a) Utilizing interpersonal skills-ability to communicate clear and concise
After completing the practicum hours at Chicago Proton Center, I found that cultivating interpersonal skills and establishing effective communication skills are the most critical factors in a working environment, and the observed managers agreed with this. In my practicum site, the dynamic structure of the center creates challenges; hence each manager needs to understand what changes take place and should provide an opportunity to ask questions, seeking clarification of information.
Using this learning objective as a one my proposed goal to accomplish throughout my practicum experience at the center, I am pleased to note that my communication skills enhanced very much during this experience in the Center. For example, by attending various meetings, taking notes, asking questions, and participating in various meetings, it helped me improve my ability to communicate more freely and effectively. As I mentioned when I started my practicum, I was timid and nervous to ask questions and now by the end of my practicum at the center, I learned that asking questions is part of the listening skill and is an essential task in starting a good communication. Thus, a particular strength of my practicum experience was the ability to enhance my interpersonal skills such as listening, asking questions, observing, and writing weekly reflections about my experience and self-confidence that all surpassed the possibilities of college-based learning.
b) Describe the project management and process improvement.
At the beginning of my practicum at Chicago Proton Center, one of the objectives was to understand and describe the project management and process improvement applying Six Sigma DMAIC roadmap. The Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) was applied at Chicago Proton Center with the goal of improving the patient flow across all the departments in the center. Linda, the radiation therapy manager, was in charge of this project and by the end of my practicum time in the center, the project was in the fourth phase DIMAIC cycle where all departments needs to be an agreement with the solutions that ultimately will increase patients volume, reduce waiting time and increase financial benefit for the center. All managers and staff from all departments agreed to adopt the improvement techniques as a cultural change process to improve the operational process.
Furthermore, it is important to note that by simply applying these techniques are usually not, in itself, sufficient to ensure an effective process improvement project. Accomplishing better effectiveness and patient process flow in the center which is the last phase of DMAIC roadmap also require a receptive of the center environment, active management support, and clear communication within departments about the process improvement changes. After all, upon completion of my practicum hours in the center, I feel that I understand the Six Sigma improvement model DMAIC principles and its rationales to increase the patients volume which was Linda’s goal working on this project.
c) Contribute to the real output of the organization by participating in and documenting the outcome of a relevant project (Epic and Mozaiq interface)
There were no additional insights into the Project One, the Epic and Mosaiq interface that I can mention during this practicum week.
d) Discuss the certain basics that are common to various meetings such as selecting participants, develop agenda, opening meetings, time management, and recording of minutes and follow up.
By the end of my practicum I had the opportunity to shadow three managers, two supervisors, and site advisor and by following them I had the privilege of sitting in on a varied range of meetings which are a big part of the center manager’s work days. As a result, I learned in depth about the importance of the staff meetings, interdepartmental meetings, general staff meetings, and one-on-one meetings. For example, I learned that promoting internal communication through various meetings allows staff to share information and provide feedback (which improves work and decreases gossiping behind people’s back), ensures everyone follows policies and procedures (which improves the staff performance), plays an essential role for the management team (which helps to recognize and motivate employees), and communicates what is going on in the organization. Thus, by attending various meetings I gained different perspectives on the organizational cultures and structures, I learned that managers use these meetings as an effective communication time between the manager and its staff, and is the right place to have an open discussion for the ongoing matter in the departments or organization.
e) Determines the theory/ies used and management style including my belief and value.
As a future manager, I need to understand and adhere to a variety of code ethics as well as to the vision, mission, values, and beliefs statements that provide direction not just for the individuals but for the organization as a whole. Throughout my practicum experience, I observed how important it is to uphold ethical standards. I believe that if a manager behaves inappropriately and unethically, they could lose employee’s respect and without respect, a manager cannot lead.
Furthermore, while observing the patient services supervisor and being exposed to the receptionist area, I learned and applied the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Rule (HIPAA). Identity theft is a big problem in the world today and everyone needs to gain an understanding of privacy and security rules required by HIPAA. As a practicum student and steward of sensitive health information, I followed and complied with the requirements of HIPAA rules that include confidentiality, integrity, and security of the patients’ health record.
Nevertheless, finishing my health care program through college courses and practicum experience motivates me to continue the process of learning, to become a leader who attest value, belief and attitude that motivate others to higher level of performance. As a future manager, I would like to strengthen personal attributes, communication skills, ethical standards, and cultural awareness which all give me guidance to do my work with integrity.