Improving Your Nursing Unit the Caribou Coffee Way – BAMA!

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nurse, teamwork, nursing success, professional development, nursing career
I’ve been drinking black coffee since I was 3 years old – it’s an Italian thing. Because I drink it black, I can tell good coffee from bad coffee. When I travel, my quest is always to find a good cup of coffee! Recently I walked into a Caribou Coffee shop and found myself drinking a pretty good cup of Joe AND a learning a pretty good lesson for nurses – bonus.
Employees at Caribou Coffee are taught the acronym BAMA, which means:
B = Be excellent, not average
A = Act with urgency
M = Make a connection
A = Anticipate needs
Think about it. What if nurses followed the same principles? How would our ability to provide great, effective care AND feel good about the work we do improve?
In this blog post, I challenge you to BAMA!
Be excellent – not average
Patients don’t care if you’ve been a nurse for 1 month, 1 year, 10 years or 100 – they expect their nurses to be competent (excellent). You can’t be excellent if you settle for average.  Excellence is a mindset, an attitude that can be validated by engaging in the following activities:
·      Read every day (something that will help you grow personally and professionally)
·      Learn something every day
·      Attend seminars, inservices, and conferences
Act with urgency
Many nurses struggle with prioritization during patient care. However, I want you to think about acting with urgency with yourself. What have you always wanted to do? Go back to school, get certified, learn a new skill, etc? What are you waiting for? You only have 1 life and you don’t get a do-over.
Make a connection
Patients EXPECT their nurses to be competent, but what they WANT from us is our compassion. The single most desired human emotion is to feel connected with other humans. Every day, find at least one patient to sit with, look in the eye, and have a conversation. It’s just good medicine! Oh, and do the same with a co-worker!
Anticipate needs
Not only should we be anticipating the needs of our patients, but what about the needs of our co-workers? Try one of these:
·      One of the most anxiety provoking moments in a student nurses life is when they have to approach the nurse who they are assigned to! Why not reach out to that student first? Remember what is it was like to be a student.
·      Let’s say your nursing assistant gets pulled to sit in a patient’s room. Why not offer to give her a break while perhaps you chart; or help her bath a patient? Doing this shows that you value her.
·      Pay attention to your co-workers’ workload. When you see someone running around like a chicken with his head cut off, find a way to help. “Hey. I’ll take Mr. Rossi down for his scan.” Or, “I wanted to let you know that I took care of Mr. Rossi yesterday and know that he likes to take his meds with apple juice, so I put a few in his room for you.” 
There are lessons to be learned every day, everywhere you go, even in a coffee shop IF you look for them. Just imagine if nurses BAMA’d their departments. Would be an awesome place to work AND an awesome place to be a customer.
Bottoms up!
Thanks so much for reading. Take care and stay connected!

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