The Dreaded Evaluation

by Patti on August 26, 2008

in Educational Articles, Question Of The Week

I have some thoughts about performance evaluations. Annual evals should be tools for improvement. Not only should our past performance be measured, our future goals should be laid out as well. Managers and leaders, real ones anyway, know this. To often, in the nursing facility, evals are not important; they are dreaded, thrown out and disregarded and by many. We often feel under the gun and undervalued when we read our evals. Its one reason so many of us leave this work.

Specifically, are they helpful or not? Does your facility use pre made, office-supply store generic forms or their own form? Does the eval relate to the work we do, or can it apply to ANY occupation? Or, is a computer program used? Do the people who evaluate you KNOW you and know firsthand of your performance? Are your raises tied directly to the evals?

I ask these questions because our evals can make or break us. Raises and promotions are often based upon the scoring system; a weight is applied to each score as well. It’s all rather complicated for something that should be pretty simple and straightforward.

For the work we do, I think the following should be evaluated:

1) Quality of Care
First and foremost, the quality of the care we give should be the most important factor. How often do our assigned residents develop pressure sores? How do they look? Are they clean, dry and fed? Falls? Are they appropriately dressed? How do we get along with residents? Are we respectful and polite? Do we have empathy and concern for them? Are we attentive to their needs? Do we understand their rights and apply our skills with consideration to these rights?

Do we participate in any care planning? Do we follow through with specific objectives in the care plans?

2) Teamwork
How do we work with others? Are we cooperative? Do we accept assignments without fuss? How do we manage conflict? Do our co workers value our presence? Are there a lot of complaints about our behavior, attitude and ability to help? Do our co workers look forward to working with us?

3) Knowledge of Policy and Procedures
Do we know WHERE to find these documents? Do we apply them to the job? Do we follow guidelines and procedures as written? If portions are not understood, do we ask for help and guidance? Issues such as dress codes, smoking, breaks, phone use. resource use and abuse and the like should be covered under this topic.

4) Public Relations/Customer Service
IMPORTANT! How do we get a long with residents and their family? How well do we represent the facility on outings and trips? Do we smile or frown? Are we miserable most the time?

5) Attendance, tardiness, leaving early
How often, exactly, do we call out? Or come in late? Leave early? AND, how much overtime do we work? If we work no overtime, is it held against us? If we work lots of overtime, is it mentioned and given some attention? Do we attend meetings as required?

6) In services and continuing Ed
Are we up to date with our required number of hours needed each year for in services?

THEN I think there should be a section for goals and objectives for the following year.
Specific to each employee and not cookie cutter, one size fits all stuff.

For instance, CNA Sarah has problems with her demeanor towards families. She has legit concerns. However her mannerisms toward the families cause problems for all. A goal for her might be to “Improve ability to show respect and concern for resident families”.

Then, actual objectives can be listed to HELP Sarah reach that goal.

  • Sarah will observe other co workers who deal well with families.
    Sarah will participate in role playing in services designed to show her how her actions hurt people.
    Sarah will develop skills that help her listen, comprehend and gain empathy for family members.

…and so on.

What do you think of this? What type of evaluation do you get: Generic form or one specific to your work? Who does your eval and who gives you the feedback? Do you think your evaluations are helpful or wasteful?

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