What type of councils are you looking at? We have several different councils within our unit. We have the scheduling council which deals with schedule stuff,fights with the managers for extra hours for vacation, etc. They also set limits on scheduling practices. We have education council, which is run by our Education Coordinator and CNS and assess what we need inserviced on, provide info on things that come up that we don't normally deal with, put out info for CEU's and right now we have a study group going for people going for their RNCs
The Practice council reviews policy and procedures, gets info on the standards of care, help come up with new protocols, makes sure our flowsheets and documentation tools are up to date and improve on them. The Discharge Council makes sure D/C tools are up to date, make sure our Micromedex is updated with new info as needed, one person a month goes to D/C rounds to voice concerns over things that are being missed, things that need done. We also have a Bereavement Council that works with hospice. The Preceptor Council (which is run by our RNC group
) makes sure that things go smoothly in that department. They streamlined our binders and made documentation easier. Most of these councils attend hospital wide council meetings once a year to see what is going on in those areas. It is very interesting!
We put sign up papers and people chose what they wanted to do. Our CNS and Education coordinator helped set them up and we went from there. Each council has a head person and a recorder. We put all our minutes out by email to the whole unit so that no one can say they missed anything. The councils themselves sometimes split into sub groups, like the Practice council splits into Policy and Procedure, Protocols, Evidence Based Practice, Unit Needs. This is the group that has the most work to do as they are also responsible in reviewing all the units P/P/P every 2-3 years and making revisions.
We have a very large staff and we have great input. The manager tries to put us out of staffing for 4 hours a month so that we can sit and do whatever we need to do. We have had these councils for close to 10 years now! Once they are up and running, it makes things so much easier. Also, each council has a box for people to put questions or suggestions