Raising the Bar with SBAR: How to Communicate Effectively

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: Washington D.C.

 

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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 written by guest author third year Northeastern student Molly Osmulski.

Did you know that aside from being home to the President, our nation’s capital is the headquarters for 15 Fortune 500 companies including Capital One, Marriott International and Discovery Communications? Business Insider ranked Washington, D.C. the #1 “Top City for Educated Millennials.” It has seen the largest growth in its millennial population of any major U.S. city since 2008.washington-d-c

D.C. offers culture, diversity and plenty of government, professional and technical jobs. Last year, job growth in D.C. outpaced the country’s average with almost 30,000 new jobs in professional services added last year alone!

In 2016 alone, over 65 Northeastern students have co-oped in D.C. and many alumni are thriving there too – you can connect with them through the well-established D.C. Alumni network.

Wondering what your fellow huskies think about D.C.? Ask Divya Erram, a current Northeastern student and DC co-op connector working at Advoc8, and she’ll tell you:

            “Advoc8 has given me opportunities I never imagined, including attending and working at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this past summer, participating in event walkthroughs with our team in multiple states, and help[ing] d-c-studentcreate and order merchandise for political campaigns and companies.  I am especially lucky to have a co-op supervisor who is a Northeastern Alum, Ben Adams (‘15), who has really made a name for himself in the District and has become a role model to me. Because of this relationship, I have been able to see firsthand what a Northeastern Husky can accomplish in the real world.

 

I am currently considering options that would allow me to move back to Washington, D.C. once I graduate.  I truly believe that I have found a home here. Almost everyone here is a transplant from d-c-student-at-marketsomewhere else whether a different city, state, country, or continent which makes the city rich with culture, cuisine, and events. There is not a day that goes by without something to do and is a great place for any young professional.”

 

 

 

 

 

Divya Erram enjoying Union Market, an artisanal food market

Some other perks to D.C.? See below…

Food and Drink:

  • Try a Half Smoke at the iconic Ben’s Chili Bowl (even President Obama can’t resist)d-c-food
  • Grab lunch from one of the city’s many gourmet food trucks
  • Enjoy authentic wat and injera at an Ethiopian restaurants

Culture:

  • Welcome spring with the National Cherry Blossom Festival each year
  • Explore the world during Passport D.C. when all the city’s embassies and cultural d-c-cherry-blossom-nations-capitalorganizations hold open houses and special programming
  • Enjoy an opera or ballet at The Kennedy Center
  • Museum hop for days and check out the National Portrait Gallery, the National Air and Space Museum and the all the Smithsonians, among many, many others; if you prefer the less conventional, check out The Fridge, a DC gallery specializing in street art

Activities:

  • Go kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or even swan boating in the Potomac River
  • See a Redskins, Nationals or Wizards game
  • Pay tribute to our founders d-c-nationals-gameand visit all the city’s many monuments
  • Explore Theodore Roosevelt Island – great for fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing
  • See a free Friday night concert every week from May – September at Yards Park

 

Divya Erram at a Washington Nationals game with fellow NU students RoseMarie Kay, co-oping at the House of Representatives, and Dayo Hall, co-oping at International Law Institute

Feeling convinced? Below are some jobs to consider while you anxiously await our next Beyond the Green Line post on Austin, TX next week!

Job Opportunities – log into NUcareers to apply!

  • Capital One Associate, Commercial Specialty Underwriter, Healthcare Cash Flow
  • Defense Point Security Forensic Analyst
  • PublicRelay Media Analyst
  • National Public Radio Social Media Strategist
  • Advanced Simulation Technology Application Engineer; Embedded Software Engineer
  • Mapbox Mobile Support Developer, IOS; Information Security Engineer
  • American College of Cardiology Foundation Member Strategy Support Specialist; Senior Project Coordinator
  • Micropact Operations Business Analyst
  • National Cooperative Bank Credit Analyst, Commercial Real Estate
  • RAND Corporation Statistical Programmer
  • Social Tables Product Designer; Writer, Content & Editorial
  • RepEquity Account Coordinator; Business Development Associate

We want your feedback!

