Managing your friends/co-workers

  1. Help! I recently became a House Supervisor/House Officer. I am basically the house manager, and direct the flow of patients and staff. I work with the managers of the individual units during the day, but when I work evenings or nights, I am the only one there making decisions. This is not a problem. My problem is that I still work once a week in the ICU at the bedside. The nurses in the ICU's are my co-workers and friends. Yet, when I am in the role of House Officer, I am essentially managing them, and working with them in a different role. The other day I made an unpopular decision with the ICU staff (although it was the best decision for the patient). Still, I'm afraid I burnt some relationship bridges.
    How do I mend those fences? There will probably be other times this will happen. Has anyone experienced this before?
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Janet Barclay
    The transition from peer to supervisor is a hard one. I went from staff nurse to unit manager in a unit with lots of friends. Unfortunately, you do need to separate to some degree. Your role needs to be clear all the time, whether you are doin ght sup thing or working at the bedside. You may need to pick up ICU hours at another institution if it becomes too uncomfortable. It takes time for people to accept you in a supervisory role, just as you need time to make the job "your own".
    Hope this is helpful
    janet
  4. by   spudflake
    Those who know you and have worked with you and respect you will be able to talk to you if they don't agree with a decision you've made. The others, well now you know who you can count on and who you can't. You can't please everyone and some days you please anyone. One of my best friends works for me. The staff knows that we are friends but have NO idea how close we are. Our families spend vacations together, tec. What makes us best friends is that we both know where the line is. Work is work and home is home.
  5. by   debbyed
    Being in the same position I have found that being open to the approaches of staff help. Explain your decisions briefly when you make them. Thank your Co-workers for input and suggestions. If your co-workers still feel you are approachable and truely listen to their concerns they will accept your decisions even the unpopular ones.
  6. by   betts
    3 Nurses and a Wish

    A nursing assistant, floor nurse, and charge nurse from a small nursing home were taking a lunch break in the break room. In walks a lady dressed in silk scarf's and wearing large polished stoned jewelry.

    "I am 'Gina the Great'," stated the lady. "I am so pleased with the way you have taken care of my aunt that I will now grant the next three wishes!" With a wave of her hand and a puff of smoke, the room was filled with flowers, fruit and bottles of drink, proving that she did have the power to grant wishes before any of the nurses could think otherwise.

    The nurses quickly argued among themselves as to which one would ask for the first wish. Speaking up, the nursing assistant wished first. "I wish I were on a tropical island beach, with single, well-built men feeding me fruit and tending to my every need." With a puff of smoke, the nursing assistant was gone.

    The floor nurse went next." I wish I were rich and retired and spending my days in my own warm cabin at a ski resort with well groomed men feeding me cocoa and doughnuts." With a puff of smoke, she too was gone.

    "Now, what is the last wish?" asked the lady.

    The charge nurse said," I want those two back on the floor at the end of the lunch break."

    Take 'Time-Out' too laugh.
  7. by   ACNORN
    szerch,
    Your situation is certainly not an easy one, but I've been in just about every role from staff RN up to the chief nurse. I learned a long time ago that I can't worry about making everyone happy all the time. You've been promoted to a supervisory position obviously because someone sees leadership potential in you. One of the things that separates the leader from the group is the leader's ability to do the right thing versus the popular thing. Those ICU buddies may not like all your decisions all the time, but if they are good decisions made in the best interests of the patients, your colleagues will eventually come to respect you and assume that you have good reasons for making those decisions.

    Welcome to management.
  8. by   night owl
    I can understand everyone's point. I'm not a manager by no means, but what do you do when the HN and AHN caters to only one shift? It's always the day shift. I imagine it's because they are there for eight hours with them and they don't want to make any waves. Their decision making is always for the staff and not the pt. I work in a LTC facility. The pts aren't getting the care they need, the NAs go to lunch for an hour and a half at a time, (shopping at a near by food store) and I can't believe that they don't see this. If you have a complaint about ANYTHING their reply is, "It's up to you to take care of it not me, you're the team leader." I would think that if you're a HN or AHN you would want see that your staff is providing at least satisfactory pt care and if they aren't, you'd step in to find out why not. Our daytime NAs have a bit of a poor attitude to say the least, and many of them do not like to be told what to do. We have a few on other shifts too, but it seems that most of them are on the day tour. The nurses just can't do EVERYTHING, but it's a shame that the two top notches let this kind of thing just slide day in and day out. It could be that they are afraid of them for fear of retaliation? I'm not sure. I know one thing...they certainly do not have their unit under control and people are walking all over them. As long as there are no waves being made, everything is ok...for them. It's the residents who truely suffer. One of the qualities of a HN and AHN is that I think you CAN NOT be spineless. If your workers have any respect for you and your position, they will understand where that line is drawn between friendship and workship. You can't please everyone, but at least try to please the residents.
    The other day, the HN comes into morning report and says, "The care being given here is disgusting!" Well, I'm thinking where have you been all this time??? Get out on your unit and check things out once and a while it might do a world of good...And have a staff meeting with each shift like other managers do and tell them what you expect of them. Then she says, "It's almost apraisal time!!!" And I'm thinking... For who??? LOL If we could give YOU an apraisal, things might be different ...hmmmm, now there's a thought.

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