Nurses in Charge

  1. In this changing environment, I am wondering what you think are the most important things a nurse manager can do to help make your jobs more satisfactory.
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    About Lburns

    Joined: Feb '01; Posts: 20


  3. by   MD_Rn
    Boy did you ask a loaded question

    I often hear my coworkers wondering actually where our manager is. I think it is important that a nurse manager be available to the staff. I know, I know you have like a zillion meetings to go to. But, I think it makes the staff feel better when they know they can go to their manager with issues and problems. I think they feel more confident in him/her if she is a visible presecnce on the unit. It isn't so bad in the trenches, c'mon down

    And of course, there is always the staffing issue... We need more staff, we are not saying it just to vent, b*tch, moan and grumble. Nurses are a conscientious bunch, we expect to give excellent patient care and we expect the staff to do so. We are not living under a rock, we are aware of the nursing shortage because we are feeling its impacts. But we are also aware of spending in hospitals that could be converted into contracting a nurse. We don't want to hear excuses drummed up by the executive upper crust. We want a pair of gloved hands. We want to give our patients our best. And we need a nurse manager who will listen, stand up for us, and not fill our heads with a bunch of manager-ese.

    We want to be reminded that our efforts are appreciated. Please let your staff know what a good job they are doing and that you are aware of how difficult it is to be a good nurse in these times. You may have no control over monetary praise, but sometimes just praise in and of itself works wonders too.

    Nurse manager... Listen, support, act, appreciate.
  4. by   purplemania
    Maybe this falls under "appreciation" but it would be helpful to remember the night shift is in a different world than day shift. scheduling staff meetings during our sleep time is very hard for us. We have a pay freeze on so I quit attending meetings as there was no incintive, it completely messes up my sleep, I feel infringed upon and the info is stuff you can get in writing anyway and don't need to be there. Stay in touch with the night crew. Work a shift now and again to keep a pulse on their world.
  5. by   swmn
    I would really appreciate it if my nurse managers would not confuse "nurse manager" with "charge nurse". (DANG IT!!) A "charge nurse" is on the floor throughout the shift and is responsible - to the nurse manager to be sure- but is nonetheless responsible minute to minute for just what the heck is going on.

    "I'm sorry, our nurse manager is in charge here Mr. patient's disgruntled family member, only our nurse manager is also at a meeting with the big wigs to learn how to provide better care to disgruntled family members, why just like you. Now you hold that thought, you hear? And have a seat in this chair right here for, oh, about four hours or so...."

    I agree we are all "in charge" of our own patients, and I am sure this varies from unit to unit too; but by golly you can not be "in charge" and off the floor for half the day at whatever meetings it is you have to go to.

    Name a team leader and go to your darn meetings. For me to continue to provide good care, I need food, as in calories, about halfway through, and 30 seconds quality time with a candy bar while I am waiting on you to get back on the floor and start relieving people for lunch ain't it.

    End of rant.
  6. by   susanmary
    Originally posted by Lburns:
    In this changing environment, I am wondering what you think are the most important things a nurse manager can do to help make your jobs more satisfactory.
    My suggestions are very simple.
    1. Realistic staffing based on patient acuity.
    2. Coverage so staff can have their break/meal.
    3. Performance-based raises in addition to cost-of-living raises.
    4. Adjust salaries of staff to reflect the salaries new hires are receiving.
    5. Advocate for tuition/seminar reimbursement.
    6. Be visible on the floor, be supportive, be fair.
    7. Walk the walk, don't just talk the talk.
    8. Go the extra mile -- when an employee goes above & beyond -- send a letter to that employee with a copy to their file.
    9. Let staff know of changes that affect them -- give them a say when possible.
    10. Pitch in occasionally.
    11. When there is a snowstorm, etc. -- come in to work and be a leader.
    12. Show them that you stand behind them. A loyal manager will have loyal employees. A great manager will not have huge turnover. Actions speak louder than words. Think about it.

    Best of luck to you.

    [This message has been edited by susanmary (edited March 06, 2001).]