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October 2019
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Reflective Journal – Week 10

October 27, 2019   

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.

I learned that managing change is hard. Change will always come, but everyone approaches and adapts to change differently. I learned that as leaders we need to work to help employees adapt to change.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

I think that the team activity was helpful because it helped me see that everyone approaches change differently. We all have different approaches to and views of change, and we need to be aware of that. It is always interesting to see how others need to process change or just need to go through change as it comes.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I will use this by understanding that as a leader I will be able to help monitor change and help employees adapt to change in the way that they need to adapt to change. 

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

Change can be very hard, but we can adapt to it in many ways. We also need to be aware of how other people adapt to change and help them adapt int heir own way.

Budget Interview

October 26, 2019   

For this assignment I interviewed Adam Zimmerman, CEO of American Equipment.

1. What is the most common budget constraint you frequently run into and how can it be fixed?

Getting customers to pay. We have ramped up our collections efforts by adding more people to our AR team

2. What is your favorite thing about budgeting at your company?

Makes us focus on the future.

3. What do you find to be the most difficult about budgeting?

All falls back on AR. If money comes in it makes it easier to budget and plan

4. How does budgeting affect your employees & customers?

Forces employees to really evaluate the real need of a purchase. The goal is to lower unnecessary expenditures which increases profits and increased wage and bonuses. Hopefully customers see a lean and efficient company they are buying from.

5. What is your least favorite thing about budgeting?

The future. Business ebbs and flows. We need to make purchases for worn down equipment or in order to grow, but we need to make sure we have enough coming in to cover those costs

6. What is the main cause for being over budget?

Careless spending and people not being accountable

7. What is the main cause for being under budget?

Attention to detail and clear direction from upper management

8. How often do you think the little things add up to help you stay under budget?

Can’t quantify. We have 100 employees with credit cards. Uncounted for $100 purchases by employees are killer. They add up fast

9. Who helps oversee the budget for the company?

Our Controller

10. How often do you make changes to your budget?

Every day.

11. What is the most common problem you run into while budgeting?

Careless spending

12. How often do you fire employees as a way of decreasing your budget?

Rarely to never. We are very cautious about the people we hire and do our best to put people in long term positions. It is a delicate balance. We would rather have folks get overtime when we are busy than layoff because of too many people when times are slow.  

This interview was interesting to learn about how a CEO views budgeting in the company. It was interesting to learn from his perspective that little costs add up fast and can hurt the company, which may hurt employees which he doesn’t want to happen within his company. I also didn’t expect their budget to be revised daily.

Reflective Journal – Week 9

October 20, 2019   

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.

I learned that the responsibility of staffing can be stressful. From the activities in this unit, it was interesting to learn about different staffing methods in different hospitals and units. It was also interesting to learn more about how to develop your career and learn about different tips to do so.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

The team activities were helpful just to see how other people plan to develop their careers in nursing. I think it’s always interesting to learn about how people want to advance their careers and people that they plan to work with in order to further their careers.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I will utilize this information by remembering to constantly network to open possibilities to advance my career. It has reminded me that although I may not have a perfect picture of where I might be in 5 years, that I will have more opportunities if I network with people around me to learn about different job opportunities as I work.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

I think that these topics are very important to be aware of in nursing. I think that staffing is very important to be aware of, and if in a leadership role, I will remember that there are many different methods to staffing that can be used and there isn’t necessarily a perfect method for any unit. I also found it a good reminder to network with people constantly through my career to open opportunities in my nursing career.

Reflective Journal – Week 8

October 11, 2019   

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.

I learned that the future of nursing is definitely changing. I learned about the increasing demands of nurses, and how that will change the way we practice. I learned more about how nurses are able to practice in some states versus others, and how nurses are going to be working more closely with other healthcare providers in the future. 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

The team discussion was good this week. It was good to hear from others about their opinion on the future of nursing. We all agreed that there will be many positive changes for nurses in the future as we work more equally with physicians and attain higher education. The future of nursing will help meet the demands in healthcare in the future. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I will utilize the information learned this week by recognizing my role in the future of nursing. We have a crucial role to play, and that is to be leaders and make our voice heard. We aren’t currently seen as leaders in the healthcare community, and that can change by my involvement in leadership within healthcare. As I learn from my practice as a nurse I will work to participate more in leadership.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

I think this unit was helpful. It was cool to learn about how people are working to change the future of nursing. As it stands, I do believe that we work in a great field, but we are under-utilized and I think that as time progresses and we work in leadership roles, we will be able to be better utilized within healthcare to provide the best care for our patients. 

Reflective Journal – Week 7

October 7, 2019   

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.

I learned that firing/disciplining can be very difficult. Many times there are multiple factors that lead to an employee getting fired, either in their home or work environment. I learned that it can be just as difficult for a manager to have to fire someone that they know has dependents that rely on them for resources, and that those are important things to keep in mind when considering firing an employee.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

I felt that the team activities were helpful. Our discussion this week was about budgeting, and we all had slightly different opinions but were all thinking along the same lines. Some just considered cutting some hours or being more strict on nursing hours, while others considered cutting more employees to cut the budget. There were great ideas about how to cut the budget, so it was good to learn from them. My mind was somewhat changed after learning from others’ opinions about what they would do in that situation.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I will utilize this in my future nursing practice by having another manager help in the firing/discipline process. I would ensure that I wasn’t the only manager involved in firing or disciplining an employee, and I would consider their family situation as I approached firing or discipline. 

