In my current position, as a house supervisor, I work with five other nurses to provide 24 hour coverage within our facility. As a group, we all have varying degrees of experience and range in age from the youngest member, in her mid-20s, to our oldest member who is 64 years old. Working within this multigenerational group has led to some difficulties in communication and expectations among members as I will expand upon further. One particular problem we were experiencing was lack of initiative, from the float pool staff we oversee, in getting mandated educational requirements completed in a timely manner.
We met as a group to discuss this issue, each presenting their reasoning as to why staff was not responding to the multiple reminders being sent out along with verbal cues given during rounding on the units. It was interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts on the subject ranging from staff being too busy, irresponsible, not seeing this as a priority, or ineffective communication on our part in getting the message across to them. Through this discussion it was decided that they are professionals and need to be responsible for their own actions, or inactions.
We developed a plan, sent it out to staff, and were available for questions but left the ultimate responsibility up to each individual and followed with consequences if not completed by preassigned deadlines. Utilizing this strategy in holding each staff member accountable for their actions has proved effective in helping staff to complete these requirements when they are due. The use of reflective thinking is very important to learn and grow from various situations. Many years ago, when caring for a particular patient I asked her family to leave the room, against their wishes, while caring for her.
She shut down at that point and even though she allowed me to care for her did not interact with me throughout my time with her. After this encounter, I learned to ask the patient first whether family should be allowed to stay when providing cares and discovered if you work with, not against patients they respond much better. Group Member Strengths and Weaknesses In analyzing my weaknesses, as a group member, I would say I tend to try and appease everyone in the group and will change my thought process in order to comply with the members of the group even if I do not necessarily agree.
I also tend to get very frustrated at times in that I am someone who likes to work ahead and have a difficult time when working with others who tend to procrastinate. Strengths I bring to a group are my ability to make light of things and decrease tension. I feel I am easy going in general, so in group situations I do not come across as threatening or difficult to work with. Lastly, I believe I have many experiences in life and in the nursing profession that I can share in helping generate ideas to keep a project moving in the right direction.
Work Related Speaking Responsibilities In my current position, I have many opportunities to speak to staff, as well as patients and their families in explaining procedures, educating on new processes, holding staff meetings, or in de-escalating administrative related situations. In reviewing my strengths, I have refined my listening skills and pay very close attention to details before acting on a particular situation or giving my input. I also use humor, when appropriate, to put people at ease especially in difficult situations.
Also, I am very aware of my own body language and what it conveys to others. Weaknesses for myself, involve my own self-defeating thoughts. I get extreme anxiety when speaking to large groups and have a tendency to avoid speaking in public related to this fear. I also worry that, in being so anxious while speaking, I will be perceived as being incompetent by those who do not know me. This class has helped me in gaining some much needed confidence related to giving speeches.
Going forward, I will utilize the outlines provided in the textbook to help me in organizing my thoughts and in delivery of important facts. I have learned that having a podium to stand in front of really helps me to feel more comfortable, and will utilize one if possible in delivering speeches in the future. I also found that having visual aids, like power points, takes the attention away from me and decreases my anxiety considerably so will plan on using these aids in future endeavors. Final Course Reflection
Preparation required for delivery of our speeches helped me tremendously. In researching the main points I wanted to cover for my speech, and through utilizing the outline examples provided I was able to organize my speeches in a manner that flowed easily. Once I had the outline organized utilizing visual aids helped me in getting my point across and interjecting humor helped me in lightening the mood during my speeches. Finally, I practiced these speeches many times to help in remembering content and to boost my confidence in knowing the subject matter.
I will utilize all of these in going forward when speaking publically. Using presentational aids, was helpful to me in taking the focus away from myself during my speeches. I believe they assisted me in getting my point across to the audience and in emphasizing the message I was trying to convey. I feel the aids were effective, as I got a few laughs and positive comments from classmates stating they enjoyed my antics. One thing that did not go as smoothly as planned involved trying to access Suri during my final speech.
Being nervous and trying to push the small buttons of my phone proved difficult, so will probably leave the fine motor skill activities out of my future speeches. Delivering a speech has always been the difficult for me. I feel no matter how prepared I am, I have a tendency to be very anxious and have the accompanying symptoms of dry mouth and hand tremors. Probably my greatest improvements have been in improving my ability to make eye contact with audience members and in looking around the room instead of focusing on one area during the entire speech. I still have a long way to go, but feel more confident in these areas.
In looking back, my biggest accomplishment has been in being able to make it through three speeches without panicking and not being able to finish, like has happened to me in the past. Also, in the positive comments I received on interjecting my comedic side into my speeches as making fun of things, especially myself, helps me to relax and feel more comfortable. In going forward, I will continue to improve my speech presentation abilities by utilizing the outlines given in our text, visual aids and a podium if possible, and in using notecards to highlight the main points I want to cover to help prevent forgetting them due to nervousness.
In hindsight, I have honestly been really dreading taking this course since starting the nursing program. Now that it is over, I cannot say I enjoyed speaking but will say the tools I have learned to use in giving speeches have helped to alleviate some of the anxiety. I do not think I will ever be completely comfortable in speaking in public, but feel better equipped and “somewhat” in control when delivering speeches. I can now say I am glad I took the course and will speak highly of it if asked by other students in the program. Thank you.