The Unwritten Laws Nurse Managers Live By - page 2

1. Always believe the worst about your subordinates, no matter how glowing a reputation or history of competence they may have. Never give anybody the benefit of the doubt. 2. Never praise or... Read More

  1. by   kcmylorn
    sad to say that this IS the kind of managment I have come across in the ppast 15 years and in the past 7years they have only become worse- more critical and more sould murdering than ever. It's not about numbers. It's about mean. The Leona Helmsley School of Managment. Shrew, psychotic, mean, cruel, ugly to the bone, should have their kids taken from them! The kind of person one has no respect for, kick to the curb and spit on them. Sorry, but I have always been one to tell it like I see it. Fear and respect are 2 very different things- these managers of today don't know the difference. I can understand busy at the computer and paperwork but I can't understand insulting, mean and cruelity. There is a way to conduct oneself and for the most part today - that is not being done. especially in the managmwent of these hospitals. it truely is a power trip- may impress the North Korean communists but not American staff nurses.

    Since I am an older nurse over 50, you know, one of 'those' nurses that they don't want in nursing anymore; and since I have had to keep employed in nursing with temp positions, usually not of the clinical nature, I have had the opportunity to see other nursing venues. I know what examples I am seeing. It's not flattering.
    Last edit by kcmylorn on Jul 10, '12
  2. by   Tragically Hip
    Quote from rntj
    it does seem to me that it is only a certain type of person who wants to be in management, and that is a person who is on a power trip.
    I don't agree only that type of person is attracted to management, but unfortunately, positions of authority are good places for people on power trips to play out their fantasies. People sometimes want to be police officers for that reason, but at least there is some attempt to weed out unbalanced people. In most corporate management, including nursing management, there usually only the employment interview, and if the job is obtained through internal promotion, not even that.

    It's hard for upper management to quantify what makes a poor manager. Patients fill out satisfaction surveys to rate their nursing care. Who fills out surveys that rate a manager's acumen? Not the people who every day observe the results of the manager's action.

    I've worked in high tech, and in general, especially in smaller companies, the management chain is far less formal than that of a hospital. It's as if hospitals haven't changed in structure in the past hundred years, other than the proliferation of spreadsheets and powerpoints.
  3. by   Wise Woman RN
    Exactly. Living this dream (nightmare) myself.
  4. by   tewdles
    Ouch...hurtful to hear that nurses believe that all nursing management might behave that way. I certainly have experienced some bad managers myself, but over the years have had more good nurse managers than bad nurse managers.

    Personally, I do not think that I went into management because I am on a power trip. I like management because of the challenge. I will admit to being fairly critical of poor management styles...

    Good communication is essential to good management. Bad manager + bad communication = horrible boss.
    Bad manager + good communication = bad boss. Good manager + bad communication = struggling boss. Good manager + good communication = good boss
    Last edit by tewdles on Jul 10, '12 : Reason: arrgh spacing
  5. by   nguyency77
    I love that part about customer service. I always make it a point to snootily point out at staff meetings, "But I love our residents/patients! They aren't customers!" just to tick off our administrator.

    Then she gives me this look, like I just mortally wounded her favorite cat and then goes on to talk about how all the nurses should supervise patients/residents at all times who are out on a smoke break.

    I hope when I'm old I don't end up like her.
  6. by   dandk1997RN
    Wow- the original post is just sad. My OM is great- very communicative, and in a good way. Sorry you've had such bad experiences.

    ETA- I just finished a different healthcare career where I was a supervisor. It sucks. I wouldn't judge too harshly unless you've been in those shoes. I had the best intentions, and my employees just sucked all the life out of me.
    Last edit by dandk1997RN on Jul 10, '12 : Reason: typo, too!
  7. by   MadpeysRN
    Yikes, that's scary and I hope all hospitals aren't like that!
  8. by   LynnLRN
    Wow, I have actually never met 1 manager like that, not even a director or chief. I also work for a magnet hospital.
  9. by   nursel56
    I was very blessed to have good managers in my nursing "formative years". Yes, some were a little harsher than others, but I always knew they had my back, and that was the bedrock of a mutually respectful relationship. Most of them were always visible, and never hesitated to get elbow-deep in poop when somebody was becoming swamped. They had more autonomy then, and their "higher-ups" usually came from the same nursing culture, meaning that they spoke the same value language, making the solving of conflicts far less stressful.

