Unhappy Nurse Manager--HELP! - page 2

I have been a critical care nurse for 8 years and recently took a nurse manager position at a surgery center. The staff that has been working there for several years are unprofessional, unethical, gossip, backstab, and do little... Read More

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    One of the things I find fascinating about nurse managers is the lack of management experience prior to being promoted. In many facilities, there is virtually no support or training for new nurse managers. I am an MBA with a lot of management experience, small teams, large call centers etc.. I would not tolerate this type of behavior from a professional and would not hesitate to sternly coach and then terminate any/all employees involved. Sometimes being a "b" is the only way to get that message out.
    netglow likes this.

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    WOW! so many punitive posts!
    The only way to effectively get people to accept change is to get them invested in the change process. What problems are you trying to solve? Do the staff see these issues as problems? Do they have problems you are not addressing? No nurse likes to be dictated to by a new manager. If you can show how the patients can be better served and the by the changes then you have hallf the battle won. ASK the NURSES what solutions they may have for whatever problems you are trying to address. It may be you are trying to fix something that has already been solved for but has been "managed out" of the process by previous managers. If you get on your staffs side and let them know you respect thier ideas you will find a much more cooperative staff than if you try to dictate your solutions. Nothing will turn a staff against you faster than change for the sake of change- just to show them who is in charge. Once you go down the "I'm the boss and we are doing it my way" road you will have a very hard time ever winning the respect and cooperation of the staff.
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    I have assumed in my response that the effort of working in a collaberative mode had already failed. The orignal post was geared more toward a problem with gossip and conduct that is unprofessional neither of which should be tolerated in any healthcare setting.
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    I just joined the site; it looks like these posts have been here awhile, so I hope someone is still reading this thread. I've been looking for a site to network with other ambulatory care nurses. I'm a nurse manager in a clinic with 15 employees and 5 docs. It's a busy place, and boy can I identify with the original poster! When I started working there, the place was a snakepit. Just as you described- backstabbing, gossip, anything to keep morale and productivity down! I tried everything I could think of to make improvements; but it is truly difficult. As it happened, though, with time the "problem children" moved on, as they often tend to do, and at this time it's really a very pleasant place to work. Of course we still have our "nitpickers" and our few who just won't be happy no matter what, but no one is at each other's throats anymore and we're all basically friends, and best of all the gossip network has been broken. Well, people are always going to talk, I guess, but the mean-spirited stuff has stopped. One of the main things I kept reinforcing to people was "When you talk to someone about someone else, don't think it's not going to get back to the person you said it about. Even if you say 'don't tell anyone'-- the person you're confiding in IS going to tell someone, who will tell someone else, until it gets back to your victim. You think the person you're hiding in the corner whispering with is your pal- but they will repeat every word you said, and what's more, if someone else talks about you, they will get in on that too." Thank God that faction is gone and it's not necessary to be so heavy-handed with those who are left. Another thing I did was to talk with people and let them know that their "gossip" had circulated its way around to me- they'd usually ask "who told?" and I would not tell them. Ever. It seems to make them slightly afraid to spread malicious gossip, because they learn that they can't trust anyone. I do not ever like to foster an atmosphere of distrust, but when you have really malicious people around, you have to do something to bust up the secrecy.

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