Ask the nursing expert: keeping staff on task during holiday break

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Ask the nursing expert
Ask the nursing expert

I recently took some time off for the holiday and came back to find that those who had covered for me did not complete tasks that they were asked to do. What is the best way to keep them on task?

Make a detailed list of things to do and departments to check with. Be sure that you have gone over these tasks with them, including how to accurately complete them. Not everyone knows how to complete a 3871 and PASARR Screen.

When reviewing a referral from an area hospital, point out the types of documentation that are important to review. Most nurses are task-oriented and will do well if you develop a list for them for each day that you will be gone.

Be sure to tell them to consult with each other if they have questions. Most importantly, when you return, thank everyone generously!

I would like to expand facility-offered training, but I need some help with both research and presentation.
Any good ideas?


Bring your nursing leadership team together and explain your plan. Make a list of topics that you would like to see presented. Ask each of them to pick a topic that they feel comfortable with or are interested in presenting.
Spread the topics out, giving each of them plenty of time to prepare. Start right and do the first topic in January.

I think it also is beneficial to do a self-assessment, competency test and then education on a particular topic. Work with your staff development nurse to plan a monthly education calendar so that staff can organize their time.

At the end of summer, send out a questionnaire to each of your staff asking for feedback on the new education regimen. This will help with your planning for the rest of the year.