Good nursing Supervisors

  1. We have all seen the threads about BAD supervisors and we all have horror stories. I have been a House Supervisor for about 6 months and have been doing the best I can. The R.N.'s and C.N.A.'s I work with are top-notch and I love working with them.
    My question is... Have you ever worked for/with a GOOD supervisor? How about a few examples so I can learn?

    Harold Ellison, R.N.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   NewRN2008
    just like a parent...DONT NAG. we will come to when needed. but it is awesome to get asked if things are all good every once and while.

    gl!
    -H-
  4. by   rierie
    Be fair and leave personal issues with staff out of decision making. If you help answer call lights you get my utmost respect! Bless you for taking this on and good luck.
  5. by   Roy Fokker
    I don't know about a supervisor but my ED manager is definitely a huge step up from my old manager.

    On average:
    * the unit is staffed decently
    * he's very approachable (no question/request/comment is beneath him)
    * he's very noticable (I see him walk around the unit often talking to staff etc.)
    * when we're slammed he doesn't mind pitching in - sure, he's not going to start IVs and stuff for you but he takes care of the minor stuff (blanket, talk to family etc.) so you can concentrate on your chest pain or code).

    Yeah sure, like most other ED administrators he focuses a little too much on "Press Ganey" stuff - but at least he is willing to work with staff towards setting and accomplishing realistic goals. Our ED is one of the best in the county (dare I even say the best in the Southern half of the State? )


    cheers,
  6. by   widi96
    Good communication is key. Advocate for staff.
    We have one supervisor that makes VERY little effort to call and talk anyone into working when they are short, but then we have another (who worked last night) our floor had three call ins for days - the supervisor told us our staffing (yes it was short), but when she told us we were going to be short it was 'three people called in, I have called x, x, and x and am hoping to hear back from x.' Staff respond so much better, even if they are short, if there has been an effort made to correct it. The charge nurse's response was 'We'll make it work, I can take some patients'.
  7. by   sissiesmama
    emsboss - Hello - I have been a nurse for 17 years, and worked intermittently with one supervisor since before finishing nursing school while working as a ward clerk on a busy medical unit at a large medical center.

    The nsg. supervisor always has a level head in a crisis, and can quiet the most savage beast (the angry physician, of course!!). He has a good relationship with nursing staff, partly because he always tries to listen to both sides of the story with a patient or staff complaint.

    If he is passing through a unit and the staff is overwhelmed, he does try to grab call lights or send another staff member to help out with lights or prn's. He tries to keep that in mind when assigning beds for ER or the physicians offices.

    Of course, I am partial to him. On August 18th, we will celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary. Of course, I am the "hot tempered" half of the couple, and have to count to 10 before speaking. My dh, on the other hand, has the ability to let things roll of his back. I am ER nurse and remain calm in a crisis, but lack some of the skills he possesses in calming ruffled staff members.

    Good luck to you, there is always a shortage of GOOD nsg. supervisors. Your staff will treasure you for the efforts you make. Sounds like they have a good one, just for you asking and making the effort to see how you can help them.

    Anne, RNC
  8. by   locolorenzo22
    House supervisor- We understand when the ED is slammed, and when there isn't staff anywhere. However, please don't use that as a excuse to give a non medical floor a bunch of patients....we'll take our share, but if you can give it to the med/surg floor...go ahead.
    Also, if we call you, it's probably not over insignificant things...but we would like an answer within a appropriate time frame. I don't want to wait 4 hours to get a IV help at night!
    Overall, just be supportive and back up the nurses. Don't play politics all the time and imagine that everyone is just moaning....we may have that high acuity that is slamming us and only one tech for 24 patients.
  9. by   traumaRUs
    I worked in a large (750 bed) hospital for 10 years in the ER and worked nights the entire time. Had the best evening supervisor! Marcia had been an ER RN when I first started in 1996 and she was one of my preceptors. Caring, conscientious, funny, you name it Marcia was it! Went to the house supervisor role when I became ER charge nurse - had lots of interaction with her. She always worked so hard to get us beds, get us relieved so we could have a break, you name it.

    One day in 2002, we met in the med room coincidentally. She asked me to look at her newly placed mediport site because it was red. I asked why she had a mediport and found out that she had stage IV breast Ca!

    Marcia died in 2003 just 18 months later. I still think of her often and feel so blessed to have known her.
  10. by   sissiesmama
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I worked in a large (750 bed) hospital for 10 years in the ER and worked nights the entire time. Had the best evening supervisor! Marcia had been an ER RN when I first started in 1996 and she was one of my preceptors. Caring, conscientious, funny, you name it Marcia was it! Went to the house supervisor role when I became ER charge nurse - had lots of interaction with her. She always worked so hard to get us beds, get us relieved so we could have a break, you name it.

    One day in 2002, we met in the med room coincidentally. She asked me to look at her newly placed mediport site because it was red. I asked why she had a mediport and found out that she had stage IV breast Ca!

    Marcia died in 2003 just 18 months later. I still think of her often and feel so blessed to have known her.
    traumaRUs - That is so touching! It is so nice to meet someone you can work so well with, and provide each other with support. Im sad for your loss, but glad that you had such a good friend to work with. I know you learned a lot from her.

    Anne, RNC
  11. by   RNKPCE
    Our best house supervisor also works the floor a few shifts a pay period. She knows what it is like to be on the other side. She makes well thought out decisions.
  12. by   VivaLasViejas
    The best advice I can give a new manager is: Never make your staff do anything you yourself wouldn't. Whether it's dealing with a crazed family member, confronting a nasty physician, or telling the 'suits' that you're going on divert because you're getting slammed and there are no beds open, your subordinates will bust their hineys for you if they feel you're not evading the big battles.
  13. by   noc4senuf
    My thoughts are I don't expect any of my staff to do anything that I wouldn't do. I do feed, toilet, answer call lites, etc when needed to help the staff. We are all there to help the resident and it is beneath no one to pitch in.

    I also have an open door policy. If someone wants to come in and vent, they can choose whatever words they want to use and as loud as they want... just as long as it is not a personal attack on me.
  14. by   Babs0512
    I've worked with both.

    A bad supervisor, is "always" too busy to do anything you ask of them. When they are sitting in their office watching T.V.
    They are nasty on the phone when you speak with them. Generally give off the feeling like "Why are you bothering me!"

    A good supervisor, promptly answers your pages/calls. Gets all the information before giving advise, is never too busy to lend a hand in an emergency situation. Is pro-active in getting patients moved from one place to another ASAP. Does't take the "The room has to be cleaned" excuse when their are other empty beds.

    Thats the difference for me between a good and bad nursing supervisor.

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