Assessment Task Overview
Transitioning to professional practice is a critical phase for the novice Registered Nurse. Managing professional role requirements, organizational technologies, and team dynamics while on shift can be challenging. This is often accompanied by changed personal circumstances, with graduates balancing shift work, working full time, and socialization with friends and family. The case study below highlights the professional and personal challenges you may face as a Graduate Registered Nurse. Critically analyze the following case study to answer the essay questions.
Case Study Background
Alex is a Graduate Registered Nurse (RN) who is 8 weeks into his first graduate rotation at the local metropolitan, tertiary hospital. He is currently working on a gastrointestinal ward that cares for medical and surgical patients. For the first four weeks, Alex worked alongside his nurse preceptor, predominately rostered on morning shifts. Alex has just completed his first five (5) night shifts yesterday morning and is back on an afternoon shift today (Saturday). Alex is still trying to manage his roster and other commitments like playing sport and catching up with friends. Today, Alex is feeling tired and frustrated because he slept through his alarm this morning and missed a family breakfast to celebrate his sister’s birthday. He is also disappointed that he can’t watch tonight’s football game with his friends.
Alex has arrived 15 minutes prior to this shift starts. On arrival, he realizes that he hasn’t worked with the Nurse-in-Charge before but there are other nurses on the shift that he has met.
Alex feels a little nervous, but he knows two (2) of the patients he has been allocated from his recent night shifts and he is allocated a further two (2) patients who are to be discharged this afternoon. He has not arranged a discharge before so he prioritizes these activities as he prepares his shift planner.
A short time later the Nurse-in-Charge tells him that his patient allocations have changed due to skill mix. A different nurse will arrange one (1) patient discharge and Alex will be receiving a new patient from Emergency Department.
His patient allocations are now as follows:
Alex feels overwhelmed with the admission, discharge, and post-operative patients. He is unsure how he will cope with the rest of his shift. Alex has not looked after a patient with end-stage-liver-failure-before but he decides he must push on, and soon it is time for handover.
At handover, Alex realizes that after he had given Ms. O’Sullivan an antiemetic, he had set the observation machine to take automatic observations. However, he had forgotten to go in and check this patient for the last 3 hours. Alex has not yet completed the admission documentation for Mr. Maple. The nurse he is handing over to rolls her eyes when this information is handed over. Additionally, he has not completed any of his patient notes on the computer on wheels (COWS) machine. Alex stays 30 minutes after the end of his shift to complete his work.
Following his shift
On his commute home, Alex feels really stressed and is not sure if Ms. O’Sullivan has experienced any post-op complications. He is frustrated with himself that he may have missed other things this shift and that he had to stay late to finish his patient notes. At home, he spends some time reflecting on his shift and plans to ask his nurse preceptor for any advice/tips on their next shift together.
Alex appears to be struggling during his clinical shift. He also seems to be having difficulty maintaining a work/life balance. Critically analyze the case study to help you answer the following essay questions.
Registered nurses are the ones who work directly with the physician for the treatment of the patients. Registered Nurses have their roles and responsibilities which they need to be followed for the proper treatment of the patients. Proper guidance and training help the resident nurses work with confidence and not facing many issues in the transition period and the support services in the working environment through the various sources would have helped them in adopting open communication for their issues and good administration with the patients and co-workers. Registered nurses find it difficult to balance their work as well as professional life as there is a high amount of stress which they can experience while on work. hence they need to prioritize their work-life and balance their personal.
The resident nurses often deal with serious complications of the patients and even experience tragedies like death and have long exhausting hours during their shifts. And with these kinds of stress, it may be possible that they have certain burnout. And hence they need to learn how to balance the two - their work and personal life. At their work, they need to perform many tasks and need to communicate with various sets of people including patients, their families, health care professionals, and their colleagues. And with the common problems like understaffing, lack of cooperation from the seniors and staff and from patients, miscommunication, and less break time may result in their breakdown and frustrations. The study of the roles and responsibilities and adopting the various strategies to cope up with the stressful environment and implementing of these strategies by the Resident Nurses would help in gaining resilience, building more capacity towards work, and helps in maintaining the support system for proper work and healthy life balance for the Resident Nurses.
Following the case study, it could be annotated that Alex however, attempted to cover most of his duties on the board but lagged somewhere in fulfilling the requirements of the registered nurse. With preventive, curative, formative, compassionate, restorative, and palliative components, registered nurse practice is person-centered and evidence-based. RNs work with adults, and also with families, organizations, and communities, in therapeutic and professional partnerships. The key objectives of nursing education remain to be the same as nurses must be equipped to serve the needs of different patients; act as leaders; and advance research that supports patients and the ability of health practitioners to provide healthy, quality patient care (NMBA, 2020). At the very same time, nursing education needs to be customized in several ways to prepare nursing graduates in a diverse and changing health care environment in a variety of environments to work collaboratively and efficiently with other health professionals. In the sense of thoughtful development and preservation of constructive relationships, Alex must practice, as a professional endeavor, involves continual reflection and evaluation which was efficiently practiced by Alex when he came home after the hectic schedule in his duty (Harrison, 2018). The inability of tackling both personal wells as professional life is quite necessary that the RNs must continue to learn professionally to keep their ability to practice effectively. This practice involves working in a direct non-clinical relationship with clients, working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory, policy creation positions, or other roles that influence the safe, efficient provision of professional services and/or use of the professional skills of the nurse (Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, 2020). Under complex structures, and in partnerships with other health care practitioners, RNs are responsible for autonomous practice. Alex shall decide, plan, and hence provide safe, and efficient nursing by enlisting Mr. Maple's case, which is in the emergency domain. Keeping in check with him and hid conditional reports is quite necessary as the medical care plan would be dependent upon the scenario of the patient.
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