Toxic Managers

  1. I have been a nurse for 20 years & have had many managers, but the current manager of our med/surg unit is destroying our unit. I work @ a 24 bed rural hospital in a small community where we know a majority of our patients on a first name basis. Our current manager of 2 years has ruined staff morale, our staff turnover is the highest it has ever been. We are short 2 full time RN'S & 2 Tech positions. She has told several staff " if you don't like it here then you need to look elsewhere for a job". Our staff is dedicated & provide excellent care to our patients. She has recently told an RN "you have 30 secs to talk to me, after that I'm not listening". She doesn't believe in having to compliment staff for doing the job they were hired to do. Communication is non existent unless there is something that was done wrong. She doesn't return phone calls, answer emails or communicate pertinent information that is needed for the dept to run smoothly.
    I see how she is ruining our department which has affected the care we provide to our patients. Given the fact that we ARE a rural hospital - every patients bad experience infiltrates the community & changes the outstanding reputation we are known for as evidenced by lower patient scores. I am in desperate need of advice regarding what to do. I can't sit back & watch our valuable staff quit & non existent morale continue. Upper management has seen our rapid turnover, open positions & decrease in patient scores but yet hasn't intervened seeing as though the staffing issue has been going on for at least the past 8 months. Staff is being mandated for the open shifts & are Simply Burned out & calling in sick. Any advice is desperately needed.
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    About Djadia

    Joined: May '12; Posts: 9; Likes: 3
    from WI , US


  3. by   jrt4
    Sounds like a pretty tough experience...

    It sounds like the first layer of the problem is communication. I find that being prompt with email and returning calls is something that is easy to do and has a lasting impact. I also can have a certain appreciation for the phrase "if the direction we are heading is something that is a deal breaker for you then maybe this isn't the place for you"...sometimes people need to hear that but there is some finesse involved to making that a productive conversation.

    Have you tried having a conversation with your manager about your concerns. Obviously, I would phrase them a little differently than you have on this message board. I imagine there is some accountability not only on the manager but also the staff. A manager certainly cannot improve or decrease morale on their own so I would look for any common ground. What can you bring as an opportunity or an olive branch so to speak?

    Does your unit have a unit advisory council made up of staff?

    I think the first step is having a professional conversation with your manager to see if you can reach some sort of understanding...I find that often when I find out about things people are upset about regardless of if it has anything to do with me...I am often the last to find out. Maybe she needs some awareness about what she is doing that is decreasing engagement and satisfaction.

    If you are unable to have a productive conversation with your manager then I would advise you to take your concerns to the director of your department. Do not do this before speaking with your manager first. It will most likely reflect badly on you if you do not try to resolve this with your manager before taking it to her boss.

    There are often 2 sides to every story so its important to go in with an open mind.

    I hope this helps!
  4. by   Djadia
    Your response couldn't have came at better time. It's reassuring to know that someone understands & can offer advice. I've accepted the fact that if the dynamics on our unit don't improve, I need to move on. I can't be a nurse in a facility that nolonger shares the morals & values of why I chose nursing as a career. Thanks.