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Educational nightmare

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age: 56

join date: nov 2009

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educational nightmare

i am a clinical educator in a small community hospital. the nurse managers on the units wish for me to have a nursing skills day each year. i am finding it very difficult to comply with this request as there is nothing that i can think of that is similiar to each of the nursing units here at the hospital. each unit tell me they have a "skills day" for their staff but they still would like to have a nursing skills day for the hospital. i continually try to tell them that a unit specific skills day is adequate for verifying competency for each particular unit. does anyone have any idea on how i could drive this point home with the nursing managers? if there is anyone that does do a hospital wide nursing skills day what competencies are being verified that each unit does? items such as fire safety, hippa, information security, and medication error reporting are covered by a safety fair we have yearly and by a computerized annual training program.

help please!

WalkieTalkie, RN

Specializes in CVICU.

We do have hospital wide competencies over HIPAA, PPE, med records, etc... these are online. We also have unit-specific modules.

How about a presentation about interpersonal skills? It could be patient focused (how to deal with frustrating patients, handling grief, dealing with treatment resistant patients, etc) or it could be focused on the nurses interpersonal skills with each other in an effort to minimize drama/conflict.


Specializes in Gerontology, nursing education.

What kinds of things do the nurse managers wish you to go over at the skills fair?

Also, it might not be bad for staff to review skills needed in other nursing specialties in case they have to float.

Why not ask the NMs to choose a staff member with particular expertise in a certain skill to demonstrate those skills for the others? That would recognize clinical expertise as well as relieve you of having to demonstrate all the skills by yourself.

I don't think this sounds like a nightmare; I think it could be a lot of fun.

Altra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

A couple of things come to my mind.

1. Can you simply ask the unit managers what they would like to see covered?

2. Are they looking to centralize these skills days? Many skills do apply to more than one unit. These are somewhat labor-intensive to plan and execute. Perhaps they are not comfortable with whoever is currently putting together the skills days - either it's too big a drain on regular staffing (although that would be unfortunate) or perhaps they are uncomfortable with the knowledge base of those putting together the skills days. (also unfortunate)

It sounds like there needs to be some clear communication so that you better understand what their goals are.


Specializes in med-surg,ortho,oncology,teaching.

We used to have a hospital skills day but got so it took too long that now it is divisional related. Some of the things we did were check off on PCA pumps, IV pumps, and what the process was to get blood from blood bank and how to check the armband. We involved every unit and so there were so many different equipments and skills for every unit it just got to be too much.

Hospital wide skills days include: restraint use and charting, glucometer use, PPE, time outs (we do at bedside for cental line, PICC placement), conscious sedation (slightly different focus for m/s v critical care skills), use of lift devices, PCA set-up. Unit based skills competencies may include things like the cryocuff and CPM for ortho; trach care, NGT insertion for med/surg; external pacers, vent settings and troubleshooting for critical care. P+Ps for each skill are posted on the units a couple of weeks before the skills day. If a participant does poorly, 1 on 1 teaching is provided on the spot. "Facilitators" are assigned to each section to check the competency and keep things moving, a few extra people to provide indiviualized assistance if needed.


Specializes in ED, Med-Surg, Psych, Oncology, Hospice. Has 30 years experience.

We have a designated skills day, which is fine and dandy. We have on-going education at each nurses meeting. What I HATE is unannounced "mock codes". Nothing is worse than a team of management showing up with a rescusitation model (not knowing what is happening on the floor) and expecting everyone to stop and do the "code". Granted, codes aren't planned in real life but, this unnecessary interruption is a stress we don't need. If I'm not qualified then I wouldn't have those TNCC, ACLS, and PALS certifications.

We were told that JCAHO no longer accepts skills days or skills fairs.

Is that true or not?

PostOpPrincess, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU. Has 19 years experience.

Are you talking about competencies?


Specializes in ICU, M/S,Nurse Supervisor, CNS. Has 16 years experience.

I've only worked at four different hospitals during my career, but three of those four had hospital wide skills fairs because they all required nurses to float between units as needed. Our skills fairs included restraints, IV pumps, PCAs, blood administration, drug calculation, feeding pumps, bladder scanners, hypo/hyper thermia blankets, advance directives and living wills, mock code, ad other general information that is useful for nurses in all departments. The other hospital has unit specific skills day but then also has a yearly safety fair that is mandatory for all nurses and includes education on beds, mock code, and some other equipment and hot topics useful to all nurses.


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