Helping Nurses "Live Smarter Not Harder" by Balancing the Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit

Archive for the ‘pressure’ Category

Mindset: The Key to Creating Balance

How do nurses create change, develop balance and relieve stress?

by Naomi D. Jones RN, MS, CRNI

scales-311504_1280Are nursing leadership and work life balance contradictory terms? Many nurses are wondering if this idea of a balanced life is fact or fiction. Many organizations state they promote “work life balance” as a recruiting tool. When speaking to those same nursing leaders, the feeling of balance seems to be elusive.  I had a great conversation this week with a fellow nurse friend of mine about how we attain equilibrium in our lives as nurse leaders. What became very clear early in our conversation is that managing our careers is difficult to say the least.  There are so many things you have to coordinate i.e. yourself, your staff, (direct and indirect reports), co-workers, your upper management team and don’t forget the work itself!   Then we have a “Life” that also needs management. Relationships with spouses, partners, children, grandchildren and parents pose their own challenges.  Handling personal finances is another factor where achieving balance necessitates confrontation.  In today’s economy, so many nurses I know work more than one job.  Nurses in management may experience some limits since they are salaried and already work long hours.

Balance vs Imbalance

In all of these arenas, balance is the key to having a great life!  If we don’t balance all of these areas well, we may become discouraged and lose our passion and joy in what we do which leads to burnout.

Burnout is the result of imbalance.  Frustration, disappointment and stress are encompassing nursing leaders in homecare, at the bedside and behind the desk (depending on where you work). Expectations of higher productivity, increasing demands to do more with less, the squeeze between staff and company goals intensifies the stress nurses feel. That stress makes for short tempers which can lead to episodes of disrespect and bullying which plague our profession.

Create Change

How do we create change in our lives, develop balance and relieve the stress from these situations?  Read More…

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Help Me I’m Working for a Dummy!

Nurse_iStock_000018012746Small (2)Well, this may not be a nice way to put it but how often do we find ourselves working for someone who doesn’t appear to have the skills needed to be in their position. What are some clues that you might be working for an incompetent leader?

  •  When the staff doesn’t trust the information given by the leader or they don’t feel supported so they minimize the occasions they seek assistance from them.
  •  When they are unable to be a resource due to lack of critical skills relevant to the job.
  •  When the leader only uses or implements their own ideas with and/or without input from peers or staff.
  •  When the leader takes credit for the ideas and work of their subordinates or peers.
  •  When they do not have the ability to have vision. They live by the status quo. “We’ve always done it this way.”
  •  When the leader becomes impotent when making decisions. Do they ask for everybody’s opinions, and then accept nothing or do they just make decisions in a vacuum?

How do you work around an incompetent leader?

Do a reality check for yourself. How do you know it’s not your personal biases? Are you biased because you just don’t like them on a personal level?

Are you operating on your highest level in your present position? Do you have sound ideas?

Is it possibly a lack of understanding of the leader’s job requirements?

Here’s a question. Is this boss impeding your progress with the organization? Do you have opportunities to bring ideas to the forefront? If so, you must be creative in getting your work seen by others within an organization.

If your boss is not impeding your ability to influence change and progress then “just let it go”. Be content in your ability to influence where you are.

But if you want to make a difference on a higher level on a bigger playing field then you need to be seen and heard. Volunteer for committees or special projects and network with other leaders within the organization so your work can be seen.

Don’t bad mouth your incompetent leader to others. If you’re seen as a backstabber others won’t be so quick to put you in a higher position of authority for fear that you may do the same to them. Let your work speak for itself. Be willing to take those risks and have a plan B. An exit strategy, if you will.

The truth is mediocre leaders exist on all levels. The “Peter Principle” is real. People are often promoted to the level of their incompetency. So sometimes, your boss may have an incompetent boss and so on. If the people above them are also mediocre leaders, you still may not be seen, heard, or recognized for your work. It could be that your next strategy will need to be that you work somewhere else where your talents might be appreciated.

Another strategy to be sure your ideas are heard and implemented is when you are your own boss! Entrepreneurship is the truest form of true leadership. It’s where you can line up your values with the strengths of your leadership abilities. You must be willing to take on the work. There’s no complaining about the boss in this line of work.

So how do you survive the incompetent boss? Work with them. Work around them, or best yet, work without them and be your own boss! Good luck!

For help becoming the leader you want to be contact Naomi for a free consultation and download “Living the Legacy of Leadership Day by Day”. www.lifecoachrn.com.

About Naomi

Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit http://www.LifeCoachRN.com

Too much documentation in nursing?

Talking to a fellow nurse today discussing how much documentation nurses must do to justify that standards of practice are met.  The mantra we are taught right from nursing school is “If you didn’t document it ; it wasn’t done”  We have been led to believe this in our educational, tracks, our jobs and governing organizations like CMS.  Even our own nursing organizations have us believing that we need to document every response to “everything” to prove that we are practicing our craft appropriately. A lot of nurses feel they are documenting more than providing care.  Some areas of nursing are not experiencing this pressure.  How about you?  Where do you stand on the issue?  Is there too much documentation being done?  Is it all necessary?