OR manager working a room

  1. 0
    Hello all,
    This topic just came about recently... Staff in my OR feel that the managers are all out of touch with the rooms. The staff have spoken to HR about this and the feedback from the managers' are "I'm too busy to work a room"

    SO! I was just wondering how feasible is it for the mangers' of their respected specialties to work (do both circ and scrub) the room at least once a month.

    Thanks for the input!

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  2. 12 Comments...

  3. 0
    The people in my OR think the same exact thing. How can you be a manager of a unit and not know how to the job that the staff members do? We used to be so short staffed that our manager at the time had to frequently circulate a room. He never complained about it, and he actually thought it was a good thing so that he knew what was going on in the OR. The manager we have now thinks it is beneath her to circulate. She always says she's too busy with all of the other work she has to do, yet it seems like she never gets anything done, and this is without circulating. She recently had to be put in a room due to staffing issues, and it was not a good thing. One of our scrub techs had to be in the room with her practically all morning because she couldn't handle it, and this is a woman who has years of experience. That is really sad.
  4. 6
    As long as I have been a manager I have circulated rooms. My current title is Clinical Manager but I do cases daily. I let the director do the meeting stuff and have a board runner that runs the board. When problems come up they can ask me to help solve it and I do.

    My prior job I was Manager/Director for 3 years and circulated 2 days a week minimum. I would be like a float person on other days and ran the board every day too. It really is not that hard if you can multitask. I can definately see how if you like getting caught up in politics and gossip you could totally get away from actually working and milk the title all you want.

    Personally as a manager/director I feel and have always felt that I should be able to do anything that any of my employees can do and be willing to do it. I can mop a floor, turn over an anesthesia machine, start lines, assist anesthesia, assist surgeon/scrub, circulate anything, do CS work.... whatever it takes..... I hate lazy people.
    UVAnurse9, NurseSnarky, NurseLumpia, and 3 others like this.
  5. 0
    Also, my current director has never worked in the OR, she was a pre op nurse/director prior to taking over the OR too. I keep trying to get her in the rooms to show her whats up..... I am just happy she hears what I tell her and takes action when needed.... These days you cant ask for much more, half the circulators and techs seem to be able to be lucky to have their scrubs on straight in the morning when they roll in 30 minutes late.... This isnt just at my current hospital either, its been at every hospital I have been too in the past 15 years....

    Good staff/managers/directors are few and far between.
  6. 1
    Thank you for the replies
    It happened again this week... a manager was placed in a room to scrub and was actually almost drawn to tears... they had to pull someone to scrub and her circulate and still she looked like a chicken with her head cut off...
    That's not a manager that I would look up to and give my respect
    canesdukegirl likes this.
  7. 4
    I strongly believe that any manager should be able to run circles around their staff in the OR. The reality of the situation is that very few managers are able to perform the job functions that we as staff are expected to do well. Although I understand that managers have a different role, and that they are responsible for so much, I also believe that they should be expected to not only be a resource person in times of crisis, but also that they should EXCEL during these times.

    I have a hard time having respect for a manager that does not know the difference between a Kelly and a hemostat. C'mon, man! And when a surgeon starts yelling at the manager because he/she cannot keep up, hey...welcome to our world.

    I know that managers have a difficult job. It is not easy to be in the captain's seat. I cannot imagine doing their job. With that being said, if someone is going to be my manager, I want to know that they can do my job. I understand that our jobs are not interchangeable, but if they are going to nit-pick about policy and procedure, I want to know that they can walk the talk.
    NurseSnarky, Argo, lockheart678, and 1 other like this.
  8. 0
    My Manger 's to work in rooms, but she is always steeping out to answer her phone because she is the coordinator and has to run the cluster. I like it when she try's to help out, but if she's going to come in the room and help or give a break she needs to tun off her phone. It's so hard for us to work and get supplies from her when she is not in the room. I understand that she has to run the cluster, but if your in a room for 15 mins for a break stay in the room....
  9. 1
    Quote from canesdukegirl
    I strongly believe that any manager should be able to run circles around their staff in the OR. The reality of the situation is that very few managers are able to perform the job functions that we as staff are expected to do well. Although I understand that managers have a different role, and that they are responsible for so much, I also believe that they should be expected to not only be a resource person in times of crisis, but also that they should EXCEL during these times.

