Bridging the Gap between Administrators and Nurses
Posted on May 7 2012 at 03:36:21 PM in Employment & Work
In the construction business, it's not hard to find a local union boss or a site manager who either has never swung a hammer or hasn't done so in an awfully long time. While that's not necessarily a criticism, it is a reality that they are faced with making decisions on a daily basis without the perspective of the workers on the front lines. That often leads to unpopular decisions, confusing directions and less-than-ideal efficiency on the job site. Hospitals have many of the same difficulties for the exact same reasons.
It takes an awful lot of time, experience and education to become a nursing administrator or a hospital administrator. Oftentimes the education required for one of these jobs will prevent an administrator from ever working on the floor for very long, if at all -- so by the time she's been on the job for five to 10 years, she's lost all perspective of what it means to work on the floor. As a result, administrators often have a hard time dealing directly with their permanent staff, the nurse travel agencies that send them locums and even the patients utilizing their services.
Bridging the Gap
Every career choice has its negative aspects and every job has its complaints. Among the complaints offered by nurses is a disconnect between administrators and floor staff. It might help to bridge that gap if administrators came down to the floor every now and again and "got their hands dirty." It's the tried and true principle of not expecting anything from your workers that you are not willing to do yourself. When administrators are intimately familiar with what happens on the floor on a day-to-day basis, it does wonders for their decision-making process.
By the same token, it would probably a good thing for nurses to spend some time every now and again working in the administrative offices. They could gain a little bit of perspective regarding what it's like to deal with issues like staffing shortages, nurse travel agencies that don't send qualified workers, bureaucrats who are more worried about the bottom line than patients and so on. An appreciation for the pressures administrators face would go a long way in helping floor nurses be a bit more gracious.
Working Together for Common Good
At the end of the day, one would hope that both administrators and nurses are working for the same goal -- the well-being of the patients they serve. Whether an administrator has been on the job 30 days or 30 years, the goal should be to work with nurses rather than against them. Whether a nurse is a permanent staff employee or a locum working for one of the many nurse travel agencies, the goal should be working with administrators, not against them. This is the best way to ensure a good working environment for everyone involved, as well as the best possible environment for patients.
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