Raising the Bar with SBAR: How to Communicate Effectively

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One of the most intimidating parts of starting any new co-op is learning to communicate effectively with both your peers and your senior colleagues. Professionally and concisely explaining your views is difficult, and the potential for misunderstanding is high. In life or death situations that require a quick, informed response, improper communication can lead to unintended negative consequences. That’s why the healthcare community has almost universally adopted the SBAR procedure, which is designed to give the most relevant information as concisely as possible and take the guesswork out of decision making. Having a script to follow helps reduce the intimidation felt by more junior members of the team and helps increase confidence as well. SBAR is not just useful for healthcare workers, however. SBAR can help communication in every field, as long as you follow the steps below.

S- Situation

This is essentially the “why” of your phone call. What prompted you to pick up the phone in the first place? This is usually brief and confined to a sentence or two. The provider needs to know the main issue facing the team or the patient. The other major part of “S” is identifying yourself and your role. Don’t just launch into the problem without letting the person on the other end of the conversation know why they should be listening to you,

Real World Ex: “Hello John, this is Julia, the team leader for the testing program. We just ran the new software from your team and discovered a few bugs that need to be worked out before the launch.”

B- Background

This is where you provide the facts necessary to justify the call. It is also a way to reacquaint the provider or manager with the case. Managers and doctors work on many projects on a daily basis and may not remember every detail. Also, please be sure to have all relevant info in front of you when calling (vital signs, important dates, specific numbers or lab values, etc.). There is nothing worse than being asked a question and not having the answer. No one expects you to remember everything about a patient or product- but you must be able to look up the information quickly and accurately when required,

Real World Ex: “Jake from your team had sent us the Alpha software to test for any issues. The launch date is currently scheduled for Thursday. As we ran our basic testing we discovered that it tends to crash and is very slow with more than minimal use. Additionally, there are issues with security as we were easily able to obtain user passwords during our test.”

A- Assessment

This is where your knowledge comes into play. You know the patient or situation best and you likely have the knowledge to understand what needs to happen next. As a result, the provider or client will look to you for your assessment of the situation. You should have this analysis ready before calling the provider or manager.

Real World Ex: “I believe the software will need more time before launching due to the bugs presented.”

R- Recommendation

Based on the situation presented, what do you feel is the best course of action? Again, you should use your prior knowledge when deciding what to recommend and you should definitely know what your recommendation is before calling.

Real World Ex: “I think my team should run some additional testing before we give this to the client for approval. I’ll need at least three days to run the tests I need to feel comfortable with the software. In light of that, I believe the launch date should be postponed and the client notified so that my team can run the additional testing.”

SBAR is a tool that can be easily implemented to improve communication and ensure that team members receive the most pertinent information in a timely manner. It can be used over the phone, in an email, or in person to ensure that your views on every situation are communicated effectively. While SBAR is crucial for healthcare workers, it is relevant and needed in other areas as well. It saves time while making you seem knowledgeable and ready for any situation.

Julia Thompson is a second year Nursing major in the Bouve College of Health Sciences. She works as a nursing assistant at South Shore Hospital and is currently on her first co-op at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is the secretary of the Northeastern University Student Nurses’ Association and is also involved with Bouve Fellows. Feel free to contact her at thompson.jul@husky.neu.edu with any questions. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter.

Beyond the Green Line: Silicon Valley, CA

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Beyond the Green Line: Silicon Valley, CA

BEYOND THE GREEN LINE is a blog series featured on the Northeastern University Career Development Blog, ‘The Works.’ Each post highlights a major city and gives you an inside look at the local food, culture, music scene, the industries that are thriving there, and some current job openings in the area.’

You may have already read “Beyond the Green Line: San Francisco,” but we felt that the Silicon Valley deserved it’s own post entirely. The ‘Silicon Valley’ refers to the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area and includes San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley and was named as such because of the production of silicon semiconductors. The area is now known for its booming biotech and software industries and is often considered the heart of the technology world.

There are at least 20 Fortune 500 companies concentrated in the Silicon Valley area alone, depending on where you draw the boundaries. These include Apple, HP, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla and many of the other most innovative companies you can think of. However, if you’re more interested in working for a start-up than a major corporation, lucky for you there are literally thousands of startups based in the Silicon Valley.

In 2015, Northeastern University actually opened a Silicon Valley hub, offering advanced degrees in STEM fields through partnerships with several companies. Almost 400 NEU students have worked in a co-op role over the last year alone. There are also over 5,000 Northeastern Alumni currently living in the Bay Area, so you’d be in great company there.

