I've been visiting this website for a year and a half and it has been very helpful to me during my nursing school. I come to you all with some questions about your leadership and management style. I need those of you who are at charge nurse level or above to answer the following questions, please.
I know these may take a while, but I would really appreciate your input. It's for a project in my leadership class and I need as much feedback as possible.
1. What is your educational preparation? Diploma Nursing School trained
2. What is the exact title of your position? Administrative Nursing Supervisor
(prior to that have been a charge nurse on a busy 27 bed ER and charge in variety of hospital settings-M/S, PCU, Oncology)
3. How long have you been in your position? 6 months
4. Describe how you lead and how you motivate others. My belief is to maintain calm during chaos, lead by example, maintain a good rapport with my nursing staff as well as all physicians and other ancillary staff and of course our pt's and their families, keep up moral at all times and to recognize(pat on the back) those who go beyond whether it may individual or entire nursing units themselves(I have made a "GET ER' DONE" award that I give to units who may have a busy/bad day but who banded together and got the job done and done well). I am one of 3 dayshift supervisors at my facility and always hear' Oh we are glad that you are on today" and this is from staff as well as directors. I don't believe in killing the units to empty the ER(and make the ER happy-which sometimes confuses the ER staff since my past 7 yrs have been as an ER nurse) and I always well aware of how many pt's my staff are caring for, who's where and what's going on house-wide. My lead supervisor have a difference of opinion as I come to work in scrubs
,stethoscope/lab coat whereas he comes in wearing street clothes. I tell that first and formost I am a nurse, then a supervisor. I have no problems starting IV's, putting NG tubes in, getting involved in codes from CPR to meds, and even help out on Labor and Delivery where I am a big fish out water, but will when watch the nursery and feed a newborn too. I am a big advocate of humor as(always have been) and am always able to brighten someones day and/or get them to smile and laugh. I don't ask or expect staff to anything that I wouldn't do, I expect all working to do their jobs to the best of their abilities(regardless of their position), I base my nursing practice(as well as my staff's) on the Scope of Nursing set by the state of Florida as well as facility-based practice expectations, and abide by all corporate and facilty standards set by by employers, I tolerate no unprofessionalism from anyone when I am on-house and will mediate all little in-house spats if needed(nursing unit vs lab etc). I also believe in mentoring the staff wherever and whenever possible to help them to learn and to grow as caring members of our team.
5. What qualities would you identify as necessary to be a successful leader?
1)excellent communication/people skills
2)good knowledge base
3)good sense of humor
4)cool, calm demeanor
6)sense of fair play
1) without this you would have the abliltiy to deal with people from a leadership role, would never be able to establish the rapport that is vital to be able to communicate with others and would never earn the respect of your staff, peers, management and others.
2) need this to to make right decisions, poor knowledge base could lead to improper placement of a pt to unit they need to be, hence setting the odds against them and allowing for proper care not to be rendered. Also needed to help your staff to learn, to show them are competent and deserving of their trust and faith in you.
3)this I find helps to make people smile, not take life so seriously and to reduce stress/lighten up tense situations.
4) if I run around like a chicken without a head every time something happens or during busy/crazy/chaotic times then how can expect my staff to react any other way, remaining calm, cool, and collected goes a long way to help set an example for my staff, give them a base or anchor to hold onto so they know we will make it through the day or situation etc.
5) being in a leadership role doesn't automatically make one a leader, a leader is someone who can handle things and people in a fair and professional way all of the time, yelling, screaming, finger-pointing are all things that detract from the team approach that you'd want in the first. I have worked for really good and really bad leaders and bad ones make your job ever so much harder.
6)have to play by one set of rules and establish that no one gets treated any better or any worse than anyone else, I function very well in my role and get along with everyone, yeah there are some who you become a little more buddy-buddy with but there must always be that seperation that though we may be friends I am still your supervisor and there are expectations I have from them as well everyone else(ex; "No, I can't just take off you for that day, the floor would be short, you need to find someone to cover it for you, oh and by the don't think calling will get it done-I'll know about it, then we will need to chat
7) I am an avid professional nurse and expect the same from my nurses, don't deviate from that standard or you will answer for it, I have no qualms in suspending one for irrational or insubordinate behavior and have been involved in a termination over an abandonment by a staff member thus far.
8) my firm belief is now and always has been that we all pull together and work as team in which each member doing what is necessary to accomplish the common goal and provide safe patient for and we will survive the day/storm/crisis etc or we will surely die as a group and fail our patients with potential for bad outcomes.
6. What is the biggest challenge you face in your leadership position? Why?
right now our corporation is pushing for for our facilities to be"Agency Free" which in the real world is not always feasible, if you have 100% staffing and a large per-diem pool then maybe that would work. Lately I have encountered some frustration in being able to obtain the agency we needed to staff our units(one time resulted in a large amount of pt's being help in the ER overnight) so in some ways I find myself in a quandry as to having differing philosophical beliefs with regard to agency use, I don't use them indiscriminately or because someone off for a shift. When I first started I was told by my CEO that it's all about the safety of our patients and when I ask for agency use it's with that in mind. We do try and call in other staff but our numbers aren't great and everyone is working OT already.
7. What are the most gratifying aspects of your leadership position? Why?
When I get phone calls in the morning from charge nurses on the floor who say, "just wanted to see who's on today, glad it's you, we'll have a good day now". Some staff will say can I have a copy of your schedule so I can plan mine. The directors know when I work my every other weekend that their units are watched over and if there's a problem I will handle it if possible or call them if not. Hearing people when I call the units hold the phone and say,
"the supervisor's on the phone". Having people greet me in the hallway and call me sir. Having the physicians recognize me for who I am, and work with me. I have wanted to be a supervisor my whole career and I get kinda of a rush from the fact I am doing it and people respond to me in the position. During my 90 day eval I told my CNO(a lady I admire most highly and worked for 5 yrs under at another facility) that everything i have ever done in my career(20 yrs) has led me to what I am currently doing as everything I have done and/or learned has come to play in my current position.
8. How does diversity of workers or patients impact your workplace?