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I switched to a Nurse Practioner and I couldn’t be happier October 23, 2017

Posted by mariemanthey in Uncategorized.
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I am now in the care of an independent Nurse Practioner,working in a Nurse Practioner Clinic within the U of Minnesota School of Nursing and I couldn’t be happier.   The difference in my experience between a humanistic Internal Medicine MD and my nurse practioner is noteworthy.   I was in the care of my primary care physician for many years and I had selected him  because I knew of his to a humane approach to the his work.  He examined me fhrough the lens of either my symptoms if I had a health problem, or through the tasks of the annual physical   Sometime during the visit, he always asked if there was anthing going on in my life I needed to talk about.   I know he cared,  and that he was an expert in internal medicine and for this reason I stayed with him for over 20 years.

Now I am seen in a independently run Nurse Practioner Clinic.  The difference in my experience lies in my NP’s approach to me as a person, not a task (the physical) or a symptom.    The change it made was powerful….and I think speaks strongly to the sucessful development of this role and how it is differentiated from the role of specialty medical practices.  Nurses look at people through a different lens than physicians and good nurse practioners blend the strengths of whole person  orientation with a focus on health and management of health related problems.

I am so grateful.

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Role of Nurse Manager: Needs Support to be Supportive June 13, 2017

Posted by mariemanthey in Creative Health Care Management, Leadership, Professional Practice, Uncategorized.
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I’m reminded frequently about how strongly a leader’s influence drives the quality of work done…on nursing units and in every workplace.  The clarity of role definitions in the workplace – and in particular how the role of the leader is defined – is essential to effective leadership.

Leadership is often confused with limitless power.  Unclear scopes of responsibility for leaders and others creates confusion, unsatisfactory outcomes and personal stress among workers which in most cases results in bad outcomes.   This seemingly simple element is often the culprit of toxic work environments.

Leaders Empower Staff – that is the name of a basic curriculum component of CHCM’s work, and it’s also a phrase which sums up  much of our leadership philosophy and seminar focus.

We believe that the people who do the work should be empowered to make  decisions about the work, and good leaders actively support that by intentionally putting that power in the hands of their staff.

There are many specific skills and practices that need to be in place for the leader to do that and to support that structure. One of our accompanying basic beliefs is this: nobody walks in to a leadership role with everything already in place to be successful. Each new leader will have some parts of the skills set, and they’ll need to gain the rest on the job.

Each time a new leader is hired, there needs to be a systemic process of determining what they need to be successful in that role, and to provide the training, support, skills development, mentoring, etc.. necessary in order for them to grow in to that role.

Otherwise, insecure, ill-prepared leaders may assume that empowered staff are a threat to their authority and therefore to their success.   These leaders …at all levels in a hierarchy…..will hold on to power  to feel secure. Staff then are hindered from contributing at their highest level, restrained from using their actual knowledge and skill, and devalued within the workplace.  Morale is negatively affected.

Staff  need to be developed professionally so that they are confident and comfortable using their legitimate power.  Within their scope of responsibility, they need to learn how to identify operational problems, to generate solutions, to implement the solutions.  This level of employee engagement is a dream scene for most executives.

Both staff and leadership need to accept the fact that as humans, they’ll make mistakes, and that those mistakes are to be treated as opportunities for growth, not punishment. Integral to that is for leadership to actually react that way to mistakes!

Leaders do constantly need to bring their best selves to the job, to actively create for themselves a goal behavior pattern based on best leadership practices, and do their best to live up to those goals.

Accountability is crucial.

In some workplaces – within healthcare and outside of it – the accountability of leaders is sometimes problematic.  It is easy for leaders to obfuscate personnel problems, particularly if they don’t know how to or don’t want to deal with them..   The obfuscation may show up as being able to provide assurance to those they report to that staff are fine, operations are fine, progress towards goals is happening, the ship is tip-top. They may not  share sufficient detail about problem employees, hence  obfuscating their own responsibility to act, resulting in avoiding personal accountability as  leaders.   A great deal of the angst, stress and toxicity in workplaces today is due to inadequately prepared  leaders who are not held accountable for learning the basic skills necessary to create a culture of safety and empowerment.

Our values, principles and practices of Creative Health Care Management focus on changing workplace  cultures so that all members of the team (starting with the leader) have the support they need to produce efficient and effective productivity. The clear allocation of responsibility coupled with the delegation of commensurate authority and accountability are the key components to leadership and management success in every workplace.

The Nurse Managers who gain these leadership skills are the MOST essential element to creating a relationship-based environment that is healing for both the staff who work there and the patients who receive care there.