RSSArchive for August, 2010

The importance of succession planning and training nurse managers

By Betty Noyes, RN, MA

The management gap in healthcare is a real and increasing issue of concern. We do not seem to have enough talented managers to meet the goals of our organizations.

Without sufficient skills, first-line managers do not benefit an organization. The first step to increase the number and education of managers is to provide effective training designed to specifically improve organizational performance.

Currently, healthcare costs are high. When all elements of healthcare reform are implemented, higher costs may ensue. There will be a demand for more change and greater resilience from our management teams. Unless we have managers who are resourceful in their management skills, we will not achieve new and improved ways to succeed in the goals of safe, high-quality care at a reasonable cost.


Enhance the patient experience: Four pointers on nonverbal communication

I’ve been doing a lot of communication skill training recently and I’m repeatedly impressed by the impact that nonverbal dynamics have between staff and customers on rapport, trust, and mutual respect.

I’ve been privileged to observe many people’s nonverbal behavior as they try their hand at various everyday scenarios. And here’s what I see:

  • Some people say the right thing, but their nonverbal behavior doesn’t support what they’re saying
  • Some staff respond to the content of what their customer is saying, even when the customer’s nonverbal behaviors communicate a completely different message
  • When asked to help each other communicate better, most people focus on “what you can say that might be better,” not on opportunities to communicate better nonverbally

These observations have prompted me to think more about how to make nonverbal communication work for us as we strive to create great patient/customer experiences.


Take a vacation: Why nurse leaders need time off

By Marsha Egan, CPCU, PCC, ICF

You’re more likely to get burned if you don’t spend some time outside the hospital walls this summer. Burnout is a leading downfall for many busy nurse managers, but here’s one way to prevent it.

Take a vacation! Even if you only have a couple days, it’s vital to maximize your R&R.

Being a nurse leader is not easy and comes with a lot of responsibility, but even you can beat the heat of job stress with the following vacation strategies.

Take the time: Even if you haven’t racked up enough hours for a week-long vacation, make time for a mini vacation. Use the weekend or two days in a row that you have off to take trip to a friend’s or family member’s house to relax.

Plan it out: Plan your vacation months ahead of time. It can be almost as gratifying just thinking about an upcoming trip as it will be to actually take it. Also, it will help get you through stressful times when you know you have something fun coming up. Put up reminders that you’ll see every day. Mark the trip on the calendar, put a picture of the beach you’re going to in your purse or wallet, and make the background of your computer something you’re excited to see on your trip.


Online breathing technique program helps reduce stress in nurses and patients

Nurses are well aware of the stress that comes with the job. Taking care of numerous patients at varying levels of sickness, and dealing with many competing priorities, is enough to make anyone stressed out. Now, with the help of the BREATHE technique, nurses and patients can lower their blood pressure, heart rate, and experience a decrease in stress.

The BREATHE technique was developed by John M. Kennedy, medical director of preventative cardiology at Marina del Rey Hospital in California. It’s a 15-minute computer program that helps ease the stress of nurses and patients by combining deep breathing with guided imagery.