Reviewer: Melanie M Tidman, DHSc, MA, OTR/L(A. T. Still University)
Description: This is the sixth edition of a comprehensive book on careers in healthcare management that offers practical suggestions for improving effectiveness both as a supervisor and as an organization.
Purpose: The stated purpose is to present a comprehensive book for students seeking careers in healthcare management, for new supervisors, or for experienced frontline supervisors. It provides practical methods for use in real management scenarios dealing with people and the impact of constant changes in the workplace on supervisors. This is a much-needed book for students proactively seeking needed skills and for experienced supervisors who wish to hone their skills and strategies for success in meeting career goals.
Audience: The book is designed to address the needs of students in healthcare management as well as entry-level managers. It takes a "bottom-up" approach and is very practical in its application of methods to deal with real-world issues in the workplace. The author clearly meets the reading audience in whatever state they find themselves and provides practical methods for their advancement. Other books by this author address development of workplace communication skills, professional management in nursing, employee relations, and workplace productivity.
Features: Chapters begin with objectives followed by definitions of key terms, a very effective way to ensure clarity of content. The first chapter outlines the transitional issues of frontline staff to supervisor, providing a realistic overview of the issues and challenges faced by entry-level supervisors in making the transition, analyzing the skills required, and handling changes in relationships with coworkers. It also offers clear summaries of the definitions, management functions, supervisory skills, and phases one can expect when embarking upon the supervisory journey. The chapter concludes with a synopsis of main points, questions for review and reflection, and case studies with practical exercises to address key skills. The scenarios at the end of each chapter are realistic reviews of actual experiences, which provide students or entry-level supervisors an opportunity to apply the concepts they've just learned. The book also includes practical chapters on writing position/job descriptions and developing performance standards, two crucial components of management, with appropriate end-of-chapter discussion scenarios for practice. Also included are in-depth reviews of labor laws, cultural diversity, conflict resolution, and employee problems, as well as methods to assist in employee development and a comprehensive overview of management skills and tasks needed for successful management. The book concludes with three chapters on career development for the supervisor/manager that cover methods or techniques for overcoming burnout, stress management, and workplace politics. Unique features include the end-of-chapter scenarios for practice and discussion. Strengths of the book include its clarity, simplicity of presentation, and practicality, with chapter scenarios and exercises for readers to practice and reinforce the skills reviewed in the chapter.
Assessment: This book is comprehensive in scope and practical in application for students, entry-level managers, and experienced supervisors in a healthcare setting. In today's changing healthcare environment, books such as this reinforce the skills necessary for successful supervision in the workplace and this one is more comprehensive than most in this field. Other books in this area target specific topics rather than presenting a comprehensive review. For example, Successful Supervision in Health Care Practice: Promoting Professional Development, Spouse and Redfern (Blackwell, 2000), uses a case study approach, but is not comprehensive and Practising Clinical Supervision: A Reflective Approach for Healthcare Professionals, 2nd edition, Driscoll (Elsevier, 2007), targets healthcare professionals outside of the U.S. Most of the other comparable books are written by the author of this book and address more specific areas of supervision, including communication and employee relations. This book is, by far, the most comprehensive and thorough.