Kurt Lewin’s change model is a simple and practical approach for understanding the change process and improving collaboration. This theory has three steps: unfreezing, changing, and refreezing (Lewin, 2013). Before implementing the change, it should go through unfreezing. Since most nurses may resist some changes in the attraction and retention policies, the goal during this stage is to build an awareness of how the current situation (understaffing) is affecting the organization (Lewin, 2013). Communication is key to informing the people involved about the imminent change, the reason behind it, and how it can benefit them. The nurses will be more motivated to accept the change if they know much about the change process. In the second phase, Sanford Medical Center must move into a new state of being. It is where the change becomes real. Here, nurses must learn new ways of thinking, behaviors, and processes. Time, education, support, and communication is key at this point as they familiarize themselves with the change. Nurses must be constantly reminded of the logic behind the change and how they stand to benefit if implemented. The final stage symbolizes the act of reinforcing, solidifying, and stabilizing the new state following the change (Lewin, 2013). The management must make efforts to ensure that the change is not lost but instead is cemented into the hospital’s culture and maintained as the acceptable ways of doing or thinking. To reinforce the new state of affairs, acknowledgement of individualized efforts and positive rewards must be considered.
Nurses at Sanford Medical Center can feel unheard or stifled if their efforts to contribute are overlooked. But a participative or rather a democratic leadership strategy can create a forum for these ideas to be heard. A democratic leadership promotes a free flow of ideas (Smith et al., 2018). Each nurse will have something to contribute. Although not all ideas may be actionable or valuable, creating an environment where the ideas can be discussed invites nurses to share their ideas; the ideas can be assessed, built upon, and evaluated (Smith et al., 2018). When nurses know they will be heard, they tend to contribute and feel their contribution is valued and hence buy-in the change.
Team Collaboration Strategy
The project implementation team members include business analysts, project managers, nurses, business owners, human resource managers, IT security teams, and functional leads. The business analyst can help in analyzing and developing an understanding of the present state processes to ensure the implications and context of change are understood by the project team and the nursing department. IT security team will provide support and help develop and implement the required and appropriate security environment. The project manager will ensure that the project team finishes the project within budget, time, and scope. He or she will also ensure effective communication with stakeholders. The functional lead will provide subject matter expertise for department functions, make decisions on behalf of their respective departments, and accurately represents the business needs of their department. Nurses are responsible for suggesting improvement ideas and are directly affected by the decisions. The business owner (Sanford Medical Center) will secure funding and overall approval on the project. It will also confirm that the project’s objectives and goals are met. The human resource manager will be charged with developing HR-oriented change interventions to address the effect of change, identify and communicate HR policies and processes as they relate to hiring and retention, and contribute to organization transition planning.
Effective communication can ensure collaboration among team members. So as to coordinate efforts, project managers must gather information and disseminate it across all teams. Without it, the efforts may be duplicated by many teams or people involved in the project, the project’s scope starts to creep outside of the realm of what was originally intended, important goals and milestones may be missed, and resources become miss-allocated (Tappen, 2016). Good communication acts as a glue that holds project team members together.
Required Organizational Resources
For this project to be successful, there are budgetary and financial issues that need attention, including supplies, staffing, equipment, and other non-financial need. The nursing staff at the Sanford Medical community are fewer and this leads to overworking of the team. With this plan, the facility will require at least five more nurses added which can cost about $250,000 yearly. Sanford has already equipment and supplies used in the normal hiring and retention process. It will use the same tools hence no extra cost. However, the facility will incur some costs for advertising the opening, the time cost of an internal recruiter, the time cost of the person conducting the interviews, background checks and drug screens, and other prior-employment assessment tests. The average cost per hire is about $4,000 translating to about $20, 000 for the five hires. After the recruitment, Sanford Medical Center will need to provide adequate training to the new nurses to perform and produce for the business. The company will spend an average of $1200 annually on training per nurse and at least 40 hours. The company will also incur the cost of salary and employee benefits once hired which can be $60,000 for a nurse. In total, Sanford Medical Center will require approximately $576, 000 to implement the change to ensure effective business operations and patient satisfaction.
If the new hires are not properly trained, they may feel unappreciated in their jobs and decide to search for a job elsewhere. This staff turnover is costly; finding a new hire can cost the company nearly 30% of the job’s total salary. This is minus the medical errors performed and reduced productivity.
Hutchings, K., De Cieri, H., & Shea, T. (2011). Employee attraction and retention in the Australian resources sector. Journal of Industrial Relations, 53(1), 83-101.
Lewin, K. (2013). Kurt Lewin’s change management model. Change Management Learning.
Tappen, R. M. (2016). They know me here: Patients’ perspectives on their nursing home experiences. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 21(1)