Reflective Journal Week 5

This week we learned about performance appraisals and problem employees. I learned about the value and limitations to performance appraisals. One thing that stood out to me from the lecture videos was performance appraisals for employees who work night and or weekends. The video mentioned how the nursing manager and other administrative personal probably haven’t had a lot of interaction with these employees while they are working, and therefore may not be able to make an informed decision about their performance appraisals. In this situation is can be helpful to consult with the charge nurses that routinely work with them.

In learning about problem employees, I learned that a verbal warming isn’t actually just verbal, but also has a paper trail that goes along with it temporarily. I never knew this before. I also learned about the various stages of warnings and who should be involved in each stage. I think that it is a good idea to always have someone else with you so its not “he said-she said” I also think HR is a great resource to utilize especially in cases of repeated problems. I also found the topic of not firing a on Friday interesting. I wouldn’t have ever thought about this before. I would never have thought that the day of the week could make such a huge difference. This is something I would be interested in doing more research on. I am curious if this is something that is widely known and practiced throughout multiple industries, or if there needs to be more education done on this topic. Continue reading “Reflective Journal Week 5”

Week 4 Reflective Journal

This week I learned about what things hiring managers considered and look for in a job candidate, and their expectations for a candidate in an interview. One thing that stood out to my in talking with my manager about the topic was that we doesn’t expected a candidate to have a perfect interview. He doesn’t eliminate candidates solely for getting slightly flustered in an interview. However, he like likes to see that the candidates can think on their feet and work through their nerves. 

This week we also had a team building activity. I felt like this activity was difficult to get done. Some members of our team don’t live in Utah so we had to meet online, I felt like these activities were difficult to complete online. Additionally, it was difficult to schedule a time when all 5 of us could be online simultaneously when most of us are working full-time, and some of us work days and others work nights. I did get to know my team members a little bit better through these activities though, particularly through the two truths and a lie activity. 

I think the most helpful information I obtain throughout this week’s unit was the information from the interview questions, which will greatly help me to be more prepared for future interviews. 

Interview Questions

  1. What are some things you look for in an interviewee that would be a sign you would not want to hire them?
    1. Showing up late to the interview.
    2. Not dressing professionally to an interview.
    3. Not meeting basic grooming needs (body odor/ messy hair).
    4. Making inappropriate comments during the interview.
    5. Saying negative things about a company you previously worked for.
  2. What would you consider an adequate amount of time for an interview?
    1. “I think the adequate amount of time for an interview is going to depend on the position you are interviewing for. Generally, for nurses I think 20 minutes is a good amount of time. 
  3. Do you prefer one on one interviews or interviewing someone with a panel of interviewers?
    1. “We always have a panel of interviewers and we rotate asking questions. The panel always includes the manager and assistant manager, however others in the panel may vary.”
  4.  Do you have a set of questions that you ask everyone you interview or do you ask questions based on the progression of the interview and the questions vary from person to person? 
    1. “ We do use a set of questions that we ask everyone we are interviewing for a specific job title, but depending on how the interview progresses and various things that are brought up additional questions may be added to that.”
  5. How do you record your thoughts while interviewing? Do you write down thoughts as you interview? Do you make mental notes and record later? 
    1. “Every member of the panel has a clipboard that they can use to write down their thoughts throughout the interview. Personally, I like to write a lot during the interview, because we have a lot of candidates we are interviewing and if I don’t write it down in the moment I will forget or get it mixed up with a different candidate.”
  6. How do you avoid asking illegal questions or avoid heading down the wrong direction with your interview?
    1. “Myself and the assistant manager have a lot of experience with interviewing and therefore know the legalities of which questions can and can not be asked. The other members of the panel sometimes aren’t as familiar with these laws so we always discuss it as a group prior to starting the interviews to ensure everyone in well informed.”
  7. Do you require a background check and do you look at your candidates social media?
    1. “We do require a background check for potential employees, but we do not look at their social media.” 
  8. When interviewing a candidate for a position posting what are some key behaviours within the interview that would deter you from hiring the candidate?. 
    1. As mentioned earlier, things like inappropriate comments such as sexual or vulgar language, negative comments about previous employers, showing up late, and being inadequately prepared for the interview.” 
  9. When asking the interviewer questions are you looking for specific responses, or are you more interested in the way the candidate articulates their response?
    1. “ I am not looking for a specific response per say, because you will get vastly different answers to the same question, there isn’t one specific right answer. Yet, we are often looking for generalized topics. I look for the interviewee to actually stay on topic and answer the question that was asked.” 
  10. Experience is always great to have, but at what point would you hire someone with less experience? Could you give examples if this is true?
    1. “The cost of paying a new graduate is significantly cheaper than a nurse with several years of experience. I like our department to have a good balance of new and experienced nurses which may sway my hiring decision one way or the other. In our department, we often have people (like yourself) who started out in a different role such as a tech or a HUC and have worked in the department for many years. I am more inclined to hire a new nurse in this situation, because I know them better, I know their work ethic, and I know that they are dedicated to our department.”
  11. When considering a candidate for the position are you intrigued when a candidate has a professional portfolio on top of their resume, and does this set them above other candidates?
    1. “ I don’t have a strong feeling about a professional portfolio either way. If a candidate brings one I will look at a few aspects of it, but I prefer to look at their resume as a condensed version.”
  12. How do you score or compare candidates across the board after the interview process?
    1.  “We don’t have a scoring system to rate or grade candidates, we simply take notes and discuss the attributes we like or dislike about the candidates.” 
  13. There are some people who are qualified for the job but are not good at interviews. When you see someone struggling in an interview, what do you do? 
    1. “Some people aren’t as good at interviewing as others, and that is okay. I don’t expect them to be perfect or not be nervous. If the interviewee is struggling I will try to redirect them and encourage them to start their response over. A certain degree of flustering is expected and okay. At the same time, though, we do work in a department that requires one to be quick thinking so it does go a long way if we can see this quality in the interview.”
  14. When making the final decision on a candidate, what process do you follow? Who do you communicate with to send an offer?
    1. “Everyone in the panel deliberates together and each person can voice their opinion about which candidate they believe would be the best fit and why, then the assistant manager and myself will discuss it in more depth. If there was a candidate that worked here in another role or as a capstone student, we will talk with those who work with them frequently or their preceptor to get their input as well. After a decision has been made we communicate that decision to HR, and they contact the candidate and inform them of the job offer.”
  15. When you interview a candidate what type of body language do you look for? Facial expressions? Placement of hands? What gives the impression of confidence in your opinion. 
    1. “I look for candidates who appear confident and happy. I want them to be smiling, engaged, not fidgeting, and making eye contact.”

