How do I deal with evaluations?
One of the hard parts about being a nurse manager is evaluating another nurse’s performance. Looking another nurse in the eye, who is your co-worker and sometimes even friend, and telling them how well, or bad, they perform can be difficult.
I am working on two evaluations right now. One is an excellent nurse. She was hired as a new graduate nurse a year ago, and has shined. She provided outstanding patient care, is conscientious, and reliable. She has really grown over the past year and I expect her to keep growing this year.
The other is a nurse that is pretty low performing. She doesn’t do a bad job, but doesn’t do a good job either, she just skates along under the radar. She doesn’t get complaints from patients, but does from co-workers. She doesn’t do anything extra, not that it’s required to, she just comes to work, works her three shifts per week and goes home.
Evaluations are an important part of your job that should be taken very seriously. It gives you feedback about what you are doing right and/or wrong. It helps you set goals for yourself in the coming year by talking with the evaluator and reflecting on the areas that you need to improve or to grow in.
At the same time reviewing your peers is extremely important too. At my institution, we hand our peer evaluations to the other staff members to complete and then integrate that feedback into their formal evaluation. I have found that I receive fewer that 25% of the peer evaluations back for those I handed them out to. Usually those are from peers that have something really great or something really bad to address. Very few come from somebody that thinks the person is doing an average job.
The peer evaluation is your time to really tell that person what they do well or what they need to improve. If they are not turned in, then the evaluator has no choice but to assume everything is going ok. So take the time to fill those out and tell ‘em how you really feel.
Rob Cameron is currently a staff nurse in a level II trauma center. He has primarily been an ED nurse for most of his career, but he has also been a nurse manager for Surgical Trauma and Telemetry unit. He has worked in Med/Surg, Critical Care, Hospice, Rehab, an extremely busy cardiology clinic and pretty much anywhere he's been needed.
Prior to his career in nursing, Rob worked in healthcare finance and management. Rob feels this experience has given him a perspective on nursing that many never see. He loves nursing because of all the options he has within the field. He is currently a grad student working on an MSN in nursing leadership, and teaches clinicals at a local university.
Away from work, Rob spends all of his time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys cycling and Crossfit. He is a die hard NASCAR fan. Sundays you can find Rob watching the race with his daughter.
By Rob Cameron