The COVID-19 pandemic changed our nursing communication in many ways. Nursing leaders established creative and innovative ways to turn challenging times into positive information-sharing sessions across the organization. A few of these examples are summarized below:
- 2 p.m. nursing leadership call: Originally, this was a 30-minute daily Zoom call with the chief nursing officer (CNO) to keep leaders informed of operational changes, supply chain issues, and other real-time pertinent topics during the pandemic. Themes became part of the calls, and these calls continue today – though less frequently – as a way to share operational updates; information on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts; wellness initiatives; and uplifting stories, including unit and employee recognition. Some of the themes include:
- Magnet Monday: Updates on the importance of UAB Medicine’s Magnet designation and how each leader plays a critical role in helping UAB maintain this designation and prepare for future reviews for redesignation
- Wellness Wednesday: Presented by the WE CARE nursing wellness team to focus on wellness, mindfulness, stress management, and supporting fellow leaders and staff
- Thoughtful Thursday: Organized by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) nursing team to address concerns of minority leaders and establish a safe space for leaders to share personal experiences. It also focused on creating initiatives to educate staff on certain core competencies of intercultural development and providing tools that help nursing leaders navigate difficult conversations related to DEI, while intentionally creative inclusive environments. The DEI nursing team works in collaboration with the UAB Medicine Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The team emphasizes the need for authenticity and intentionality to accomplish predetermined goals.
- Free Space Friday: A one-hour extension of Thoughtful Thursday for nursing leaders to participate in open discussions about topics from Thoughtful Thursday and other DEI-related matters
- Cup of Joe with Terri Poe: An informal, townhall-style “touch base” for one hour every three months, with both in-person and virtual options. CNO Terri Poe shares operational updates and employee recognition messages with nursing staff, and she answers questions submitted before the event.
- Thought Exchange: A virtual platform to engage a targeted group in a conversation, starting with a question about a relevant topic. A question is proposed, and staff have time to respond and rank the answers of others. The discussion is then summarized to highlight the most important information, based on rankings. The exercise is anonymous, to help prevent bias (including unconscious bias) in our answers and rankings. Nursing leadership began using this tool to engage nursing staff on specific topics and identify areas where improvements could be made. It is a great way to reach many people, and the feedback encourages nursing leaders to consider new ideas and helps them better understand what’s most important to our team.
This story is part of the Nursing Annual Report 2022. Click here to view the report.