Can you hear me now...listening to your staff


As a nurse manager, all who have been here are aware of the multitude of important issues that come up during our work day. Most of us are 'just doing our job', no more and no less, when it comes to explaining the meaning of the words 'working in the healthcare field' in today's economy. Most Nurse Managers have worked in the nursing profession for several years, have worked as Licensed Practical Nurses and even as nursing assistants or other non-skilled employees in the healthcare and are very much aware of what their employees are managing on a daily basis. I feel that the healthcare profession has many obstacles in it's way to success, but the most important one is the attitude of the employees that work for an organization. Attitude towards each other, our patients and ancillary staff can make a huge difference in our daily interactions and eventually in the weeks, months and years that we spend doing what we do together.

Nurse Managers have a responsibility to set the standards of behavior in the workplace, and like it or not, if attitudes of employees are getting in the way to quality or efficiency of the jobs we do, behaviors must be dealt with to resolve the issues. The company I work for uses a Job Satisfaction Survey to reach out to it's employees and pick up on problems in the workplace. As long as the employees are honest in their answers and actually complete the surveys, they work. For the rest of us, the best advice I have is to have an 'open door' policy, where you invite your staff to sit down and chat with you doing your work day about anything and everything that is working or not working for them. It has been my best tool as a manager and it seems to have a positive influence with my staff. Does anyone else have any quick tips to share?


590 Posts

Specializes in Oncology. Has 5 years experience.

I find that the attitude that an employee is replaceable makes employees feel disrespected, unneeded, and they aren't loyal. They are also unsatisfied and hate their jobs. If management cared as much about keeping good employees and making a good work environment as they did about controlling "employee attitudes" and saving money, nursing would be way better to be in.


240 Posts

Specializes in Medical Surgical & Nursing Manaagement. Has 21 years experience.

What staff members sometimes fail to realize that we have a job to do. We are managers not miracle workers.

For instance....staff complain they are short staffed........I spend hours trying to staff the unit but can pull people out of the woodwork when we get unexpected sick calls nor do they want to stay and do an extra shift or part of a shift. Many times they prefer moaning and groaning.

Hospitals are a business, as much as staff members don't like to hear that, it still is a business. Units need to be run as a business, cost conscious, sensitive to our customer needs = our patients, working together to achieve positive outcomes. I try very hard to balance things so everyone is happy, patients, doctors, administration and yes, believe it or not staff. I believe and live by a philosophy that we have to take care of our own otherwise we can't expect them to take care of our patients. Unfortunately, some staff members buy into this philosophy when it comes to themselves, but when it comes to their peers/co-workers and our patients its all about them! Yes at times I'm tired of trying to please EVERYONE but I took on the job as Manager and that's my job!


55 Posts

Sounds like you are defending yourself. But nurses recognize all those catch phrases, the more they change, the more they stay they same....such as, in these economic times. Hospitals are still a business. Attitudes get in the way. There's always an excuse by management on why a unit is short staffed....if a business can't manage its finances well enough to provide adequate staffing, don't put that on the employee to pick up slack, at their own detriment, early burnout, physical and mental fatigue. Etc. Especially when the CEO gets close to a million dollar yearly bonus. Personally, I don't think a business should be discussing its budget limitations with employees, and since they don't want to hear my budget limitations, please keep that to yourself. Besides, there's a reason why you have a limited budget to hire I don't mean to be short, just giving you a point of view.