NU alumna Ana Gvalia loves living in the San Francisco area. She shared:

“After graduation I moved to San Francisco to work at a startup to learn more about entrepreneurship and innovation. The city is an amazing place to meet young, aspiring founders as well as seasoned, experienced business leaders. Every day I learn something new and everyday is a new adventure!”

 

Food and Drink:

  • There are 22 wineries to visit in the Santa Clara Valley
  • Try “gourmet” ramen, made popular first by Orenchi Ramen
  • Enjoy very fresh food thanks to the growing farm-to-table trend
  • Several funded startups are even developing meal replacements that are gaining popularity

Culture:

  • Visit the museums – there are several technical museums like the Computer History
  • Museum and the Tech Museum of Innovation
  • Go to the Ballet San Jose and Symphony Silicon Valley
  • Learn about traditional Japanese culture at the Japanese Obon festival
  • Stroll through the SoFA arts district

Activities:

  • Relax at a nearby beach, like Half Moon Bay
  • Root for the 49ers and the San Jose Sharks
  • Visit the Winchester Mystery House
  • Go to the San Pedro Square Market for local vendors and live music
  • Attend free lectures at Stanford
  • Visit the HP garage, the “birthplace of Silicon Valley”

Job Opportunities – log into NUcareers to apply!

Companies with Current Postings:
Airbnb: Software Engineer – Full Stack, Job ID 181535
Apple: Software Engineer – Data Scientist, Job ID 1821887
Cisco: Full Stack/Backend Engineer, Job ID 1821882
Dropbox: Product Designer, Job ID 1821705
Facebook: Data Scientist – Analytics, Job ID 1821699;
Software Engineer – Network, Job ID 1821701
Github: Git Infrastructure Engineer, Job ID 181704
Google/Alphabet: Software Engineer, Job ID 1821695;
Credit Research Analyst, Job ID 1821696
GoPro: Software Engineer – Media Discovery, Job ID 182163
Lyft: Business Intelligence Engineer, Job ID 1819885
Pandora: Software Engineer, Job ID 1821707
Plethora: Prototype Machinist & Programmer, Job ID 1821372
Quantcast: Software Engineer, Job ID 1816127
Twitter: Data Scientist – Ads Marketplace, Job ID 1821702
Visa: Business Development Analyst, Job ID 1819880

Additional Companies:
Box
Chegg
eBay
Sun Microsystems

Coming up Soon: Beyond the Green Line – Denver!
We want your feedback!
Feel free to leave us a comment if there’s anything we’ve missed or a particular city you’d like us to profile. If you’d like to have your photos considered for the next post, send over your Denver photos now!
This post was authored by Molly Osmulski, a third year Northeastern student. Molly is working toward a degree in Marketing with a minor in International Affairs. She works part time at the Northeastern Career Development office and has previously completed a co-op at Travel + Leisure Magazine in NYC and has studied abroad at the London School of Economics. When she is not studying or searching for her next co-op, she loves travelling, thrift shopping and trying new foods. You can contact her at osmulski.m@husky.neu.edu.

Sources:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimhandy/2012/05/30/what-is-it-like-to-live-in-silicon-valley/2/#532e6ac16e9c
http://www.businessinsider.com/tech-startups-will-never-leave-silicon-valley-heres-why-2015-12

Beyond the Green Line: Philadelphia, PA

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BEYOND THE GREEN LINE is a blog series featured on the Northeastern University Career Development Blog, ‘The Works.’ Each post highlights a major city and gives you an inside look at the local food, culture, music scene, the industries that are thriving there, and some current job openings in the area.’

This post authored by Career Development Contractor, Melissa Glaser Rubin and third year Northeastern student, Molly Osmulski.

Did you know that 12 of the 2016 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the Philadelphia metro area? These include some household names like Comcast and Aramark, as well as some newcomers like Navient.

The City of Brotherly Love is also the eighth largest job market in nation. It has a fast-growing biomedical and pharmaceutical industries with many 14 major pharmaceutical and biotech firms to the area. The other main industries in Philadelphia include telecommunications, financial services, publishing and tourism.

Though filled with fun and culture and not far from NYC, Philly is still relatively affordable. For this reason, the city has seen an increase in its millennial population. According to Philly.com, “millennials – those aged 19 to 34 – now make up 46 percent of the downtown core population.”

