Overcoming Apathy

  1. As a fairly new clinical educator in a busy ED/Trauma center, I have had one major issue to tackle: Apathy. My unit had been without an educator for quite a while before I started, so there was not any accountability for completing required education. So, I feel like I am constantly "reminding" everyone to complete their mandatory requirements (even after I have made it as easy as possible for them to do so). Then, if I try to do anything "extra," attendance is either very poor or non-existant. For example, many staff members were saying that they wished we had a Journal Club, so I spent a lot of time and energy starting a journal club. I surveyed staff to see which date/time they would prefer, applied for CE credit, hung flyers, sent e-mail reminders, and then, on the day of the meeting, no one showed up... There are other things, too. For example, I invited a drug rep nurse in one morning to do a 10-minute inservice at shift change. The staff were inattentive and rude. One even asked the rep why he didn't bring any coffee or donuts for the staff!

    At times, I feel like the culture of my facility is dooming me to fail. Any ideas on how I can get staff interested in professional development?
  2. Visit EDEduc8R profile page

    About EDEduc8R

    Joined: Aug '11; Posts: 6; Likes: 10


  3. by   tewdles
    Sounds like a level of corporate compassion fatigue or burnout has hurt your nursing team.

    I recommend that you continue looking for things to draw them together, to re-ignite their passions for nursing.

    You might consider having a meeting where you talk about burnout. Identify the individual signs and then the larger unit/organizational signs. Help them to see where they are and how it is impacting the care delivery in the unit. As well, some may be feeling very discouraged and my begin to believe that they only way to change that is to change jobs...and I am sure that you do not want to lose staff over something fixable.

    There are lots of really good resources available to help managers mentor their staff through these type of situations. Because you are new, you can be "forgiven" for bringing in ideas and plans that are outside of their comfort level or typical expectations.

    As for the journal club. Try attaching it to an already occuring meeting in a very brief format. As the captured audience becomes increasingly engaged it may pick up speed and you may be able to expand it in a slightly different format for the staff in general. Also, try to get one or two staff member to be your "champion" amongst their peers...meet with them and leave an open invitation for other staff. Make it a point to speak with them about the literature in other groups, at lunch, in the hallway, etc.

    Good luck!
  4. by   gcupid
    Never do anything at shift change....
  5. by   classicdame
    one of the HARDEST things to overcome, IMHO.

    Adult learning principles state that the adult learner has to be motivated to learn and needs to see an application for the learning. What's in it for me? If you can give them an answer to that question they might be more cooperative.
  6. by   tewdles
    we can motivate people when they realize that they are in survival mode..