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New manager needs help

Nurses   (2,883 Views | 15 Replies)

NurseyPoo7 has 7 years experience and specializes in Acute Care.

7,411 Profile Views; 275 Posts

I recently took on a nurse manager position. I've never really worked in leadership before other than being a charge nurse. I really want to focus on building the employees up. I am not the type that wants to discipline or write them up all the time. I try to compliment the nurses and CNAs on a regular basis, but I always feel like I am saying the same thing (you're doing a really great job, you're a very compassionate nurse, etc) . I am not very eloquent with my vocabulary and am looking to you all for help.

What is the best compliment you've received from your boss? What are some things or phrases I can use?

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1,381 Posts; 10,729 Profile Views

I would cite specific examples. That let's me know my manager notices. If she just came up to me one day and told me I was a compassionate nurse... without an example... I probably would brush it off as just "building morale" and not entirely sincere.

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14 Followers; 4,218 Posts; 32,792 Profile Views

Personal opinion: I would respond to a manager that is honest and as even-handed and straightforward as is possible. I don't require pats on the back, happy notes, or anything of the sort. I just want to be dealt with like an adult professional. For example, if a policy or workflow needs to change, state the true reason as best you can without compromising your relationships with superiors. In my observation managers and nurses are often at odds due to a lack of general authenticity being promoted in the relationship.

Best wishes in your new role ~

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AceOfHearts<3 specializes in Critical care.

896 Posts; 14,682 Profile Views

I second citing specific instances and not being generalized. It meant a lot to me when my manager recognized how great I am at getting my patients discharged in a timely manner- a lot times discharged in the morning or at the very least within an hour or so of the order being placed. That meant a lot to me because I really bust my hiney to make it happen for the patients sake and for the sake of the next patient who may be waiting in the ED for a bed- I certainly didn't come out ahead.

Be the manager that helps answer call bells when everyone is swamped. The one who helps toilet a patient or will lend a hand during a bed bath. Be the manager that escorts transfers to the ICU with the patients nurse as an added level of support. Be upfront when new crappy policies are instituted from higher up- say if you think it's crap but that the unit will make its best effort and that will be enough.

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NurseLatteDNP has 15 years experience as a MSN, DNP, RN and specializes in Education, Administration, Magnet.

825 Posts; 11,379 Profile Views

Complete leader rounds on the patients on your unit. Ask the patients who they want to recognize and why. Send a hand-written note to the home of the staff member. Describe that you are thankful for their work with that specific patient for that specific intervention. Include a closing statement that you are thankful that they are part of your team. I also include a gift card or a movie ticket.

My staff members love this kind of acknowledgement. They get to show it off at home. Many of my nurses are millenials and tell me that their parents love how I'm treating them. This is just one of the things I am doing for the staff to feel appreciated. My unit has the highest employee recognition scores on the whole 980 bed hospital.

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iluvivt has 32 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion.

2,738 Posts; 25,197 Profile Views

Be careful sending those notes to your employees home with a patients name and details that could further identify them. Personally I would not do this as it it too risky for a HIPAA violation unless you leave names and details out of it.What if they leave the note on their refrigerator and their housekeeper or family and friends see it. I love the idea but you need to delete any identifying information.

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HeySis has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PACU.

435 Posts; 5,949 Profile Views

I agree with others, make sure your compliments are specific to what that nurse actually did/does. This means getting to know your employees and working side by side with them occasionally. I love the idea of asking patients if there is anyone they would like to recognize and for what, I personally wouldn't need a note mailed to my home, I'd rather have it real time (the same/next day). Also get to know the people you work with, when my manager asks me how one of my kids is doing, when there has been something hard or fantastic...and knows the child's name, I really appreciate it. It shows she knows that I am more than her employee, more than a nurse, but that I have a life of celebration and disappointments outside of work.

Edited by HeySis
typo...somehow I made the word nurse =horse, I'd like to blame spell checker..... but I just have poor typing skills.

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NurseLatteDNP has 15 years experience as a MSN, DNP, RN and specializes in Education, Administration, Magnet.

825 Posts; 11,379 Profile Views

Be careful sending those notes to your employees home with a patients name and details that could further identify them. Personally I would not do this as it it too risky for a HIPAA violation unless you leave names and details out of it.What if they leave the note on their refrigerator and their housekeeper or family and friends see it. I love the idea but you need to delete any identifying information.

Of course I would never mention patients by name. I identify the specific situation that the nurse excelled in.

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

16 Followers; 3,900 Posts; 42,596 Profile Views

Know what kinds of things you want your staff to report to you and what kinds of things you don't want to be bothered with. If someone in good faith suspects drug diversion or impairment, of course you want that brought to your attention. If a patient is unhappy despite everyone's best efforts, you want to know.

You don't want to know if someone has been "rude" to someone else, refused to trade shifts, didn't say good morning, etc. Legitimate performance issues are your concern. Interpersonal squabbles between adults are not.

Congratulations on your new position.

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BSNbeDONE has 34 years experience as a ASN, BSN, LPN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health.

2,466 Posts; 25,132 Profile Views

I prefer to just be left alone so that I can do my job and get off on time. No need for pleasantries, thank-you's, definitely no time to fill out anonymous surveys. If you want to win me over, answer a few call lights...meaning go down and see what the patient needs and give it to him or her if you're able to; or trouble-shoot some of those ridiculous complaints when "the nurse" is already knee-deep in **** and doesn't have time to fluff yet another pillow.

If I see you do any one or similar of these things a couple of times, that's all I need to make that hop onto your bandwagon.:yes:

*Of course, I'm no longer at the bedside; but we never know if circumstances sends us back to it.;)

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61 Posts; 722 Profile Views

I recently took on a nurse manager position. I've never really worked in leadership before other than being a charge nurse. I really want to focus on building the employees up. I am not the type that wants to discipline or write them up all the time. I try to compliment the nurses and CNAs on a regular basis, but I always feel like I am saying the same thing (you're doing a really great job, you're a very compassionate nurse, etc) . I am not very eloquent with my vocabulary and am looking to you all for help.

What is the best compliment you've received from your boss? What are some things or phrases I can use?

Don't try to use canned phrases or else you will come across sounding insincere. Be approachable, and be honest. Try to give pinpointed behaviors that you see, both when pointing out someone's strength, and also when you need to redirect behavior. Like it or not, as a manager, you have to address the bad behavior as well as the good, or you're not doing your job. Give pinpointed feedback, "you did a really good job teaching that family member how to give an injection," or "I appreciate the way you were a team player when you helped your coworker admit that patient."

Highly recommend you do some reading on performance management. There are some easy to read books available on Amazon, but PM will help you with learning how to give good specific feedback. And your team will feel like they know exactly what you expect from them, which builds trust.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 13,952 Posts; 173,089 Profile Views

Scripting is disrespectful to patients; it would be equally disrespectful to your employees.

The best compliments I have ever received were honest and sincere and accompanied by an example -- a real example. You don't have to have an enormous vocabulary. Just notice the things your employees do well and sincerely compliment them. "You really calmed down that irate family member -- great work!" means a lot if you've just calmed down a difficult family member. Complimenting someone's compassion when you cannot immediately come up with an example is insincere and wouldn't be meaningful.

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