There are over 2,400 Northeastern Alumni working in Philadelphia according to LInkedIn. In the past year, over 25 students have enjoyed a co-op position in the city.

Amina Ly, an Environmental Science major who co-oped as a Catastrophe Modeling Services Assistant at Marsh & Mclennan Companies thoroughly enjoyed her time in Philly and sings its praises:
“Living right in the center of downtown Philly, I got the opportunity to experience the historic and diverse city from right outside my doorstep. Before I arrived I had no idea how many cultural events the city had to offer. Every weekend I was guaranteed to run across a festival or organized event. I also consider myself an avid foodie, and the restaurants around the city never disappointed! Months later, I still talk about the wonderful food scene and the spectacular city atmosphere. It’s was definitely an easy city to fall in love with, and I would go back in a heartbeat.”

Curious for more?

Food and Drink:
Treat yourself to several Philly cheesesteaks and decide for yourself which is the best
Eat a Philly-style soft pretzels
NYC has the cronut, but Philly has the Donnoli – part donut, part cannoli
If you’ve never been to a Wawa, you have to go
The “Philly special” – a shot of Jim Beam and a can of PBR

Culture:
Visit the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall
See a show at the Mann Center
Explore the many museums – including one dedicated to pizza
Go to Philly’s Annual Beer Week or stroll the “Philly Beer Trail” any time of the year
Go to the annual 2-day Made in America music festival

Activities:
Get scared at Eastern State Penitentiary
Visit the Night Market or the Reading Terminal Market
Cheer on the Eagles, 76ers, Phillies and Flyers
Explore 3,600 acres of trails, history and nature at Valley Forge Park
Take some awesome pictures at the Magic Gardens

Job Opportunities – log into NUcareers to apply!

Aria Health 1820531 – Business Analyst – Population Health

Merck
1820526 – Process Analytical Tools (PAT) Specialist Job
1820528 – Manager, Operations Job
1820529 – Specialist, Engineering
1820530 – Specialist, Engineering – Technical Operations, Laboratory Job
1819780 Sourcing Analyst
1819775 Network Analyst

160over90

1820542 – Video Project Manager
1820544 – Account Executive
1819796 Digital Strategist
1819791 Senior Designer

Independence BlueCross
1820522 – Associate Systems Analyst
1819801 Operations Analyst

SEI Investments
1820538 – Supervisor, SMA Portfolio Accounting
1820536 – Compliance Analyst: Anti-Money Laundering and Privacy Group
1820535 – Service Excellence Administrator
1820533 – Middle Office Operations Processing Analyst III
1820532 – Operations Analyst, Inst Private Client (Implementation Services)

Urban Outfitters
1820183 Print Production Designer
1820180 Network Engineer Security
1820175 Graphic Design Assistant

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
1820131  Public Relations and Social Media Senior Associate

IMA Consulting
1819768  Healthcare Analyst

American Heritage Federal Credit Union
1819758 Member Relations Specialist
1819757 Business Development Representative

AmerisourceBergen
1819749  Analyst III – Generics

Susquehanna International Group, Llp.
1812399 Operations Analyst Program
1811947 Operations Analyst Internship

Additonal Companies:
Comcast
Dell Boomi
American Airlines
Philadelphia 76ers

Coming up Next Week: Beyond the Green Line – Silicon Valley, CA!

We want your feedback!
Feel free to leave us a comment if there’s anything we’ve missed or a particular city you’d like us to profile. If you’d like to have your photos considered for the next post, send over your Denver photos now!

This post was authored by Molly Osmulski, a third year Northeastern student. Molly is working toward a degree in Marketing with a minor in International Affairs. She is currently co-oping at Sanofi Genzyme and has previously completed a co-op at Travel + Leisure Magazine in NYC. She has also studied abroad at the London School of Economics and loves travelling, thrift shopping and trying new foods. You can contact her at osmulski.m@husky.neu.edu.

Sources:

http://www.phillymag.com/business/2015/06/05/philly-companies-fortune-500/
https://www.bisnow.com/philadelphia/news/commercial-real-estate/2016-a-good-year-for-job-growth-places-like-philly-53393
http://www.phillyvoice.com/12-philadelphia-area-companies-listed-years-fortune-500/
http://www.phillymag.com/property/2016/04/20/why-philly-has-become-a-millennial-magnet/
http://www.philly.com/philly/business/retail/20160731_Center_of_Attention.html