Possibly the greatest challenge for clinicians transitioning into management is the shift in their relations with the people they work with. In healthcare, the people that make up these clinical teams are highly qualified and skilled to perform their clinical roles relatively autonomously – they know what to do without their manager telling them. So why do they need to be managed at all? The skills needed to manage highly autonomous experts doing highly complex work, are very different to those needed to manage unskilled people doing less complex work.
I am a director on a board of a not for profit organisation. Having just completed the Australian Institute’s Company Directors’ course, I was reminded of the enormous responsibility individual directors hold for the welfare of their organisation. They are individually, legally responsible for the health of the company.
According to the National Institute of Health in the US – there are 185,000 clinical trials every year. How do clinicians know their practice is based on current evidence?
The reality is that you can’t know everything – so knowing things is no longer enough. We need to know how to get information, evidence and then make sense of it.
That’s what makes it so important to create cultures where everyone’s contribution is valued and they are encouraged to continually review what they do know, continue learning and testing their assumptions. To foster this culture, we don’t have to have all answers – we need to ask great questions and find innovative solutions.
One of the greatest challenges for nurses making the transition from clinical work to management fuzzy scope of practice and no one to handover to at the end of the day.