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Management Education: Talking Points

By Betty Noyes, RN, MA, July 27, 2010

Unfortunately, I usually see these options attempted in isolation to any other option. With so many options, which path should be followed?

We need to mobilize our common sense, mutual talents, mutual experiences, and not expect to come up with a single best method. We should understand that there are some universal attributes of management education.

Let’s stick to what makes sense to the people in operations who know what matters and what skills they, as employers, expect of their management team.

Then we need to chart the best course that will lead to the best impact on the business we are in. We are in the business of providing safe, effective healthcare to our community with skilful engaged employees at a price the community can afford.

Implementing a needed management education program requires skill, experience, courage, and collaboration among all stakeholders.

I suggest we begin this discussion with some validation of two common beliefs or assumptions:

  • The ripple effect of new managers’ lack of knowledge and self-confidence can be seen in poor statistics for manager retention, staff retention, patient safety, patient satisfaction, physician satisfaction, community engagement, interdepartmental collaboration, and financial survival of the organization.
  • Management requires a skills and a knowledge base. Not all informal leaders are good managers and not all managers are good leaders. You want frontline managers to perform in both areas of management tactical skills and creative leadership in an effective manner. Most healthcare management candidates do not have a knowledge base of the necessary tactical and leadership skills necessary to adequately contribute to highly functional and performing teams within a dynamic and complex healthcare system.
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