    The corporate culture with ensuing attempts to instill a marketing and profit-making culture into the hospital seems to have done in this type of manager, and we're all the worse for it.
    Last edit by nursel56 on Jul 10, '12
  10. by   roma4204
    I have a phenomenal manager, nothing like you describe. the one i had before was amazing as well
  11. by   Nascar nurse
    Quote from Kimberlina
    ETA- I just finished a different healthcare career where I was a supervisor. It sucks. I wouldn't judge too harshly unless you've been in those shoes. I had the best intentions, and my employees just sucked all the life out of me.
    Ain't that the truth! It's a constant struggle to find the line in the sand. The floor staff demand I help them with their work at the drop of a dime. They run to my boss crying that no one helps them (somehow they forget all about all the family members I try to stop at my door before they even get to the floor so I can field all the complaints and anger or that I was just there on a Sunday night playing an aide because so many of them had the stomach flu, etc. Keep in mind - this is salary so Sunday night was for no pay and the boss says I can't take comp time for it either) so they run above my head to complain to my boss. The boss is then on my butt thinking I should be on the floor even more - but within days I'm in trouble for not doing reports timely. The bosses answer is to just work more hours (forgetting that I'm already in the building everyday a full 2 hours before he even arrives).

    L.I.F.E. suckers for sure. But in the next breath, I'll tell you I love my job.
  12. by   CherylRNBSN
    I suggest you look for employment elsewhere.

    I have had a number of good to great nurse managers, and about two who sucked. The good ones were mentors, and let me not forget that THEY HIRED ME and gave me the gift of employment and experience.

    And you DO have power: it's called the exit interview. If enough employees are disgruntled and jumping ship, the exit interviews WILL tell the story (eventually). Vote with your feet...

    I have had some management experience, and I can tell you it is a whole new ball game. As a staff member, you mostly manage yourself (and pts., and relationships w co-workers), but as a manager, you see the whole picture. The absenteeism, the passive aggressiveness, the numbers, the payroll, staff resistant to organizational change, etc.

    There ARE good managers out there. And they make a tremendous difference. So find another job, with someone who is a LEADER.
    They do exist, I promise!
    Better to do that than be stuck in a position and be miserable.
    Good luck!
  13. by   PMFB-RN
    Quote from rntj
    1. Always believe the worst about your subordinates, no matter how glowing a reputation or history of competence they may have. Never give anybody the benefit of the doubt.

    2. Never praise or give an "attaboy", and always discipline for any minor infractions. Floor nurses are not allowed to be human.

    3. Always wield your power like the hammer of Thor.

    4. Be as acerbic and abrasive as possible in all dealings with your subordinates.

    5. The patient, er, customer is always right, no matter how confused or crazy or vindictive or evil they may be. Patient satisfaction scores are more important than the truth.

    6. Clinical nurse leaders do not make mistakes. Only non-management nurses do.

    7. Always make sure that your employees shudder in fear at the sight of you; smiling is not allowed.

    8. Always be sure to forget what it was like to work on the floor with actual, you know, patients.

    9. Always work your hardest to make your subordinates feel as bad as possible about themselves and their chosen career, no matter how much they pour their heart, soul, and mind into it.

    Just a few tidbits I've learned from working at a world-famous magnet hospital that strives for "nursing excellence" and attracts "the best and the brightest."

    My question is, Was it always this way? Why or why not? And does it always have to be this way?
    *** Wow, that is exactly my experience working at several famous Magnet hospitals. Now I am lucky enough to work in a non Magnet, not famous hospital. I have the best nurse manager I have ever had.
    I wonder if Magnet is the common denominator?