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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Sharon G Thomas, BSN (University of Missouri-Columbia)
Description: This is the third edition of a book that does exactly what the title advertises. It is designed to help new supervisors meet the challenges their new role brings. This update includes new material on teamwork, stress reduction, using humor in the workplace, and an overview of techniques to improve performance.
Purpose: Many supervisors in nursing homes are promoted and put in the role because of their licenses, not because of their leadership training. They find themselves in the position of being responsible for others' performance, which requires a different way of thinking. The authors meet their objectives in a very concise and organized manner.
Audience: New supervisors in long-term care are the intended readers. Karl Pillemer is experienced in research and development of practical programs to improve the work lives of nursing home staff. His book, Solving the Frontline Crisis in Long-Term Care: Practical Guide to Finding and Keeping Quality Nursing Assistants (Delmar Cengage, 1996), is used to help nursing home leaders appreciate and support the needs of direct care givers. Christine Rheaume's background is in clinical nursing and managed care environments.
Features: The book first identifies the responsibilities of a supervisor and the leadership role. It discusses how to create a vision, mentor, deal with conflict, develop staff, and all areas with which a new supervisor might have difficulty. The approach is clear and concise, not oversimplified, but very basic. In fact, the best thing about the book is that it is basic, not theoretical and not overloaded with advanced approaches. At fewer than 100 pages, the book is not overwhelming. Each chapter ends with a "Spotlight On" feature that recaps the important points from the chapter, a good review.
Assessment: This is a great guide for new supervisors. Reading it as part of orientation to the new role might save a nurse from becoming discouraged and quitting, or not being successful and driving others away. Knowing how important it is to keep and develop staff and helping them feel empowered in their roles as direct care givers is vital for good resident outcomes and good business.