What’s it like to walk in their shoes? The PNC’s RN-RN Shadowing Program

What’s it like to walk in their shoes? The PNC’s RN-RN Shadowing Program

The RN-RN Shadowing Program was founded by the PNC to help strengthen our nursing workforce. Most of us work in one specific area in the hospital – this can cloud our view of how all AAMC’s units ultimately work together to provide excellent patient care to our community. As AAMC nurses, no matter our unit, we are all working towards the same goal.

The RN-RN Shadowing Program is designed to support a nurse in shadowing on a unit that impacts his/her home unit. The nurse will spend four hours on the shadow unit with a buddy nurse and then reflect and provide feedback on the experience.

Two PNC nurses recently participated in this shadow experience. Here’s what they learned:

In my career as an RN, I have worked as a floor nurse, critical care nurse, and currently, an emergency nurse. During this experience, I shadowed the L&D charge nurse for four hours. At first, the idea of spending four hours in L&D did not excite me. I was never a fan of L&D in nursing school. After this experience, I have the highest respect for L&D and a peaked interest in the area.

I never realized this unit functions very much like an ED and hospital. They triage patients, who are then assigned to treatment or observation. I had a chance to see most of the floor, including a delivery via C-section, a pre-term delivery, and I also helped with take a newborn to the NICU.

I more fully understand the importance for us to get these patients to L&D from the ED. It also helped me build a rapport with staff and match a name to a face.  –Dan Shields, RN

I have to admit up front that when I was asked to participate in the shadowing event I did not have the purest of intentions. I was thinking, I’ll show them, my unit is the best and I know it. What an eye opening experience it turned out to be! We are the best… and so was the unit I shadowed.

I have to admit when I actually arrived on the unit I was to shadow, I was a little nervous. I was quickly made to feel at ease with the people I met. They were welcoming and informative. No question I asked was left unanswered or met with annoyance. Although the charge nurse would have been fully justified in being annoyed with the inconvenience of my presence, she was gracious and informative.

The unit was busy and I realized all the preconceived notions I had were wrong and unjustified. These people worked really hard and any way my unit could help would be met with gratitude.

I learned a couple things: by working with other departments in the hospital (instead of in opposition) we can accomplish more, and a positive attitude goes a long way in making a better experience for our patients as well as our co-workers.

The unit and I were able to identify some areas for growth in both areas. This experience was invaluable and in the day of specialization, it is a much needed fresh perspective. -Ann Nauman, RN

The RN-RN Shadowing Program will launch January 2015. More to come soon! Questions, please contact dshields1@aahs.org


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