Say goodbye to 2008 with a glimpse at your poll results

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You've already piled your plate high and fell into a Thanksgiving turkey slumber. You raced through opening all of your Christmas presents. You may have even rung in 2009 with a glass of champagne or two. With the holidays passing us by, what better time to take a look back and review your answers to some of our poll questions?

To stay on top of what is affecting you and others in the nursing profession, we create a new poll every week on the Strategies for Nurse Managers Web site. During the past few months, we asked you how the economy is affecting your facility's budget and probed for your opinion on whether The Joint Commission's (formerly JCAHO) 2009 Leadership standards can improve patient safety. We also garnered your thoughts on formal award programs for staff recognition, concierge services to avoid staff burnout, and holiday scheduling conflict. Now let's peer into your results:

  • Today's educational opportunities for nursing students are broad. An array of college programs allow them to hone their skills during a four-year bachelor's program or dive into an accelerated one-year course and end up working side-by-side in a hospital unit. Since sources told us these variances in educational backgrounds can result in clashes among staff, we popped the question to find out if this was an issue in your facility. Twenty percent of you cited conflict due to differences in educational backgrounds, while 80% did not.
  • While we were on the topic of staff conflict, we asked you if scheduling was a problem in your unit during the holidays. Turns out 73% of you have a hard time crafting schedules around the holidays, while 18% of you don't have any problems.
  • Turning to staff satisfaction, we wanted to know whether your facility implemented a formal award program to recognize staff for their dedication, hard work, and achievements. And, not a single poll-taker said "no."
  • Concierge services are another means for healthcare facilities wanting to keep staff satisfied and also prevent burnout. So we polled you to see how many of you were reaping the benefits of having someone to bring your car to the shop or pick up your dry cleaning while you worked. Your votes were split right down the middle.
  • A good chunk of you work at facilities offering concierge services to do your errand-running, but unfortunately the majority of you never take your entire lunch break. When we asked how often you got to take your allotted time for a lunch break, 46% of you said you never take it, while 23% do on most days and 15% do every day.
  • Making a switch, we wanted to know about nursing practice. When we asked whether your facility struggles getting staff to follow evidence-based practice, the popular vote (60%) went to "yes," while the other 40% of your facilities don't have difficulty engaging staff.
  • The Joint Commission's 2009 Leadership standards took effect this month in accredited hospitals, highlighting leaderships' responsibility to create and measure a culture of safety. Upon answering our poll, every one of you believes these new measures will improve patient safety.
  • And, taking a leap, we wanted to examine the economy's influence on healthcare. The bulk (83%) of you said "yes" when we asked you if the state of the economy was affecting your hospital budget. The other17% of you were not sure.
  • Nearing the end of our results, just a few weeks later we polled you to find out whether the economic climate will change how many conferences you attend in 2009. And, your responses were more spread out, divided evenly between "yes," "no," and "I'm not sure yet."