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 Austin 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.

 

Beyond the Green Line Series: A Taste of Chicago

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Welcome Back to the Beyond the Green Line blog series which will focus on highlighting a particular metropolitan region outside of Boston as a potential area where Northeastern students may want to work and live after graduating. We’ll serve you up some tidbits on the local food scene, cultural attractions, and fun things to do as well as industries with a strong presence there and potential job openings so that you can consider adding these locales to your job search.   After each blog, feel free to leave us a comment if there’s anything you think we’ve missed or any particular companies in that area which interest you.

Welcome to our Beyond the Green Line blog on Chi-town. Did you know that there are 34 Fortune 500 companies located in Illinois, a majority of which are situated in the Chicago Metropolitan area?

chicago_architecture_river_cruise_You may have heard of a few of them before Boeing; Motorola; Linkedin and Kraft Foods, but did you also know that 18 Northeastern Students co-op’ed in Chicago in 2015 alone? Some co-op employers local to Chi-town include Google; UBS; Bluewolf; Intel; and Synapse Games. Want to know why students went there? Maybe because Chicago has it going on – check out this video by Chicago Creative Space touring Motorola’s new innovative Chicago headquarters and read below for the full scoop on the Windy City. Leave us a comment if there’s anything you think we’ve missed or any particular companies you’re interested in.

Food and Drink

  • Taste of Chicago – the WORLD’s LARGEST food festival which spans 5 days, attracts over a million visitors each year and has 2 stages which have hosted Wilco, Neyo, Trisha Yearwood and more.
  • Deep Dish pizza, hot dogs, and Italian beef – the lists of restaurants you MUST VISIT are overwhelming…

Culture:

  • You may have heard of a couple actors/comedians who’ve gotten their start at Second City Improv – Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert- the city is bursting with humor and creativity to take advantage of.
  • They dye the river green. Yup, every St. Paddy’s Day for the past 40+ years. Oh, and there’s a pretty amazing parade and celebration too.chicago-green-river
  • If theater is your thing, the iconic Chicago Theater brings some big productions into town; for music, outdoor concerts at Millennium Park are great and smaller spots like Reggie’s Rock Club and the House of Blues offer a more intimate venue.
  • Everything from fossils at the Field Museum to Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago –the 2nd largest museum in the U.S.chicago-field-museum

 

 

 

 

Activities

  • Architecture Boat Tour. A MUST DO. Enough said.
  • Not sure if you’ve heard of the Chicago Bulls or Blackhawks or White Sox or Cubs or da Bears their Sports – Chicago’s got your back for all things sports.
  • Lakefront Trail is amazing for running or chicago-cubscycling and don’t forget the beach for lounging too.

 

 

Chicago Job Opportunities – log into NUcareers to apply!

  • Yello Ruby Engineer; Windows Mobile Software Engineer
  • Uber Regional Operations Manager
  • Groupon Talent Development Coordinator; Corporate Accounting Analyst; Data Engineer
  • Kraft Heinz Corporate Management Trainee;  IT Analyst – Sales; Junior Buyer, Indirects
  • Rise Interactive Software Engineer; Marketing Analyst, Analytics
  • Motorola Mobile App Developer; N.A. Marketing Intern; Portfolio Strategy Intern; Proposal Specialist Intern
  • GoGo Inflight Commercial Aviation Analyst-Commercial Analytics
  • DigitasLBi  Digital Strategist; Quality Analyst; Creative Engineer, Front End Developer
  • Yelp Account Executive, Digital Advertising

This post was authored by Melissa Croteau. Melissa is an Assistant Director of Employer Relations at Northeastern University where she focuses on initiating new and broadening existing employer relationships with a goal of increased full-time, internship and co-op hiring of students as well as greater employer engagement within the broader Northeastern community.  She just celebrated 5 years of working at Northeastern where she also earned her Master’s in Higher Education Administration in 2013.  When she’s not chatting up employers, she enjoys singing in a 100-person choral group, hiking, and exploring the MFA.  You can reach Melissa at .m.croteau@northeastern.edu