New to Allnurses; Healthy Work Environments

  1. Hello,
    180,000 nurses strong!!! Hoping to learn more from all of you about WHAT you think makes a "healthy work environment". Assisting a unit to implement AACN Healthy work environment initiatives, but first like to get a more global perspective in our profession of what that "looks, feels, like", Any suggestion, ideas or perspective appreciated. I practice nursing in a 450 bed medical center as a nurse manager for 90 direct report team members on a 37 bed cardiovascular surgical stepdown telemetry unit. One initiative I would like to implement is a "quiet or "down time" room for the team members to actually get away 15 to 30 minutes and get recharged. Do any of you have experience with this? Thanks for your feedback. Nurse 53
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    hi, nurse53!

    i don't have any experience with a "quiet or "down time" room, but i worked on a stepdown unit for 5 1/2 years, so i know what it's like. you ought to read some of the posts by new grad rns who are taking positions on telemetry units and getting next to none, or really crappy, precepting and orientation. many of them post on the first year in nursing forum on allnurses at http://allnurses.com/forums/f224/. honestly, i don't know that i would have had time for "quiet time" or "down time" unless i was sitting down charting. i did my charting at the monitors or in the break room if my shift was over. i was constantly on the move when i worked on stepdown.

    i'm sure you will get plenty of opinions about your ideas, however. the nurses on many of the forums are, at the least, opinionated! welcome to allnurses!
  4. by   honeyb61
    I do not have any experience with this. However, I would greatly appreciate seeing the outcome of "DOWN TIME...FIFTEEN UNDISTURBED MINUTES" room concept. This would do so much to revitalize a nurse. In addition to help better care for themselves and their patient(s). GREAT CONCEPT!!!!!
  5. by   GingerSue
    undisturbed quiet room is a good idea
  6. by   P_RN
    We had one. Just beyond the restroom and on the other side of the director's office. If you COULD get there to void, then you'd have to watch what you said......so not many people got to go to either one.

    Rather than the "room theory" what about a guaranteed down TIME. Another thing I absolutely loved after a short time getting used to it, was having all my patients next to each other. No running to the 4 corners of the universe to take care.
    If you are going to have electronic charting, then make sure you have sufficient computers. For 9 nurses, 2 secretaries, and the doctors side we had 4 terminals. NOT ENOUGH NO WAY!!
    Make sure your supplies are readily available. If you can fetch stuff, then you might be able to spend the free time on yourself. Having to run hither and thither and yon to find a bedpan, tubex, patient gown is useless.
  7. by   Selke
    What's the difference between this "30 minute down time", and the breaks that nurses are SUPPOSED to get: 30 minutes for lunch, and 15 minutes for each 4 hours worked? Many nurses don't get their two 15 minute breaks and/or their lunch breaks (unless they live in California, which legally mandates it).

    It would go far to create a "healthy work environment" to staff your unit so that all staff get their breaks in, and have enough staffing so that if someone gets behind on her charting, for example, then someone could cover her patients until she got caught up. Or if an RN needed extra help with, say, an admission, or a patient who needed several procedures, which would put her behind schedule, you would have an extra nurse available who would help her and not go tell the manager BS like "she can't prioritize her time and can't handle her assignment." Have sufficient competent, hardworking, and pleasant support staff on all shifts -- secretaries, aides, techs -- to do non-RN duties and to assist the RN so that she can get her work done. In other words, create a culture of support and helping each other, and not tolerating gossip and badmouthing other RNs. Value the nurses as nurses and enable them to be nurses, not secretaries, or transporters, or stripping and making beds.

    Staffing like this sends the message to the staff that you care about them, and I think would decrease turnover in the long run. Great idea to read what new grads and others say on this board about their crappy orientations, how nurses eat their young, about bad managers, &c.

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