This report is about the observations I made and the experiences I had with a nurse manager at the Nursing and Patient Care Services, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.
Nurse Managers provide help to patients by managing nurses who give care to them. Their major roles are recruitment of nursing staff and ensure their retention in the nursing facility. Overseeing them is also part of their role. Moreover, they occasionally enter into collaborations with doctors in providing care of patients and assisting them, and also their families. Essentially, they wear many hats. The extra hats include managing finances of the nursing facility or hospital, overseeing any paperwork activities like the medical records of patients and rendering any disciplinary action on truant nursing staff. In a nutshell, they act as a perfect liaison between the various physician groups, nursing staff, and the healthcare facility. He/she guides nursing staff while focusing on contributing to the success of the organization.
The nursing manager’s job is managerial in nature, has many faces, involves interacting with patients, occurs majorly behind the scenes, and it is fast-paced. They are responsible for nursing practice and the quality of care for patients in a single unit or department. At all levels he/she works to address emerging trends, integrate ideas that are innovative, and to actualize shared goals of efficiency, excellence in nursing practice, and delivery of high-quality service.
The nurse manager exhibited a wide spectrum of behaviors that shaped the wide-ranging management styles she adapted. First, servant leadership permeated her style of leadership. She was always at the fore-front in forging relationships and bettering the skills of each nursing staff she came in contact with. Consequently, she influenced them and motivated them greatly. Of note, she looked into the needs of every individual staff and worked hard to ensure that these needs were addressed amicably. At some moments, she engaged the entire team in making crucial decisions for her unit. She espoused servant leadership by being an active listener, persuading those below her, showing commitment to growing others, and being aware of the various needs of the staff and patients.
The nurse manager had great foresight and was in touch with the vision and mission of her unit. She went the extra mile in motivating her staff members through the shared mission and vision of the unit. Her focus was to transform the unit on a daily basis thus exemplifying transformational leadership. She was charismatic enough to communicate this vision and mission aptly and with great ease and finesse. Moreover, she was confident enough and mostly acted in ways that inspired other staff. She garnered a lot of respect and loyalty just by communicating to them their importance. On many occasions, he showered them with praise and encouragement thus shoring up their self-belief and eagerness to deliver in their duties.
Additionally, the nurse manager will most times give responsibilities and accountability to workers regarding their performance. Never at any moment did she micro-manage them. She encouraged open communication and the participation of staff in decision-making process. Here, she exemplified a great deal of democratic leadership. She valued existence of valuable cohesive relationships within the unit and placed maximum focus on improving quality of systems and nursing processes. To demonstrate democratic leadership, she gave a wide berth to mistakes made by individual member of a team and concentrated on bettering the quality of systems and nursing processes. In doing this, she promoted trust, communication and sharing of issues, and excellent teamwork.
The nurse manager at Nursing and Patient Care Services, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore was well acquainted in problem-solving skills. She would spend a lot of time and energy identifying the real problem or issue at hand.
At some moments, she used the nursing process to solve problems arising effectively. This entails assessing of the nurse’s patient focusing on the problems intensely, coming up with a plan of care and communicating it to the nursing staff. After developing the plan; next it is the implementation stage. Here the standards, guidelines and best practices are implemented. After implementation, evaluation of the results of interventions is done. This involved checking, making an observation appraising the interventions.
The nurse manager was also conversant with the scientific process of problem solving. Essentially, she would identify a problem; analyze the prevailing conditions, making an exploration of the available alternatives putting in consideration their consequences. She would then choose the solution that was most desirable. Implementation the decision was next. Ultimately, she would no fail to evaluate the results of the changes. The one setback of this process is that it fails to set concrete objectives.
The nurse manager also did not fail to adapt to the managerial decision-making process. Here she would dutifully set objectives to apply in solving the problem. Next she would search for appropriate alternatives, choose the most appropriate alternative before settling down to implement it. Lastly, she would design a follow-up and control mechanism.
Solving problems in this unit was easy and straightforward. She encouraged every person within the unit to present their issues or any problems afflicting them to the requisite authorities without wasting any precious time or sweeping them under the carpet. It was envisaged that the concerned people will help them out.
Moreover, the nurse manager aimed at resolving the issues in a proactive manner without causing any uproar in the unit. Issues requiring disciplinary action were firmly handled with without remorse and the parties concerned were counseled on the essence of the protecting image of the unit by avoiding any kind of jeopardizing like being negligent, rude to patients and throwing the professionally ethics code outside the window.
For me, if I were in the nurse manager’s position I would have embraced more incorporation of dialogue approach in seeking solutions to problems. Dialogue offers a chance to people to express themselves and explain any issues or problems amicably. It also provides an opportunity for better solutions to present themselves. Dialoguing sets the precedence to a harmonious existence, cooperation in teams and ultimate success of the unit.
The unit had a robust culture where healthy interpersonal relations were in plenty. The interpersonal relationships make the unit a lively place to work at. Lots of friendships abound. This is amazing considering the diverse backgrounds of the staff. These friendships enable smooth flow of healthcare services to patients.
Both formal and informal communication was encouraged in this unit. Formal communication came in the form of written unit reports addressed to the seniors, patients’ health records and memos. The language used in formal communication is American English. Informal communication occurred most often among the staff who would catch up on matters such as the current happenings in the nursing field, common banter like sports and politics, and the current offers in the entertainment world. This casual talk among the staff helped to strengthen teams, to understand their needs and how they can be provided for.
Interestingly, this unit is comprised staff from very varied backgrounds; racially, ethnically, culturally and socially. All the staff work harmoniously and their diversity is highly respected and valued. People from diverse origins will normally be a great blend because of the varying skills, attitudes and abilities they are bringing on board. This nursing unit prides so much in this state of affairs. The leadership through the nurse manager encourages the staff to appreciate the prevalent diversity and celebrate it daily. Any forms of cultural, racial, and social intolerance are frowned upon and totally discouraged. The staff is implored to carry out their duties with professionalism, intelligence and leverage on the differing abilities and knowledge of each other. This communication and promotion of appreciation of diversity at Johns Hopkins Hospital, nursing unit lays credence to the first-class treatment all patients get regardless of their origins.
The leadership and management concepts in the reading assignment do not differ so much from the current practice observed in clinical settings. The management styles and ethos practiced in clinical settings brightly radiate in the reading assignment. This indicates the ease of adaptation of the standard concepts to nursing units.