Unit Manager Role?

  1. Hi all,

    I recently started as a part of what seems to be a trial run for a unit manager position. I am currently a RN in a LTC setting, have been at this home for approximately 10 years. Initially I was supposed to be the only nurse manager and take on the role of what used to be the staff development coordinator but the position was dissolved to save money for the facility. Long story short, several people applied for this position and a few of the "favorites" applied and I think they didn't want to hurt anyones feelings, so they changed the entire thing into a 4 person "unit manager" positions and divide the building in half and two people are in charge of both sides.. well then one of them quit before we could even get any of them on the floor and we just decided at this time to keep it at 3. Let me note that we are the first ever to be unit managers and basically it went down like, "Okay, you guys are unit managers, congrats!" We had little to none guidance on what the hell we are even supposed to be doing technically, so I feel like a numb nut walking around the majority of my day aimlessly looking for something to do. Not to mention, one of us three was previously a shift supervisor and she basically is doing exactly what she wanted to do and sit behind the desk and fire out emails all shift, giving the rest of us a bad rep. But it's awfully embarrassing when staff you are supposed to be "managing" ask you what is even the purpose of the being a unit manager and you kind of have little to answer on it. Some think we're "management" and roll with the big dogs, but others just think we're "glorified floor nurses" with extra crap to deal with on our plate. It's just a bigggg flustercuck if you catch my drift. Keep in mind, I am a confident person and nurse, I've been one a while. But when I'm put into a what feels like a pretend position with no guidance, it's really hard for me to feel confident in what I am doing and I feel like that shows to others

    ANYWAYS, has anyone ever been a unit manager? What duties did you have to do each day at work? I am just so lost right now that I basically am being told to create a job for myself with only floor nurse experience and then get told I'm doing a good job by my DON but the floor nurses basically hate us and think we're a joke.

    HELP!
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Blackcat99
    I have never been a "unit manager" but this is what I have observed about them at my LTC facility. They check on all staff to see that all required charting is done every day. They seem to have the most trouble in getting the CNA's to do their required charting. They have to do frequent little 20-30 minute "inservices" mostly with the CNA's every week. They have to get the CNA's to do their work and have to deal with the problem CNA's who don't want to work. They are required to take turns in being "on call" at night and on week-ends. They sometimes have to work as "med cart nurses" if someone calls off on the 3-11 shift or 11-7 shift.
  4. by   bluegeegoo2
    If you don't already have a folder/binder for new orders, create one for the floor nurses to put the copies in for you to follow up to ensure orders were transcribed correctly, faxed to pharmacy, notifications/orders charted, etc.

    Same with lab tracking to make sure labs have been followed up on. In the past, I created a binder with alphabet tabs and made a sheet for each resident. Nothing fancy, just the resident name at the top and columns for date of order/draw, type of lab, faxed/called to MD, new orders rec'd. (Note: for the "new orders rec'd" column, we either put Y or N with the understanding if it was a Y, to see NN for orders.) You can have the floor nurses add them or add them yourself at your discretion.

    If floor nurses are not required to audit carts for expired meds, dc'd meds, loose pills, dates on insulins/eye gtts, inhalers, etc., you could create a schedule for that to be done to keep carts in compliance. Usually once a week is sufficient.
    Again, you can either assign the task or do it yourself.

    Mostly, I would look at any issues you saw as a floor nurse and create systems to resolve them as UM. Of course, the idea is to create an efficient flow to the work environment with the goal of improving resident outcomes. Best of luck.
  5. by   CoffeeRTC
    It really all depends on where you are working. Some unit managers function as mini DONs with 24 hr accountability of the unit and others are more of just more of a supervisor.

    Where I work, we make out shift assignments for the CNAs and nurses, check the daily staffing needs and fix when needed, follow up with all calls to MDs and families, schedule appointments and pick up arrangements, supervise staff, take off orders and follow up with labs. Meetings, meetings and more meetings....daily clinical review, morning and afternoon stand up/ stand down, care plan conferences.....etc.

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