The Share-a-Shift program is a tradition at Christiana Care that offers nurses an opportunity to explore what it is like to work in another area, such as an ICU, maternity or administration.
Nurses are encouraged to apply in the spring and are asked to select the area of expertise where they would like to share a shift.
“Some nurses may elect to have someone from their choice area come to their unit to experience life on a nursing unit,” said Allison Steuber, MSN, RN III, CEN, 2013–2015 chair of the systemwide Professional Nurse Council (PNC). “Others may elect to visit the other’s area of expertise.”
Patricia L. Blair, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, CEN, has been an inpatient critical care nurse for 25 years and recently took on the role of assistant nurse manager and advanced practice nurse in the Emergency Department Observation Unit.
“The goals of the ED Observation Unit are to provide quality care for this population and limit their length of stay with 24/7 provider presence,” Blair said. “To do this well, good home care and follow-up are a necessity.” She often wondered what follow-up care was really like for her patients after they left the Emergency Department. To find out, she opted to partner with Rhonda Combs, chief operating officer of the Christiana Care Visiting Nurse Association.
Combs gave Blair a good picture of her own leadership duties and then accompanied Blair on a patient visit.
“I was excited to see the passion among the nurses and staff about the care they provide and to share that challenges are similar within and outside hospital walls,” Combs said.
“What a privilege and pleasure it was to meet with Dr. Bob,” Brett said.
“He is affable and approachable. He cares about what we do on the units and how we care for our patients. We spent time going through our PowerChart system and discussing how we do our jobs as nurses using the system.”
On 5E, Richard Brett Jr., BSN, RN, PCCN, paired with Christiana Care President and CEO Robert J. Laskowski, M.D., MBA.
The Share-a-Shift program has enabled many nurses to see things through another health care professional’s eyes, and it has helped many leaders to develop a deeper understanding of the day-to-day experience on patient care units. The program also creates opportunities for staff nurses to get to know leaders throughout the health system.
“It helps promote staff satisfaction, allowing staff to feel more empowered within the organization and their individual units,” Steuber said.