Pub. Date:
Elsevier Health Sciences
A Nurse's Survival Guide to Leadership and Management on the Ward / Edition 2

A Nurse's Survival Guide to Leadership and Management on the Ward / Edition 2

by Jenny Thomas BSc(Hons), RGN, CertM


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This is a short, practical guide to situations and problems faced by ward managers, sisters and charge nurses today. It covers leadership and management directly related to situations that arise daily on the ward.

This book will help you to
• Organise yourself and your workload
• Manage staff, people and difficult situations
• Make sure care is patient-centred
• Manage your budget
• Deal with complaints
• Handle staff recruitment
• Be a good role model.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780702045837
Publisher: Elsevier Health Sciences
Publication date: 11/20/2012
Series: A Nurse's Survival Guide Series
Edition description: 2nd Revised ed.
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 4.80(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

1 – Be clear about the role of the ward manager

Be clear about what 24-hour responsibility means

Be clear about what makes a good leader

Make sure your decisions are informed ones

Clarify your objectives

Understand your legal responsibilities

Be clear about your matron/line manager’s role

Remember you are the patients’ overall advocate

Don’t take on other people’s pressures

Balance your clinical work with administrative duties

Be aware of the imp0act of your role on others 2 – Manage your time Define your workload Organise your office

Control your diary Keep up with your emails Cut interruptions

Don’t waste time with unnecessary reading

Handle meetings effectively

Learn to let go through delegation

Be proactive

3 – Create a positive working environment Plan ahead

Set meaningful objectives with your team Be a good listener Feedback with sincerity Know your staff well Never talk disapprovingly of others Get your staff to take more responsibility Have a system for dealing with patient’s relatives

4 – Manage staff performance Get to know your HR advisor

Write everything down

Make appraisals work

Know how to handle unacceptable behaviour

Handle poor performance/incompetence Know when and how to discipline Actively manage sick leave Ensure all staff have appropriate training, development and support Provide additional support for mentors

Reduce staff stress

Inform and involve all of your team

Consider team-based self-rostering

5 – Make sure care is patient-centred Maintain your clinical skills

Ensure all patients have a full assessment and care plan Be clear about what health care assistants can and cannot do Eliminate long handovers Use task-orientated care only when appropriate

Work towards the named nurse (or primary nursing) Make sure patients are informed

Performance indicators, audits and benchmarking Manage staffing shortages Take the lead on ward rounds

6 – Manage your budget Know what you budget is Prioritise pay

Go through your monthly budget statements

Manage annual leave Manage your unplanned absence allowance Plan your study leave allowance Get your staff involved in NON PAY Be more active in the business planning process Don’t do anything without identified funding Meet regularly with your finance advisor

7 Improve quality and safety

Quality indicators

Identify mistakes and risks

Investigate complaints appropriately

Tips for calling or meeting with the complainant

Investigate incidents appropriately

Make improvements

8 –Instigate a rolling recruitment programme Review the post with the person who is leaving Write a good advert and application packages Shortlist and arrange interviews properly Get the best out of the interview process Follow up all candidates personally Arrange a good induction programme Continually explore all other avenues to get staff

Don’t discriminate Keep accurate, objective records Succession plan Fully involve your team in all aspects of recruitment 9 – Be politically aware Understand how health care is managed nationally

Keep up with what’s going on

Know your Board of Directors and their priorities Choose your meetings carefully Network – get to know the right people

Be diplomatic Work with your Director of Nursing

Get recognition for your work Choose your mentor and mentees with care

Plan ahead for your own needs

10 – Look after yourself Set up a peer group or action learning set Develop the role of your deputy

Get yourself a mentor Choose carefully who you talk to and what you say

Reduce stress Get over mistakes and move on Remember it’s only a job

11 - Be a good role model Be smart Make a good first impression Always smile and be positive

Speak clearly Be relaxed and in control Make your writing distinguishable Be aware of how others see you

Set an example with your choice of language Never moan or gossip about others

Don’t stagnate

12 – Manage your manager Clarify expectations Work with, not against your manager Act, if an important decision has been made without your consultation Act, if a change in another department has a knock on effect in yours Don’t be pressurised into taking on extra work without funding If you are doing extra work without funding, take action

Keep the communication channels open Write clear and timely reports

Know how to conduct a good investigation

13 – Manage difficult situations The difficult manager

The problematic colleague

Allegations of bullying/harassment within your team

Staff complaints

Helping your staff to act

Dealing with racism or other forms of discrimination

Unsafe staffing levels


Be specific about expanding nursing roles

Be proactive with enforced moves or mergers of services

14 – Manage difficult team members

Staff who refuse to look professional or wear proper uniform Staff who refuse to accept change

Staff who can’t seem to prioritise their work

Staff labelled as lazy

Staff with alcohol problems

Members of staff who don’t get on

Staff who seem careless and sloppy

Staff who manipulate situations for their own gain

Staff who moan and whinge

Staff who are continually late for duty

15 – Get the best advice Know where to go for legal advice Know where to go for professional advice Utilise the chaplaincy department Use but don’t abuse the nurse specialists

Help patients and relatives access the right advice

Keep up to date with risk management issues

Consult policies, procedures and guidelines

Maximise computer access

Utilise the knowledge and skills of your nursing colleagues

Utilise the practice development team

16 – Question external directives Is another link nurse role really needed? Has the bed manager considered all other options?

Are you managing a team of nurses or auditors?

Has your line manager questioned the decision ? Do some quality indicators actually lower the quality of care?

Are senior managers aware of the implications of their decisions

Are consultant/specialist decisions always appropriate? Does your union steward know? Is the Chief Executive aware of what is happening? Rely on your own common sense.

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