Assumed Responsibility of a Senior Charge Nurse
In the field of nursing, leadership skills must and always develop. With decisions being made daily regarding patient care as well as management system, it is very important to be effective in terms of work output as well as the role that you play in the organization as a whole.
For instance, being a senior charge nurse is both a privilege and a liability. It is a privilege since a senior charge nurse ensures quality of patient care. It is a liability since whatever happens to the unit, you must be ready to defend your people as well as the protocols and policies of the unit.
As a senior charge nurse, clinical leadership must be exercised in such a way that there is continued nursing care. This 24-hour nursing care services must be rendered in order to provide safe clinical practice. It protects both patients and nurses from malpractices or negligence. Patients are more likely to experience quality care since someone is in charge of checking and monitoring nursing actions whether it is congruent with the policies, protocols and ethics. Being a senior charge nurse means that he or she has a team of nurses working under his or her supervision. This team functions effectively is the senior charge nurse is experience-wise and has strong background knowledge of nursing management. Each hospital organization has a unique touch to each client; senior charge nurses are placed in each unit to implement the objectives of the organization. When it comes to auditing and budgeting, senior charge nurses document and analyzes the flow of the expenses in the unit and may find ways how to reduce unnecessary expenses.
Tips of how to be a good senior charge nurse
1. Observe team work. As a senior charge nurse, it is always reiterated that clinical leadership must be expressed all throughout the work. You cannot work on your own and stand on your own. You will need the ideas and suggestions of your subordinates too. Giving them a voice in meetings can help you recognize the deficits of your unit. You can also ask for their ideas in bringing the unit to give safe and effective nursing care.
2. Recognize Evidence-Based Practice. Being a leader of a unit, encourage your people in giving nursing care based on research and not just on intuitions. Promote the use of research process incorporated in the nursing care in order to discover new modalities of nursing care. It will even make the workload lighter since the nursing actions are being studied as well as its effects to patients and staff nurses.
3. Bring the protocols and policies into action. Being familiar about the hospital goals and objectives is not enough. It is important to echo these things and ideals to your staff so that they are aware if their actions are based on the policies of the hospital. Promote a culture in the workplace that embraces quality nursing care.
4. Emphasize to your team members that patient-centered care means safe patient care. Nursing actions must always be for the patient and not for the convenience of staff nurses. Teach your staff how to deal with difficult patients and deal with their anger and frustrations. Provide or request for facilities that would aid your nurses to provide safe nursing care like in transferring patients. Encourage routine rounds especially at night and in the early hours in the morning since these are the time that patients are more prone to falls.
5. Provide constructive criticisms and evaluation of the nursing team. Giving evaluation of the performance of the team must be done in order to motivate them to be better. Staff nurses no matter how they excel in the workplace must be praised or criticized constructively so that they can grow professionally. Maintain a good gap between being a mentor as well as friend in the workplace.
The role of senior charge nurse may be new in the ears of nurses, but being in this role means showing them a difference in the delivery of nursing care.
Being a senior charge nurse in the unit must involve a spirit of being a clinical leader looking for ways to improve the delivery of nursing care in a safe and effective way. Earning the way towards the status of being a senior charge nurse is a challenging one, but opening one’s mind to varied experience may help sharpen the skills and aptitude needed to become one of the nurse leaders in the workplace.
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