5 things your boss should not be

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This week I had a big issue with a couple of my CNAs.  I was extremely angry.  Rather than taking them into my office right then and yelling and probably making the situation worse, I chose to wait until the next day.  When I left I told them both, “I will talk to you tomorrow.”

That night when I was on Facebook, one of the CNAs posted the “Top 5 things to being a good Boss” and “Top five things not to do as a boss.”  These were obviously directed at me, and of course angered me even more.  Not that they can’t say what they want, but they chose this venue to talk about it, when they knew I was going to talk to them about the next day when I was calmed down.

This got me thinking, what are the top five things I want my boss to do or not to do?

Here is my list of the five things I want my boss to do:

  1. Communicate openly, calmly and rationally with me.
  2. Give me the autonomy to make decisions as a professional nurse and leader.
  3. Be a resource for me when I need direction.
  4. Back me up when I make a decision.
  5. Be honest.

I think these are pretty good. I am currently on the committee that is interviewing candidates for the Director of Acute Care Nursing, and these are basically what I tell them too.  I feel that if you had the confidence to hire me, or keep me in this position, then these should be pretty easy to allow me.

Here is my list of five things I do not want my boss to do:

  1. Do not talk down to me.  Save the conversation for when you are calm and can discuss it rationally.
  2. Do not micromanage me.
  3. Do not be unavailable when I tell you I need help.
  4. Unless I am breaking a law, a regulation or a policy, do not second guess my decisions.
  5. Never, ever lie to me.

As you can see my dos and don’ts are pretty much opposites to each other.  I expect these items from my manager, my staff and myself as a leader.

These are not the things she said about me, though.

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Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron is currently a staff nurse in a level II trauma center. He has primarily been an ED nurse for most of his career, but he has also been a nurse manager for Surgical Trauma and Telemetry unit. He has worked in Med/Surg, Critical Care, Hospice, Rehab, an extremely busy cardiology clinic and pretty much anywhere he's been needed.Prior to his career in nursing, Rob worked in healthcare finance and management. Rob feels this experience has given him a perspective on nursing that many never see. He loves nursing because of all the options he has within the field. He is currently a grad student working on an MSN in nursing leadership, and teaches clinicals at a local university.Away from work, Rob spends all of his time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys cycling and Crossfit. He is a die hard NASCAR fan. Sundays you can find Rob watching the race with his daughter.

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4 Responses to 5 things your boss should not be

  1. Mitzi

    I agree wholeheartedly with you!! I am a disabled person who was a RN or 15 years prior and if you want respect-you have to give respect.

  2. ~C.

    Rob, these CNAs are lucky they work for someone like you. The one time I have felt the need to immediately address one of my CNAs for less than appropriate care was the day she decided a career change was in order. She works in laundry now. There is a possibility I was abrasive, but I doubt my patient would agree. There was nothing I said, or explained, that she, as a licensed CNA should have been unaware of and doing as a professional. Sub-par care is not something to let slide, address tomorrow, or feel bad about correcting.

  3. Ranay

    You are totally on target! But! I am still left wondering……hmmmmm “What did she post?” lol
    Oh! btw, I want to work for you!

  4. qaqueen

    Your boss should not be a “B” that assumes he/she knows everything and you know nothing. Yes, my boss gets a cursory report on each patient, but I am the one who spends time with them. If I can give a list of changes seen in the patient, perhaps when I and another nurse tell him/her that the patient is in new and extreme distress, we should not be ignored.