    I have a hard time having respect for a manager that does not know the difference between a Kelly and a hemostat. C'mon, man! And when a surgeon starts yelling at the manager because he/she cannot keep up, hey...welcome to our world.

    I know that managers have a difficult job. It is not easy to be in the captain's seat. I cannot imagine doing their job. With that being said, if someone is going to be my manager, I want to know that they can do my job. I understand that our jobs are not interchangeable, but if they are going to nit-pick about policy and procedure, I want to know that they can walk the talk.
    I completely agree. Every place I've worked with the exception of two, the manager AND director can run a room. Where I'm at now, that is not the case. It is ****** at best. The other place I worked, same thing. We've been short staffed and when I ask questions, I get "I don't know" and not even, "I will find out". It's created distrust, lack of confidence, anger, and a broken team atmosphere. And major turnover. To the point where the brass is coming around and we are told what to say by the director in case we're asked how things are going. Really?

    In both cases, the director's office is miles away from the OR. I look to the director/manager to be a resource, to help make things run as smooth as possible. New docs and procedures come in and I think they should know how to get things setup/run, but in my experience I get "I don't know, go ask so and so". And then walking away.

    I agree...walk the walk
    NurseLumpia likes this.
  10. 0
    My OR has a manager that respects, yes, she is bossy, but she CAN run and scrub a room. It also has come to a point where she is the first to say NO I'll precept the new person so they will be it right from the beginning.

    Unlike the rest where they don't talk the talk...
  11. 2
    I liked all of your comments and appreciate your perception about nurse managers working rooms; however... much of this depends on the staffing structure, size of the facility, etc...

    I am a nurse manager and when I started this job, I thought, "I will participate in the work and even take call with my team." That didn't happen because it simply wasn't possible. The numerous meetings managers have serve to advocate for the work of their teams. I ensure that during slow times, as opposed to being sent home, they have other opportunities in various other departments. I review productivity of staffing and utilization of block times. I answer for missed SCIP measures. I answer for staffing problems. I answer for customer satisfaction ratings. I make sure the broken stuff gets fixed. I monitor the renovation of the OR. I hire and fire. I make the staff schedule. I ensure quality measures are met. I balance budgetary requirements. I beg for money. I beg for FTEs. I write people up. I have to round on 40 employees, about 25 surgeons, and keep DETAILED records of every financial, quality, service, and employee interaction that I have. I set up competencies, inservices, and mandatory training requirements. I audit periop records. All this while running the board. I could go on....

    I can scrub and circulate ANY room. However, it is not something I am comfortable with while having to run the board. I would not expect a scrub or circulator to mop a floor or transfer a patient when an OR aide is available because it might mean not being able to bring instruments back or not being able to see the next patient right away. It could delay room turnover. And GOD FORBID that happen! Anyone is capable of mopping and transferring, but it is all contingent on workload.

    I would recommend everyone read the job description of their manager. Ask yourself what the organization's expectations are of this position. Unless an issue of patient safety arises, there is no need for me to circulate or scrub if I have ensured competent staff are in place.

    The respect of my staff is earned not because I do the work, but because I am a strong advocate for the excellent work that THEY do. I know the AORN standards and I hold them to those standards. I am certified in my role, continually pursue higher education, and ensure my team has the opportunity to participate in evidence-based practices, go back to school, or get their own certifications. I hold them to a very high standard. That is what I feel management is for. Advancing the practice and ensuring the highest standards of patient care in my clinical area.
    Circulator, RN and daVinciNurse like this.


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