Managers staffing???

  1. With the recent threads on short staffing and exhaused nurses.... led me to wonder...

    When you are short, and it's barely safe, how often does management in your unit take any kind of assignment to lessen the load?

    In 5 years my manager never has ONCE even helped with any type of patient care... I was the assistant for a year and a half and jumped in all the time... to the point of burn out... So now I'm back in staffing...where I belong.
  2. Visit nimbex profile page

    About nimbex

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 472; Likes: 10
    rn supervisor


  3. by   Tinkertots
    Originally posted by nimbex
    When you are short, and it's barely safe, how often does management in your unit take any kind of assignment to lessen the load?
    (regaining composure)

    OH MY! I too would be interested if anyone is lucky
    enough to have seen this!
  4. by   labornurse
    Our Unit Manager never thinks twice about jumping in to help. There have been times that I have seen her work for 24 hours, go home and get a few hours sleep and come back to take on 10 pts on the post partum floor. She is always there to back us up. I think she is one in a million.
  5. by   Mattigan
    I am a Nurse Manager and I regularly schedule myself 3,4, or 5 x a week to take care of patients. If it's still crazy at the end of my shift I stay over and help out until it's manageable. On management days or days off the nurses on the floor never hesitate to beep/call me if they need some help or have a problem. If the evening /night shift needs extra or has a call-in I work it and have the assist. manager work my day shift because she has kids at home to be with and I don't.

    I don't think anything I do is other than my job. I do make $1.50 an hour more than the other RN's on the unit. However, since I don't get OT for covering extra shifts or staying over they always take home lots more $$ than me not that $$ has anything to do with it...

    I am accountable for the unit's turn over rate and staff/customer sastifaction complaints and if I couldn't explain them because I didn't know what was going on because I was sitting in my office I really think my career would be redirected by the VP of Nursing. I'm also smart enough to know that if the unit is happy and productive and other staff like to float here and adult patients ask to be put here when they aren't overfow it just makes us all look better. ... but hey - this is Oklahoma and a semi- rural area and maybe we're just different.
  6. by   azgirl
    At a former facility our DON would even come in to help out with shifts at ANY level. Once as a NOC CNA. She burned out in a hurry but what a treasure she was while she was there. Started her own little company of group homes. I would say this is very very rare.
  7. by   jemb
    The last few weeks our dept administrator has been in our unit answering phones, taking messages, making phone calls to other depts, etc, at least half of each shift. She has also arranged for food to be brought to the unit so we could eat whenever we could find a minute. Union rules prevent her from doing patient care, but she does everything she can to keep the unit running safely. We have been unable to fill two vacant slots and one nurse is on an extended sick leave, so we are hurting. Having an administrator who is willing to help is a big plus!
  8. by   eldernurse
    My nurse manager helps every single day. She defies management and calls people in extra so that we have enough nurses. On the days when we are short, she stays, even 16 plus hours until we have it under control. I have made the suggestion in our institution that all Nurse Managers be able to take a patient assignment from time to time. Some of them here are not qualified, haven't taken care of a patient in years, couldn't even if push came to shove around here.
    It makes for a more cohesive unit if you at least think that your nurse manager knows what you put up with on a daily basis because she does it too.
  9. by   bestblondRN
    Yes, your manager is one in a million......I was also a "clinical" manager: I made rounds every day, gave baths, made beds, cleaned butts, walked postops, provided patient education, answered call lights and helped pass meds. I also interfaced with other disciplines to facilitate patient discharges and transfers, and the list goes on. Did I do all of this everyday? No.....but when the chips were down, I was right there. Unfortunately, I wasn't good about attending meetings when I felt the unit was compromised. I also had some problems keeping up with the volumes of paperwork, but it always got done when I was under the gun. Senior management's position was that I had a difficult time prioritizing my management responsibilities from "enabling" the staff. I say BULLS**T--patient care and patients' needs ALWAYS come first--without the patients, we cease to have a function (from the CEO on down.....). I realized that I had mgmt. tasks that had to be done too, but it took a backseat to the patient care. I left that position rather quickly after my evaluation was done, feeling that my point went unheard.

    I never could have worked 24 hours and then come back the next day for another shift of 10 patients (that "S" isn't emblazoned on my chest, but I've done my share of 16-24 hour days--gotta have a little recovery time after that), but I know from the feedback I've had from staff and other folks on the unit, that my staff and patients were always well-supported and that my staff knew I cared. That being said, I feel as though I met my goals!

    I love being back at the bedside and having responsibility for my patients alone. It is really tough being a manager and trying to be the balancing act between staff and senior management. It can be a lonely and thankless job, but can also be very rewarding when you mentor someone along and watch them blossom and grow into a great nurse. your manager a HUGE favor and let her know how much her support means to your staff and the patients you care for. It will make her day, week, month, and year if you just tell her "THANK YOU". :kiss :angel2: :hatparty:
  10. by   renerian
    My boss never lends a hand...............NEVER........

  11. by   bestblondRN
    Originally posted by renerian
    My boss never lends a hand...............NEVER........

    I have a term for people like that: UPOS


    And what exactly DOES your boss do?
  12. by   mario_ragucci
    I am totally out of order here, but what if the manager asked you for help with their work? Could you help them? Often, i have wanted to offer my organizational skills to the Nurse Manager because I am pretty snappy with that. the nurse manager is not dressed in any kind of scrub. What about charge nurses? I've seen some mucky-muck from them at times. It all depends.

  14. by   prn nurse
    I've never seen a manager assist with patient care. I wonder if the size of their units has an impact on the ones who do jump in and assist. Most of the managers in hospitals I've worked in had 3-4 or 5 units they were responsible for.

    If a manager only had one unit, then I could see how they might jump in.

    My current manager was just given her 4th unit. She is responsible for CCU , Tele, a medical unit, and an ENT.