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Archive December 2019 XX, No. 12

Ideas That Work: Staff Appreciation

A Day in the Life of Your Colleagues

Cathy Dentremont, RN, MBA
ROLE PLAYING After watching staff-produced skits, each department has a better understanding of the challenges their colleagues face on any given day.

It’s not uncommon for staff members in one department to believe they do more or matter more than their colleagues who work in other areas of the facility. That’s why Joyce Parhiala, RN, our facility’s nurse manager, came up with the neat idea to have staff from various departments — registration, pre-op, the OR, sterile processing and the PACU — produce skits that demonstrate what they do on a daily basis. Department managers coached their teams on what to cover in the skits and helped their teams rehearse before they performed in front of the entire staff.

  • Receptionists spoke about the proper way to answer the phone, greet and identify patients, and admit them to the center.
  • Pre-op nurses showed how they run through the litany of pre-op checks and tests.
  • Sterile processing techs demonstrated each step of the instrument decontamination and sterilization processes.
  • Surgical team members performed a mock surgery, which involved opening supplies, safe sharps handling techniques, proper patient handling, prepping practices, draping techniques and the time-out process.
  • PACU nurses acted out how they recover patients and began relaying discharge instructions when the patient (played by a staff member) “developed” chest pain and quickly deteriorated, resulting in a Code Blue event. The PACU team played out the scenario with extreme realism and expertise. Thankfully, the patient lived!

After our facility-wide skits were performed, we noticed staff gained an appreciation for their hardworking colleagues and the entire team formed a closer bond. They socialize more after work, and genuinely seem to appreciate working together.

Cathy Dentremont, RN, MBA
Orchard Surgical Center
Salem, N.H.

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