Dear Nurse Beth,
I am an Assistant Nurse Manager (ANM) on a medsurg
unit (glorified charge nurse). I've been told I don't give people enough time to hold themselves accountable before I approach them, so I backed off. Now I'm under fire for not making sure they're doing the right thing, even after I asked them if they need help and they deny it.
A float charge nurse also reported me for throwing away her potential schedule for night shift when the schedule didn't have the right nurse to patient ratio. I threw it away and finalized it with my secretary, which is how we do it every night.
But apparently I was rude for not making this float CN's schedule, the SCHEDULE. Good grief, IDK how to win in all of this political BS. I just want to work, help where I"m needed, and make sure our patients have the best possible outcomes. Any advice on how to be "politically" better? Because I"m going to be honest, I must be seriously lacking in that area. Like oblivious, but not mean.
Dear Reported and Under Fire,
Do you feel as though you're swimming in a new pool and with sharks? Sometimes that's how new managers feel. You're in Reality Shock with your job.
As a clinical bedside nurse, you do your job and it's rewarding. Outstanding clinical nurses (probably like yourself) are selected to become managers but soon find it calls for a new set of skills and a more political environment. You are definitely more of a target.
It becomes more than doing the right thing, which you do know how to do. A novice manager throws away the schedule and fixes it according to nurse-patient ratio requirements, angering the float CN. A seasoned manager guides and directs the float CN to correct the schedule.
A seasoned manager reads between the lines when nurses say "I"m fine, I don't need help" and acts accordingly, and knows that doing the right thing or being right...isn't enough in and of itself.
It takes more energy and may feel less direct that you're used to. Everyone is your customer. Focus on listening and understanding. Good luck and I hope this helps.
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!