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- by jlcole45 Feb 20, '10I have a second interview scheduled for a tele floor manager position.
I've worked as a supervisor but not as a nurse manager. So what questions
would you suggest I ask during the interview -- this is the one with other
managers and directors.
- Feb 20, '10 by JolieWhat topics were discussed in the first interview?
What, specifically, are your duties. Ask for a written job description to take home and read. What are the expectations and limitations of your position? (For example, do you have the authority to authorize OT, hire, discipline and fire?) Does the responsibility of the position match the authority? (If you are accountable 24/7 for the clinical care provided on the unit, but do not have the authority to alter staffing or discipline a sub-par nurse, the responsibility does not match the authority.)
What is the chain of command for this position? To whom will you report? How will you be oriented? How will you be evaluated? What education will be provided to prepare you for scheduling, evaluating staff, handling disciplinary action, hiring and firing, effecting change, conflict resolution, managing quality assurance, regulatory compliance, providing staff education, budgeting, etc.?
Who are your "resource" people? Will you be "buddied" with an experienced manager? How will you learn the ins and outs of hospital politics?
What percentage of your time is reserved for "management" duties? How many hours per week are you expected to spend in patient care? Is this position hourly or salary? If salary, and you go overtime due to high census requiring you to provide patient care, will you be compensated with comp time?
What duties will you have that are not specific to your unit? Are you required to write policies and procedures that apply to other units? Are you expected to serve on hospital-wide committees? If so, which ones? How much time does that involve per week?
Will you have 24/7 accountability for the unit? If not, what is the chain of command when you are away from the unit? If so, are you expected to come in and cover any shift that can't be scheduled?
- Feb 22, '10 by jlcole45Thank you Jolie! I've jotted down your questions. You sound like you have experience in this area. What sort of work are you currently doing? What do you like or not like about it?
- Feb 22, '10 by JolieMy management days are long behind me.
I couldn't stand having the responsibility 24/7 for a patient care unit where I lacked the authority to implement measures necessary for safe and effective patient care.
I liked the hospital, and continued in a charge position for a couple of years after resigning my management position, but I was unwilling to be responsible for the care delivered by anyone other than myself or my shift, which I could supervise.
I'm now a school nurse. Great position for someone who loves the challenge of something different everyday, and has the confidence for autonomous practice.
Good luck to you.
- Feb 23, '10 by jlcole45I hear you and that's something I'm not sure I want. I do know they have night and weekend house supervisors, but I am assuming the manager's still have 24/7 responsibility. I will ask more questions when I meet with the other managers. I'm still not totally sure this is the path I want to go down - again will have a better feel for it after I meet with them again.
- Feb 26, '10 by tridil2000I would also ask what they are looking for in a manager. What specific areas have been issues that they would like to see improve ie: retention, morale, pt safety, customer service. You might want to focus on maybe two of those issues and what you could do for them. Be specific with one or two examples. You can admit to challenges, so there are no unreasonable expectations. For example, you can say that you have struggled in the past with customer service/service recovery, as your nurses depended too much on you. However, you continued to press through this and engaged them, and did not let their push back discourage your persistance. "I wanted them to feel ownership so they could feel resolution too... but yes, this was challenging at times."
As far as salary, if they ask, one of the best lines I've ever heard (and then used myself!) was,
"I'm sure General Hospital compensates competitively for the right candidate once selected. I would love
to come on board here and be part of your leadership team. I'm sure if you select me, your offer will be competitive and fair, and we can discuss that further at that time."
All the best!
remember change is a scary word but improve is an exciting word!
- Feb 28, '10 by jlcole45Thank you tridil2000 - they've scheduled my second interview for this coming Thursday morning. Are you currently in a management position? If so please share more! How do you handle 24/7 responsibility? I'm concerned about that and wondering how one sets limits on when the should or should not call. I'd want to be available and approachable but I don't want them calling me for little things that can wait till the morning.
The unit I'm interviewing for is 28 bed tele unit, there will be a director above me (currently vacant), so that might be an issue related to orientation, continuity, etc - the DON is subbing in for the director at the moment. I've heard very good things about the DON, but she is still the DON and had bigger fish to fry then orienting a new manager.
I have supervisor experience but not manager experience so I might not be able to answer some of their questions based on experience - just what I think I'd do.
- Mar 1, '10 by tridil2000You should always be available by phone, within reason. Off hours there should be a supervisor who should be completely competent to handle most situations. However, the supervisor should always get the feeling that you are available for your unit.
The issues off shift should be assessed and triaged like any situation. I do not think your staff (except maybe 2 trusted charge nurses/ANMs) should have your home number, they should always go through the supervisor. The supervisor should be given a chance to build a relationship with the staff and have a fair chance to resolve issues, and you should support their efforts and decisions. Remember, they cover for all NMs off shift and have to balance the workforce and workload of the entire facility. They are an extension of all of you.
If you feel the supervisor is reaching out to you for issues that either she should be able to resolve, or can wait, within reason, until a civilized hour, then you need to speak with the DON about her (or his) assessment skills and decision making process.
Ask who will be your mentor. You are right, the DON will not be the best mentor for a variety of reasons. Perhaps another NM would be a better match. Seek mentors out, whether they are ANMs, payroll, human resource managers etc.
Can I recommend a book to you? It is called the "Carrot Principle" and it will inspire you to lead and manage and has sustained me through some of the most challenging teams.
And yes, after 18 years as a clinician, I've spent the last 5 in management.
- Mar 1, '10 by jlcole45Thanks again for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully.