As stressful as they can be, regular hospital inspections are an absolute necessity in the healthcare industry. They are vital to ensure that patients are receiving nothing less than the best standard of care from nurses. What makes the process such a nerve-wracking experience for many nurses is that an inspector’s decisions on how to improve patient safety and hospital efficiency may lead to some nurses being let go. No matter the reason behind the inspection, it is important that you are prepared to deal with any questions and inquires that come your way.
So the question remains: How can nurses prepare themselves for hospital inspections that leave them stressed out and worried about their future careers? We have 5 action-packed tips that will leave you acing your inspection with flying colors!
1) Ensure that you are following the protocols correctly.
When it comes to patient care and performing routine operations for a given procedure, there is usually a pre-written checklist that walks you through the important steps. Many nurses will memorize the checklist, convince themselves that they know everything, and become complacent over time. This can lead to false confidence and a higher percentage of errors in your work. It is important to review all checklists carefully to ensure that you are doing the right things, in the right order, and at the right time.
2) Treat every single patient as if they were your last one.
You might think that the one patient that you had a poor attitude towards won’t come back and bite you. However, you’ll be surprised to find that you are mistaken. Health inspectors tend to collect feedback not only from the staff you work alongside with, but from local calls and comments from organizations as well. If you have enough angry patients dis-satisfied with your service, you might be getting a concerned call from an inspector!
3) Shift your focus towards being a productive and useful team member.
In the 21st century, health care is becoming more of a team effort than the work of a lone hero. It is important to get along very well with your team and contribute as much as you can towards increasing patient outcomes. This includes things, such as (but not limited to) being clear about your schedule with fellow nurses, help out the physicians as much as possible, and keeping up with the latest medical research.
4) Adopt a mindset of openness and willingness for improvement instead of a stubborn and close-minded perspective.
At the end of the day, it is important to remember that the inspectors only want to ensure that the hospital is doing the best it can to serve its patients with quality care. As you are an integral part of a medical team, you play a vital role in the outcome of the patient. Being open to constructive criticism without a resentful attitude will put you in a better position to improve, and convince health inspectors that you strive to do the best job possible.
5) Maintain a consistent performance, day in and day out.
There’s nothing worse than the star nurse who can perform at world-class levels for a day or two, only to then burn out for the rest of the week. The best nurses are those who maintain a consistent level of excellence on a day-to-day basis. This means that they know when to quit and not take on extra shifts so that their patients are not endangered. It means that they know when to take short breaks and recharge so that they can get back to work feeling energized. Whatever their weapon of choice is, great nurses know how to manage their physical and mental energy. Nursing is stressful enough as it is, and the last thing you want to do is add more stress to your job.
If you are able to stick with these 5 principles, you will never have any reason to stress out over regular hospital inspections. Making these tips a part of your natural workflow will keep you calm on the big day because you won’t have to worry about drastic changes to your daily operations. Instead, all you will have to do is repeat your daily operations one more time.
Your stress levels will be lower and paradoxically your performance on that day will be improved while putting in less effort. The best part is when you receive the great news that you’re a valued team member, knowing that it was all thanks to your hard work in following the above principles!