Questions about Unit Practice Council (UPC)

  1. I've searched this phrase. The results mainly brought up "Clinical Practice Council" , Unit Based Council" , and "Nursing Practice Council". At the hospital I am at, we have a Unit Practice Council where each unit has an elected group of staff nurses, CNAs, Telemetry technicians, MSAs, and transporters. We meet once a month to discuss "quick wins" and renewal of current policies and procedures, along with a few other things. Then we have a Nursing Practice Council which meets 3x a year with one rep from each UPC and hospital leadership. I'm just getting started and I was voted in as chair person...What does a UPC primarily do? Our UPC seems more focused on "quick wins", rather than updating/ renewing policies and procedures. Quick wins (I didn't know what it meant) are things that can be changed/implemented on the floor with little effort, such as putting up laminated signs next to each Cavi Wipe location stating "not for use on skin". Also, we are allotted 1 day/month of 8 hours to meet, discuss, and hash things out. Do you think 8 hours in one day can be used productively? During our first meeting we proposed that we meet for 4 hours and have the next 4 hours allotted for committee time/ EBP project time, etc. during the month before our next meeting. Thoughts? Thanks for reading and for the replies.
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    About NursesLeadTheWay, BSN, RN

    Joined: Feb '11; Posts: 13; Likes: 1


  3. by   SoldierNurse22
    If you can't use 8 hours to get things hashed out for you unit, something is very, very wrong.

    I am the chair for my UPC (chair = leader). I lead the meetings, take down concerns, dole out responsibility for making changes as needed, and follow up on concerns myself. My UPC has an hour every few weeks to meet, discuss things and then divvy up responsibilities. Things that need to be taken care of are then done on your downtime. Same went for when I was a floor nurse.

    UPC's primary function is to be the voice for the staff on the floor. It functions as a tool for nurses to use to improve practice and safety on the floor. If there is a policy that needs to be updated or created or stopped, that's UPC's lane. If there is a small problem that needs fixing (the "quick wins" that you reference), UPC does that, too.

    UPC does NOT handle: Staffing issues. Personal complaints. Budget problems. There are others, but I like to tell people if it's not an issue that I can fix with a policy change, you need to talk to the manager.
  4. by   NursesLeadTheWay
    Thank you. Let me clarify the 8hours/day/month comment. The UPC is scheduled to meet for an 8 hour day, meaning we are scheduled one day for UPC a month and all 8 hours are supposed to be used in that day. I am going to propose that we divvy up the 8 hours throughout the month as well.
    From what it sounds like, you use the hours throughout the month. How many hours is your UPC allotted including the downtime? When you say downtime, is that considered time not paid (for civ RNs)? I have civilian nurses and they do not want to work outside of the 8 hour time allotted because they are not getting paid for it... :/ Any more suggestions? I like the way you have it set up. Lastly, did your CNOIC or whoever is making the schedule set aside 1 hour/week or is that something you all decided on as a UPC. Basically, is your CNOIC supportive in regards to making sure there is scheduled time allotted for UPC work? Again, my concern is with the civilians probably not willing to meet if they are not being paid.
  5. by   SoldierNurse22
    Gotcha. You'd be wise to try to split that up. The more meetings you have per month, the more likely you'll catch problems as they happen.

    We get 1 hour extra every week at our staff meeting (I now work outpatient, so it's a little different). We get from 1300-1400 for a staff meeting/UPC/training. Every other week or at least every month, that time goes to the UPC. As that is only for the meeting, we handle all of the issues brought up in UPC on regular business hours. So when I don't have patients, I work on UPC matters in my office and the same with all of my other coworkers. It helps to assign teams of people to address problems like policy-writing/revision and individual people to coordinate things that involve other departments, that way the responsibility is on one person and it's not as complicated. Of course, there are exceptions to those rules (some people are really good at policy writing and prefer to have someone edit/revise after the fact and some people prefer to have a team of people working on something that requires inter-unit communication). Most of it is knowing your staff, how they work, and how to assign things.

    When I was inpatient, civilians would work on things on their down time during the day. Most of our UPC was military, however, so the civilians didn't have a whole lot to do. They weren't given extra time or overtime in any way, shape or form for participating. This is an expectation of their employment when they are employed by a military hospital.
  6. by   NursesLeadTheWay
    I see. Thanks again.
  7. by   chemdawg
    I know this is am older thread but I was wondering if anyone has come upon the issue of only having civilians on the UPC. I currently work in a facility where this is the case. At my previous place of employment it was required to be 50/50. This was a wonderful way to incorporate new military nurses into the unit and helped to build skills outside of bedside care.