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Rock Your Health: How nurse leaders deal with change

Nurse leaders know that change is inevitable. If you don’t embrace it and welcome it, or at least accept it, you might find yourself fighting a losing battle.

Awareness is an important first step in the change process. Do a quick personal assessment of your situation, be honest with yourself, and be open to what you discover. Ask yourself:

What is changing for you and your staff?

Why are these changes occurring?

Where do you spend most of your time: fighting the change or managing the change?

What do your feelings tell you about what you are doing?

What support do you need when working through change?

What steps do you need to take to reduce the stress and move forward with the possibilities?

You don’t have to go through this alone. People like me help people like you every day using coaching techniques. If you need support, please contact me for a sample coaching session.

Another way to avoid the legal hot seat

Keep certifications and trainings current

How often do you review staff certifications and trainings to make sure they’re current?


Now choose the best answer: continually, very frequently, or every week.

If certifications and trainings have lapsed and a patient is injured, those records become evidence against the hospital. And you will find yourself in the hot seat.

Let’s look at how expired certifications and unaddressed competencies can come home to roost. Imagine that your unit is sued in a wrongful death action after unsuccessful emergency resuscitation efforts. The attorney for the patient’s family discovers that one of the nurses working the code wasn’t current in CPR. That out-of-date certification raises doubts about [more]

Assessing nursing quality and patient safety

Interest in using a variety of nursing engagement surveys as a reportable quality indicator is growing.

This article, written by Cheryl Clark, appears in the June 2015 issues of HealthLeaders magazine.

Do your hospital’s nurses feel empowered? Are nurses’ relationships with physicians strong enough that nurses can call out errors or ask questions without fear? Do they think their hospital hires enough nurses with appropriate skills and provides enough resources to provide safe and timely care? Are nurses involved in making policy?

When nurses are surveyed on these and related questions, which they increasingly are, poor scores may indicate troublesome systemic issues that could, directly or indirectly, affect quality of care, even adverse events. A drop in scores can often be tracked down to a specific hospital unit, research has shown. And poor scores may correlate to “nursing sensitive” patient outcomes, such as patient falls, lengths of stay, pressure ulcers, and infections.

Simply put, this measure is asking nurses what they think about the organization for which they work and how well they trust the care they deliver in their work environments.

Read the full article here.

Pay equity: Who said it?

As a footnote to Rebecca’s post regarding Barton Quoteour reader poll focusing on pay equity between male and female nurses, I want
to share the following quote with you…

Without doing a Google search, can you identify the speaker? Add a comment if so…

Improving the image of nursing

Every nurse can play a part in elevating the public perception of the nursing profession. The table below shows you how email, evidence-based research, reasonable work schedules, a diverse workforce, preceptorships, interprofessional communication skills, and name tags can promote the professional image of nursing. This table was adapted from the HCPro book, The Image of Nursing, by Shelley Cohen, RN, MS, CEN and Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN.

 imageof nursing table 2

Dealing with tardy nurses

Some people appear effortlessly organized and always manage to be on time. Others are perpetually frazzled and think five minutes late equates to being early. Parents of small children usually fall into the latter category!

How do you deal with nurses who are frequently late? Comment below and let us know.

Learning patient satisfaction from the Ritz

Yet another company outside the field of healthcare has offered its services to teach hospitals something about customer service and excellence. Of course, the customers in healthcare are patients, and taking care of them is different than taking care of customers.

Still, we’ve seen Disney offering lessons to healthcare institutions, and now the Ritz-Carlton. Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, TN, signed a $388,000 contract with the Ritz to help the hospital change its culture to service excellence.

What do you think? Is this a passing fad? Or is this the beginning to really focusing on patient satisfaction and service excellence in healthcare?

Source: Tami Swartz, Patient Safety Monitor Blog

Best practices for filling out incident reports

Incidents reports are a pain to fill out, but vital for documenting what happened and protecting yourself and your staff. This week, Patricia A. Duclos-Miller, MS, RN, CNA, BC, provides some best practices.

You and your staff may think that incident reports are more trouble than they are worth-but think again.

We work in high-stress, fast-paced environments. It is your responsibility as a member of the nursing management team to understand not only the importance of the incident report, but also how to ensure that your staff completes them and how to investigate incidents to avoid any further occurrences. Your investigation will also provide possible defense if during your investigation you identify a system failure and take the necessary corrective action(s).

The purpose of the incident report is to refresh the memories of both the nurse manager/supervisor and the staff nurse. While the clinical record is patient-focused, the incident report is incident-focused. The benefit to you and your staff is that years after the event, the incident report will help you and the persons involved remember what happened. [more]

Manager tip of the month: Be a good boss

Bob Sutton, a professor at Stanford University, is the author of the book Good Boss, Bad Boss. He reminds us of the balancing act related to being effective while also being respected in a leadership role. During his podcast “How to be the best boss”, he reveals the following considerations:

  • You must combine competence with compassion.
  • Many leaders are out of tune with what it is like to work for them! Get feedback from your staff.
  • Long term loyalty is your goal.
  • Your enemies “lie in wait,” waiting to crush you – be alert.
  • The skill of being a best boss is learned over time – it is a “craft.”
  • Listen to staff and encourage them to be engaged in dealing with conflict.
  • Be respectful of differing opinions.
  • Understand the work that the people you lead actually do.

Listen to this free podcast at:

Visit Shelley's website, Health Resources Unlimited.


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.