The Unwritten Laws Nurse Managers Live By - page 8

by rntj

18,332 Visits | 79 Comments

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... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from ShillaBSNMBA
    "Step on" someone's rant' implies no solutions are wanted by the many nurses who have a manager that they feel is not stellar. I beg to differ.
    I think many nurses want to feel valued and important in their daily roles.

    I agree there are some Charge Nurses, Ass DON, Managers, Directors etc who could benefit from some intervention to help them either be a better manager or leave the role. However, making the divide between staff nurses and management wider does not help achieve the goal of giving all of us a better place to work.

    If there are terse words do not get defensive. Go to her or him later and say you were offended in a polite manner. You may find that the person was rushed, did not mean what was said or was not aware they came off that way.

    If a new policy was implemented that you 'think' is unfair, instead of getting mad and being negative. Ask for clarification as to why the policy was implemented and how this will help YOU maintain your job in the long run. [I say this because often times policy is implemented to save money or grow a part of the hospital, both of which can achieve long term goals of keeping YOU employed.]

    If someone does not like how they are treated let your feet do the talking. Upper leadership does notice and react when they see a manager who cannot maintain staff.

    These are just a few of the many items a nurse can do to make the environment better....AND yes we all own the environment in which we work.
    in some environments, this question would be considered a threat to the manager. As in your comment about keeping the staff employed. Implied in that remark is that if you don't go along you will lose your job. I am thinking, that by the time a nurse feels the need to rant/vent, the situation is pretty much lost; and in this employment environment we can not simply vote with our feet.
  2. 0
    Quote from amoLucia
    ... many nurses have not had any mgt training as they go up the ladder. It's a position learned by trial and error (and mostly error)...
    Second this emotion.
  3. 0
    If you are working in an institution that has that type of philosophy....hand in your notice and run away fast.
    Everyone needs to be validated, praised and supported. When I make an error, I admit I've made an error, it proves to my staff that I'm as human as they are, and yes Managers do and can make mistakes. My staff knows that I don't expect them to do anything I wouldn't do myself. They also know that our patients come first and must be treated as if they were a member of my family. Yes, I still answer call bells, take patients on/off bedpans, medicate when needed and sometimes do AM/PM care,. I'll run to the pharmacy or the blood bank for the staff so they can stay with our patients. Provided they do the best they can, I'll support them and we'll learn from any mistake they may make. Jeeze we are all HUMANS and deserve respect.
  4. 1
    Quote from ShillaBSNMBA
    I doubt anyone has experienced ALL 9 of THESE as the same time. In general I would say a nurse manager may exhibit one or two but not all.
    I had a manager like that! (And I could add a few more evil descriptions as well.) Luckily my manager now is great. She's just as frustrated by the bean counters as we are.

    The managers aren't always the problem. Sometimes it's THEIR management that's the problem. And the manager is stuck in the middle. But there are a few truly evil people in this world working in management.

    I think what bothers me about healthcare these days is the whole profession of "healthcare administration." They know NOTHING about actual healthcare, but they're the ones that are making the big decisions. They only know the spreadsheets. They only know that nurses cost money. It's not managers that have "forgotten" what it's like to be a nurse that worry me, it's their bosses that have never known what it's like to actually take care of a patient in any manner whatsoever.
    NF_eyenurse likes this.
  5. 0
    Sounds as if the OP has never had the pressure of being a manger. The grass isn't always greener. I could write a similar list for staff nurses that would not look very flattering. Try to keep some perspective and not paint all managers with one broad brush. Generalizing the people in this difficult position is neither professional or fair. (But we have all experiences some real nasties in our time- learn what not to do and move on)
  6. 2
    Esme is right unfortunately... and when the numbers don't look good, the admins need someone to blame... and when the admins crunch down on staffing... the nurses need someone to blame...

    Those statements by OP are obviously exaggerated, but sadly believed by many direct care staff.... Despite the manager doing things like...... oh I dunno, taking an injured employee to the ER him/herself and seeing about helping another employee find a place to stay in an emergency.....

    THIS is the reason many managers return to bedside. :-)
    Last edit by IRF-Nurse on Jul 20, '13 : Reason: grammatical error
    Esme12 and Nascar nurse like this.
  7. 1
    Quote from wooh
    The managers aren't always the problem. Sometimes it's THEIR management that's the problem. And the manager is stuck in the middle. But there are a few truly evil people in this world working in management.
    THIS!!
    Nascar nurse likes this.
  8. 0
    So grateful my manager rocks. Everyone has their flaws but for the most part, she's amazing and we're very blessed. Sorry you've had such trouble. That makes a huge difference. :-(
  9. 0
    This list is all wrong. Saddened that you feel this way.
  10. 0
    This is an interesting thread.
    I remember when I was a student nurse and would come across a nurse who was rude, uncaring, sarcastic, had a gossipy/junior-high attitude and I thought, "I don't ever want to be like that."

    Reading some posts here makes me think the same way. If I ever became a nurse manager, I don't want to be one with a huge horrible list. No thanks.

    I have only had a few nurse managers and for the most part they were good, worked hard just like everyone else, would do anything we would do. My current nurse manager is awesome. She genuinely cares about her staff. She is not only a patient advocate, she is a nurse/staff advocate. I feel like she truly supports us when we need it. We have a good group that works really well together and I am staying right where I am.

    When I encountered stress on the floor made by the "bean counters" I left. It was a year long process of adding more and more on the nurses plates to where it didn' seem safe to me. I have read here (paraphrased), "Let your feet do the walking/talking, that will show them." But I think we are taught not to burn our bridges so in the exit interview w"don't say "I can't work here anymore, I'm out of here....see ya....wouldn't want to be be ya." (again, I'm paraphrasing. )
    We leave for a "greater opportunity" which can also be true. As these plate loading tasks were slowly added on to our duties I would voice an opinion about them, not just a complaint but a reasonable/logical discussion but what do we hear? "Oh, it will only take an extra minute or too."

    With the current influx of new grads, when a nurse walks out the front door for the last time there are probably 40 new grads who will gladly take his/her place so does anything change? Unfortunately, no: the bean counters keep counting and nursing staff (and I bet some managers) become more burned out, angry and bitter.
    Last edit by NF_eyenurse on Mar 15


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