I interviewed my Nursing Manager in the ED. I feel like I already knew several of the things that we talked about throughout this interview from previously classes. But, it was helpful to see the way they do things in our department specifically. Some things such as showing up on time and dressing appropriately seemed so obvious to me, yet apparently a lot of people do not, which shocked me. I liked what my manager said about encourage the interviewee to start their response over if they are struggling with a specific question. I’ve always felt like this wasn’t an option, so it is helpful to know this for future interviews. And although my manager said our department doesn’t look at their candidates social media, he did aknowledge to me that he knows of many people that do, so it was a good reminder to be cautious about the things I am posting on social media for that aspect.


Week Three Reflective Journal

Throughout this Unit, I gained a new insight into the hiring process from the perspective of the hirer. In watching the lecture videos I learned more about the legal concerns regarding hiring and interviewing. Some of these aspects I was already aware of such as asking questions regarding marital status, children, or pregnancy. However, I learned about a lot of other topics as well such as: sexual orientation and veteran status. For example, I didn’t realize that the legality of questions regarding sexual orientation vary among states, or that you can ask if someone is a Veteran; however, you can’t ask about their discharge status. 

I also gained an appreciation for the severity of the consequences that can result from even minor violations. When I was interviewing for my RN job, I was interviewing in a department that I already worked in. I knew the manager and everyone else in the interview, and they all knew that I was pregnant at the time. I knew that they couldn’t address the topic in the interview unless I brought it up first, which I did, because it was an important factor in determining my start date. Yet, even after I brought it up they still seemed reluctant at first to discuss it and once we started discussing it the manager even stated, “since you brought it up…” In order to further protect himself. 

Through the team activity this week we looked at 2 different candidates for a job and had to decide which one we would hire. Although we unanimously agreed upon the same individual, the other candidate was not a bad candidate. In fact, they probably would have also done a very good job in the role. But they weren’t the most qualified applicant. It was a good reminder to me, not to let it discourage you every time you get turned down for a job.

Reflective Journal Week 2


Through my modules and assignments this week I have learned many things about leadership. I learned more about myself and my personality type through the disc personality test which I discussed in more depth in a prior post. I learned about the 12 characteristics of leadership and how nurses can exemplify these in these qualities.  Through watching Ender’s Game with particular analysis to leadership qualities I gained new insight into the leadership qualities that I have seen work well in the workplace.

The team activity this week was regarding famous figures and we had to come to a consensus on which ones we deemed to be leaders. By and large we said that most of them were leaders. Which made me realize that people of all types of personalities, training, and experience can be leaders in some way. I also learned that people can be leaders and influence many others through their actions even if they didn’t intend to be a leader. We did also have some mild disagreement at times about whether we would or wouldn’t consider a particular person a leader, which made me realize what one qualifies as a leader or considers a good leader is in the eye of the beholder.  

I will strive to be a good leader throughout my nursing practice by asking for and respecting input from all members of the interdisciplinary team in order to provide high quality pt. care in increase pt. Safety. Additionally, I will put more effort into observing the leadership qualities of my team members to continue to explore leadership practices that work well. Lastly, I will dedicate more time keeping up with the latest healthcare research and changes so I can make informed decisions. I personally felt, like the Modern Healthcare Articles were very valuable for this purpose and a great resource for me to continue to utilize even after this class is completed.

12 Leadership Qualities.

  1.       Leadership requires personal mastery – Nurses demonstrate leadership by passing their NCLEX exams and maintaining all credentials/ license/ certifications necessary for their job. 
  2.       Leadership is about values – Nurses demonstrate leadership by honoring our own personal values as well as the values of the patients we serve.
  3.       Leadership is about service – A nurse’s job is all about service. We serve our patients and our community with our knowledge, skills, and compassion.
  4.       Leadership is about people and relationships – Through our role as nurses we are always interacting with others: patients, family members, and other members of the interdisciplinary team. Nurses demonstrate leadership when by building relationships through therapeutic communication.
  5.       Leadership is contextual – Nurses demonstrate leadership by obtaining advice, opinions, and information from leaders in other areas of healthcare to aid in areas they are not as experienced in. 
  6.       Leadership is about the management of meaning – Nurses demonstrate leadership by anticipating potential pt. Complications are preparing for them. 
  7.       Leadership is about balance – Nurses show leadership by balancing patient load through effective time management skills and appropriate delegation. 
  8.       Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement – Nurses demonstrate leadership by staying up to date with their certifications, continuous education, and striving toward personal and departmental process improvement.
  9.       Leadership is about effective decision making – Nurses demonstrate leadership by using critical thinking to prioritize tasks.
  10.   Leadership is a political process – Nurses demonstrate leadership by following appropriate channels departmental, corporate, and governmental to institute improvement changes in the healthcare system. 
  11.   Leadership is about modeling – Nurses demonstrate leadership by being role models for our patients including living the practices we teach to our patients. 
  12.   Leadership is about integrity– Nurses demonstrate leadership by performing all tasks with integrity. Nurses show integrity by being honest and truthful with patients, maintaining HIPAA and other healthcare laws, and admitting and rectifying any mistakes made. 

DISC personality test

One of my assignments this week was to do the DISC personality test. This test includes several lists of 4 adjectives and you are supposed to choose the adjective that best describes you. I never chose the decisive adjective, because this test was a reminder of how indecisive I am; I probably spent much more time than most on this test because I had a hard time deciding on all the adjectives. After finally completing the test, I scored the highest in the last column, or the “conscientious” column. I feel like I was already aware of these attributes of my personality. I have always been a relatively organized person and always do my best to avoid conflict. I did find it interesting that the description of “conscientious” people states, they are similar to those that test as “steady.” This reaffirmed my confidence in my results, because the category I scored the second highest in was the “steady” category.  

After completing the test, my initial thought was “which personality makes the best leader.” However, I think that’s missing the point. There is no one category that inherently makes a “good leader.” A good leader can come from any of these categories. However, as a leader, it is important to understand your personality type to determine what areas of leadership you may have difficulty with. I think the first and most important step for any of us is to acknowledge our shortcomings, if we refuse to acknowledge them, we will never improve on them. I am not good with conflict. It would be great if we lived in a world free of all conflict; but this simply isn’t the case. We all have to deal with conflict occasionally. In order to be an effective leader I will need to devote extra time into researching strategies in dealing with conflict and conflict resolution. I think it would also be beneficial for me to seek out and surround myself with those of other personalities so they can help provide me with support and feedback in this area.


Hey there, and welcome to my blog! I have created this blog as a reflective journal for a class I am currently taking: Leadership in Nursing. A little about me, I was born and raised in the Orem/Provo area of Utah. I currently live in Taylorsville, Ut. I have been married for 5 years. My husband is a CPA and work in the auditing department of a public accounting firm. We have two little boys ages 5 and 1. I am a Registered Nurse and I work in the Emergency Department at Utah Valley Hospital. I have worked there for a little over 3 years. I started out as a tech while I was still in nursing school and have been working as a nurse for about a year. I am currently working on finishing my last few classes to get my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. 

As I mentioned previously, the purpose of the blog is to be a reflective journal for my Leadership in Nursing class. I will be posting here once a week after I have finished my weekly assignments, to discuss and reflect upon what I learned throughout the week.