Pursuing the nursing profession calls for a great deal of commitment to ones education as well as the level of care one intends to deliver to the patients. Most commonly, however, the ideal commitment is best illustrated by the practicum, the live application of ones nursing knowledge and skills in real life situations and events, which is taken by each nurse at the end of their coursework. In the same vein, the practicum period requires that student nurses undertake the practicum project, whose implementation, like much other healthcare related project, is vulnerable to various external factors. Personally, while I am at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, Rockville MD, a nursing, and rehab unit, my practicum project is on the topic on staffing in relation to the nurse, patient ratio.
Regarding my practicum project, nurses play an integral role in the healthcare system. The state mandated safe staffing ratio is mandatory in the nursing profession, so as to ensure and optimize the safety of both the patients and the nurses (DPE, 2016). In the process of implementing my practicum project, I have learned that inadequate staffing ratios does not only endanger the patients safety but also drives nurses away from their problems. For this reason, the following are some of the external factors that have the capacity to influence my practicum process.
Paying attention to both flexibility and efficiency, the nursing workplace is one of the most common external factors that is bound to affect the implementation of my practicum project. Additionally, the element of the working environment is characterized by several other directly related features such as job satisfaction, staffing, and scheduling, which are fundamental aspects of the nursing practice to be both professional and satisfying.
A mentor is a primary person in my practicum period. A mentor, like the nursing administration track coordinator, ought to be available as a ready resource for the practicum project process. In the same vein, while a mentor is assigned to a student nurse at the hospital, many at times, the mentor has the ability to influence the implementation of the student's practicum project substantially. For instance, an overly busy mentor may not find enough time to constantly meet up the student so as to guide or read the practicum handbook. For this reason, the students practicum expectations
This is the site or location of my practicum. In this case, the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington is the primary site where I am doing my practicum project in the staffing relation to nurse patient ratio. As an external factor, the place has the capacity to influence the implementation of my practicum project, with regard to finding the appropriate department that meets both my practicum and learning needs (Hunter, 2015).
The nurse staffing involves different components which include planning, allocation, and scheduling. With scheduling, nurses are assigned for specific time periods by shifts, based on the number of patients as well as the patient care needs. For this reason, time is a crucial component of my practicum project. Personally, I need to efficiently allocate enough time for the research of my practicum project and time for engagement in the hospital and with my mentor.
During the practicum project process, the skills and competencies acquired by the student nurses while in school are of great importance. Additionally, with my practicum project being the study of staffing in relation to the patient ratio, my education serves as the background since exercising my nursing profession through my project requires me to sit as a patient educator (Hunter, 2015).
Fig 1: Concept Map
DPE. (2016). Safe-Staffing Ratios: Benefiting Nurses and Patients. Retrieved from http://dpeaflcio.org/programs-publications/issue-fact-sheets/safe-staffing-ratios-benefiting-nurses-and-patients/
Hunter, K. (2015, January 5). 4 Components of a Good Nursing Practicum. Retrieved from http://www.chamberlain.edu/blog/4-components-good-nursing-practicum
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