As far as budgeting goes, I will be aware that there are multiple opinions on how a budget may be cut, and that I can best serve the unit by utilizing as many opinions as possible in order to come to the best conclusion because mine might not always be the right opinion.

4. You personal feelings about the material covered.

Budgeting and firing/discipline are hard. These are things that I don’t look forward to if I enter a manager position in nursing. Firing and discipline would be hard for me because I would want to keep an employee based on their family situation, but would need to discipline or fire them based on the impact their performance has on the company.

Budgeting is hard for me. I enjoy budgeting for myself, but when it involves people, it is just hard for me. We decided that we would cut most from the RN staffing budget which would just be hard for me because it directly affects staff and their families. These are just decisions that are hard for me to make.

Firing-Discipline Interview

October 7, 2019   

Here are some answers and questions about Firing/Discipline from Galen McMurtrey at Elysium Energy.

1. What are automatic grounds for termination at your workplace?

Fraudulent Acts, Theft, Customer Abuse, Other Illegal acts resulting in criminal prosecution

2.What is the process you use to discipline an employee who is constantly late?

Employee is called and given notice that they are late too often and then set up on an improvement plan over a 30-60 day period.  At the end of the designated period they are review again.  If no progress they will be let go or given another probationary period if some progress has been made.

3.What is the hardest part of disciplining an employee and firing an employee for you?

The fact that it will usually impact not only the individual but many others who rely on the employee for their daily resources.

4.What tactics have you found to be effective when disciplining/firing an employee?

Establish firm/s identifiable responsibilities and job descriptions to use as a means to identify the challenges an employee is facing  so that there can be specific and detailed conversations about the issues.  Once that is established all future disciplinary matters can be addressed and resolved more effectively as everyone has a good knowledge of it beforehand and generally no one is surprised at the results.  Also establishing goals and what lies ahead for an employee gives a positive light to the employee instead of all negative. This keeps most employees motivated toward the positive side and not focused on the negative.

5.What are good indicators which help you know if your disciplinary actions have been effective or not?

The employee starts to focus on the set goals and progressing toward the higher end of expectations and not repeating the same pattern that caused the disciplinary action.  Also the general disposition of the person can be good indicator as to whether the issue is related to work or something outside of work, both of which should be handled a little differently.

6.When you need to discipline an employee, do you have someone else there to help be a mediator?

Absolute requirement to have someone else involved, no exceptions!!

7.How many “chances” do you give an employee before they are terminated?

Depends on what the disciplinary action is and how the employee responds to the probationary period and requirements.  Usually it is a 3 step process.  1. Recognized and Discuss without warning.  2.  Identify specifics and set up probationary period and a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) 3.  Extended probationary period or termination followed by termination.

8.What is the main reason why you need to fire an employee?

-Significant breach of company policies that affect customers or working environment that the employee is involved in.  This would include sexual harassment, fraudulent acts and intentional undermining the company’s reputation.

-After firing an employee how does the workplace change/react to the firing?

-It usually improves as a decline in an employee’s attitude also drags down the morale of the group and impacts customer service.

9.When a termination needs to happen due to budget issues, how do you choose which employee it will be?

A balanced approach to keep the long-term continuity in place, meaning not necessarily the newest staff only, but some experience staff as well.  This is also why you need to have goals and job descriptions set so that you can utilize that detail to determine the specific needs for long-term performance who is the best employees to help fill in those areas.  Taking this approach has the tendency to preserve the greater whole for the longest period of time.

10.How do you approach the conversation when firing an employee? Do you explain in depth the reasons why they are being fired? 

When the firing is for cause, the detail has already been presented through the first two stops of PIP and when the 3rd meeting happens when there is not improvement, the meeting is very short and to the point without any additional explanation other than they did not meet the requirements.

When it is for gross misconduct they are immediately escorted out and an officer of the company or law will bring them their personal belongings to them later.

When is for budget or market conditions there is more of a discussion identifying the challenges and they are told they are eligible for rehire and sometimes severance pay.

11.If your company was really short-staffed but an employee gives countless reasons to be terminated would you proceed with firing them or keep them because you can’t afford to lose an employee?

Would still fire the employee and then provide opportunity for remaining employees to pick up the slack with additional short term compensation.  Usually the staff will be glad to see the bad employee go and will naturally pick up the slack with the improvement in the working environment.


I learned a lot from this interview. It was interesting to get a different perspective on the firing/discipline process from someone who deals with this in their position. I think that the answers he provided were similar to what I would expect for a professional organization when approaching firing/discipline with an employee. I think the thing I hadn’t thought about as much was how much they will focus more on an employee’s performance over their situation and maybe work with them? It is hard to work with an employee who is slacking, but I can see the benefit for the company to just cut them and let others pick up the slack.