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Nurse on the Run

Who Leads the Leaders?

Published March 10, 2014 3:45 PM by Lorettajo Kapinos

A few weeks ago,  I wrote a blog on Violence in the Workplace. It posted one day before a violent event occurred at an  ED near me. That event saturated the media. Fortunately, no staff, patients or visitors were injured, though the situation ended with a person taking his own life.

As I watched the event unfold, I thought about what I had written. I worried that I went too far, that I said too much. I thought maybe we should be used to violence by now and get over it. However,  my blog received many  responses, all very passionate.

It also seems that nurses feel violence from many different angles: co-workers, visitors, patients and managers.

This raises the next question in my mind: Who leads the leaders?

I know there are education tracks one can take to learn about hospital administration, but what's in those lessons? Are managers taught how to deal with and decrease workplace violence or do they feel it too? Often, bullies are victims of being bullied.  They act out because that's what they know. Is that what managers are--bullies who have been bullied? Is that how they got to the top of the food chain--by eating their young?

I'd like to believe that is not the case. I want to think managers are guided and nurtured and can pass that down to their staff.

Somehow, though, I think the old saying "It's lonely at the top" exists for a reason. Have you been or are you currently a manager? Did or do you feel supported?

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I am a manager. I learned through trial and error. I have attended leadership workshops and obtained a leadership coach on my own. Like Barbara, my staff and I are supportive of each other, but I'm always striving to learn how to be a leader rather than a manager. In my position, I am not supervised by a nurse. I miss that. And while I have been supervised by bullies myself, that is not why I sometimes find it lonely at the top. How nice it would be to have another nurse in the organization to share with, learn from, and mentor.

Liz Whitehead April 26, 2014 2:10 AM

Thank you for sharing Barbara. Management is so hard today. It's also very corporate. I suspect the two are related.

Lorettajo Kapinos March 27, 2014 9:31 AM

I was the Nurse Manager of a bust urban ED for 20+ years. It was a difficult job as I'd never been in middle management before. Luckliy I had a wonderful Nurse Director and a fabulous VP of Nursing. They were such a great resource. My staff were very supportive of me and I of them. Our community hospital was swallowed up by a bigger healthcare system and all of that was lost. I've been out of management because of that and do not miss the aggravation.

Barbara, Ambulatory Services - RN, St. Mary's March 26, 2014 4:49 PM
Chicago IL

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