Really new and need some input

  1. Hi,
    I'm charis and new to this board. today I'm out sick and was browsing th web since my phone keeps ringing. I need some help and hopefully you guys can help.

    I'm a new manager of an ICF/MR program. 1st of all my background and experience in nursing has been ICU nursing. Then I got into healthcare marketing then I did insurance for a year. Well, 6 months ago i landed this job in the discipline of caring for the mentally disabled. The demographic is that I'm responsible for the care of 72 individuals w/ the help of 22 LPNS who I manage. My direct supervisor is not a nurse. The other RNs around me (in the clinic and on a support team) are not very supportive. Its a great opportunity that if I can successfully manage it will be a boon to my career path. The work is very interesting as I didn't realize the complexities of these individuals.

    I need a mentor that I can talk to to bounce stuff off of and hopefully be able to acheive my departmental goals by the end of my first year.

    Dealing with the LPN is very difficult for me because I don't understand what drives them and I so far have been able to procure them 2 raises withing the last six months, and I have a program for continuing education as well as staff developement and heightened awareness of client care. I thought these were all good things but my staff really don't want to participate in anything and want everything handed to them. At my fullest complement of staff it would be 33 with all the positions filled. I don't have any "support staff at my disposal" but I will ask for that at the next budget time. So ......in the meantime...I'm not sure how to proceed. I know I will make mistakes but i don't want to make my boss's words come true: "When you finally get to the ocean, you may look around and find that you made it there with the peices of the dead bodies of your staff behind you." She is not a nurse...I'm concerned about the quality of client care....its not at a level that I'm used to experiencing.
    could my boss be right????
    am I driving change too hard??
    will someone feel sorry for me and be a mentor??????

    help me be a better boss!!!!!!!!

    Hopeful charis
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   CCL"Babe"
    My best advice.

    Be an advocate for your staff.
    Don't fix it unless it's broke.
    Have an open door and mind.

    These are the things that I appreciate the most in managers[U]
  4. by   dingofred
    I'd certainly try to find out why the RN's around you do not seem to be supportive. You could meet with all staff you supervise and
    gather their ideas on what "drives" them and what sort of changes they would like to see happen. You are certainly right
    about the complexities of the developmentally disabled, I work with them in the community through an agency that supports
    them in the residential setting. I am only RN in 3 county area.
  5. by   Charis
    There are 5 other RNs around me. 4 are in the clinic onsite. of the clinic....1 is a director of the clinic..she did not have a good relationship with my predecessor, other 2 are workers in clinic and one boasts of having had my job (back in the day when it was different than what it is), the last one is a casemanger who is nicer to me than the rest but is clearly on the "side" of the others. The other RN is on a support team that had my job once upon a time but left it due to the complexities. It appears that i have landed in a vacarious, twisted kind of relationship where people have these agendas and all i have been focused on doing is trying to learn my job. There was no person to train me in this position and I have & am learning this job as i go along with the compass being the needs of my clients and the needs of my staff.

    I have read a lot of good stuff here on the boards and I had hoped more people would have responded to my query but if the commitment seems too heavy.....I would welcome general suggestions.
    thanks charis
  6. by   lpnga
    Where in Tennessee are you? First, I would sit down and brain storm on everything you want the facility to be. Then I would watch the nurses and make notes of what they do right and wrong. HOw do they want things handed to them? and general questions like that I would ask myself....then I would make a packet for the nurses with a page of questions on what would make them work..what do they like at the job...what don't they like...etc....then I would put your notes and their notes together and come up with pros and cons on a poster board...but them in the hallway and have a few meetings and go from there... See what the nurses like what would make them work harder..and be more interested in their job and there patients...I am only a CNA and I would love to be over a facility one day......Good luck
  7. by   sjoe
    So let's see if I got this right:
    1) you took a supervisory job in a highly dysfunctional facility (as most seem to be these days)
    2) it is understaffed by 33% and apparently will continue to be for some time
    3) the remaining staff is lacking in motivation
    4) you are getting little support, no training and no clear direction from your supervisor, though you were given a set of "departmental goals" (before your were sufficiently experienced to be able to negotiate these items)

    First of all, I applaud your seeking a mentor/advisor, since this would be ideal. You might find it useful to take some leaders in nearby ICFs to lunch, or see if there is a formal or informal support network already formed in your area.

    Secondly, I would suggest you step back mentally/emotionally a bit from this. Slow down and take your time. Seeking information and feedback and ideas from your employees is a major task, and necessary before you will be able to make any useful changes in this environment that is unfamiliar to you. If you had been doing the same job in 3 other similar facilities for several years, you would be able to hit the ground running, but this is not the case, so give it all some space.

    Third, the LVNs aren't some strange kind of creature who are motivated by something mysterious. They are disempowered, detached, alienated, and running on habit and inertia.

    Fourth, a couple of books that may be of use to you:
    "Management for Dummies" and "What Management Is."
  8. by   essarge
    Although I am only a student, I have been in various management positions and maybe I can make a few suggestions.

    Something I found that worked for me very well is, after observing, take the person that is the "leader of the pack" and give them a "title" and a specific function that will involve the whole team (e.g. spokesperson for needed improvements, safety issues with patients etc.). This will accomplish two things for you. It will create a unity of sorts and keep this person on your "side". It will also make a good liasson between you and other staff members.

    Let everyone know that you are creating this position so that you might become familiar with the ins/outs of the facility that you work in. You may even ask the management if this person might get extra pay for their continued effort with helping you.

    Hope this helps.
  9. by   Charis
    These are great ideas. I have a leader of the pack person...I'm working to get the streess off them and hoping that by doing this this person will be happier and more willing to do my bidding

    My nurses are not strange creatures but they have been abused, used and kicked to the curb. I started a new developement program and got raises for everyone......but they seem harder to get on board but the greater majority do make an effort. This is a very large challenge. Any other ideas to these great ones?
  10. by   lpnga
    where in tennessee are you from
  11. by   Charis
    the southeastern part............just on the chance that u might work for my company......

    thats my kind of luck......I go online ...tell my story....then someone recognizes it.:chuckle :chuckle
  12. by   lpnga
    oh..I am looking for someone in my area to chat with on area hospitals and nursing homes. I am getting my CNA and I am wanting to find somewhere to work that pays well where I can pay bills and still have time for my family and school.. I am in Flintstone, GA and live near Chattanooga. Email me if I can chat with you at FLNTSTNWLKR@AOL.COM i would never discuss your story with someone else that's wrong....I just want to know if you know places in this area to work and who pays better and benefits and so on...thanks
  13. by   lpnga
    hey where are you from? I am wanting to know...
  14. by   renerian
    Okay have you met with your team and asked them what they want out of their jobs? Maybe they have good suggestions. I have found an open meeting with no holds barred helps people feel like you really do listen and are trying to meet their needs but somehow are missing what drives them? Can you get them together or do a meeting per shift?

    If they don't want to do that you could try a survey, make it so they do not have to put their name on it. See what type of input you get.

    That comment from your super tells me something is really wrong. Maybe they are used to a leader with a different management style, maybe they are not used to being asked the questions you are asking.

    Does any of this help?

    renerian

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