In this article, Jonathan explains what a Nurse Manager is and what makes a someone a good fit for the role.
Nurse Manager is a broad term that is often used to describe someone who is involved in leadership and decision-making in healthcare setting. This could include ward sisters, matrons, and chief nurses to name a few.
Many who work in healthcare aspire to reach these roles in their career, but what makes an individual suitable and a good choice for these roles? I will share some opinions I have learnt in my short career in nursing as to what I believe makes you successful in these roles.
Good Communication Skills
Communication in healthcare is the benchmark for ensuring patients get the timely and appropriate care they require. Any individual who is in a senior position of leadership must have exceptional communication skills as they are the driving force behind all decisions that need making. I have personally witnessed both good and bad communication skills used by Nurse Managers and how this has impacted a patient’s journey.
Good communication meant the patient was kept informed, interventions and tasks were carried out in a timely manner, and the team involved in providing the care felt involved and calm in what they were doing. On the other hand, poor communication can mean patients receiving contrasting information, staff attempting to carry out the same tasks, and both patient and staff feeling uneasy and stressed about the whole situation.
A quick conversation with your staff can make everything simple for all involved and ensure that the patient’s journey is smooth and gives them the appropriate care they deserve.
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Nurse Managers also have a responsibility to make sure that when they are delegating tasks/jobs to individuals that are both competent and confident in what they are being asked to do.
As someone who has now experienced saying no to something I feel is beyond my competencies, it’s no longer difficult to voice my concerns. But when you are newly qualified, you want to prove yourself and show willing, although you might not feel courageous enough to talk to the senior member of staff, perhaps instead sharing your concerns with another colleague.
As a senior member of staff, try to remember what people can and can’t do. If you’re able to, you could even teach the individual how to perform that task, thus increasing their competencies and upskilling a member of your team.
Become the Nurse Manager who people seek out for advice and help.
Commitment To Your Role And Team
Being a Nurse Manager your commitment to the role and your team needs to be evident to everyone around you. You should always be willing to do every task that you delegate to others and should be participating in delivery the care, if time allows.
It can be very difficult to find the balance. From personal experience, I know staff really appreciate if you are willing to get involved rather than be the person who comes out and delivers orders then returns to an office. Equally, if you show your commitment to the team and the role you will often find your staff reciprocate this. In turn, this creates a positive environment to work in and contributes to delivering a high standard of care.
What Do You Think?
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Empathy And Compassion
Healthcare is a tough field. Often, the environment can be fast-paced, emotional, and stressful; Nurse Managers need to be aware of this. Staff are human beings, not robots, and there are situations which occur that can negatively impact individuals’ emotional wellbeing.
Certain situations demand compassion from the healthcare team but also need direction from those in more senior roles. Being aware of people’s personal situations and how they might affect their working life is always beneficial. It is important you show compassion whilst still ensuring that an individual can undertake all tasks given on that day.
As an example, when I was a student, the team where I was working tried to keep me away from a certain patient, as it was likely they were going to pass away. This was important because I had found out one of my friends had died in an accident the night before, but I still choose to go to work. This is an excellent example of good nurse management and showing compassion.
Respect And Creating A Positive Workplace
If Nurse Managers treat their staff with respect, it is likely to create a good working atmosphere and improve retention; people will want to remain part of that team and encourage others to join. Make sure you are a part of the team, but also a capable leader who can be approached for difficult conversations and to help out when required.
The takeaway message would be become the Nurse Manager who people seek out for advice and help, not the one who people are intimidated by or don’t trust.