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Do Nurses and Healthcare Specialist Need Management Skills?


Nurses and healthcare specialists are healers. They provide direct service that helps a patient recover from whatever aliment has slowed that person down. The healthcare industry is dramatically changing and professionals need to wear different hats. They furthermore need to have improved skill sets that may include expertise considered more managerial than strict care provision. The treatment of the sick and injured may certainly require those new sets of knowledge.

What exactly are those management skills?

This may or may not be the case where subordinates are reporting to the nurse or healthcare specialist. It may, in fact, refer to the successful management of given case. A Clinical Nurse Specialist must be involved in standards of patient care and be able to give highly complex and detailed patient care. This healthcare professional might be providing direction and guidance to others. A Wounded Care Nurse has the task of assessing the nature of a patient’s wound and determining what procedures will be used to correct the condition. This is a hands on position and the nurse may not be taking orders from anyone. Instead he or she will manage the entire healing process, monitoring results and making decisions about changes in treatment that may be required.

Viewing either position from the concept of management skills, it is pretty clear that decision making and organizational expertise are important. The industry has changed in such a way that the responsibilities once the exclusive preserve of a physician are now delegated. Hands on care givers define most nurses and healthcare specialists, although there are some situations in which the more traditional management role must be assumed. 

Nurse Managers Need Business Knowledge

Nurse managers will be doing more than assisting a patient to get better. Being in charge of various units, these people must know how to handle budgets and do operations management. These can be a bit foreign to a care giver, but a nurse manager’s ability to do strategic planning and utilize information systems will keep service at high levels of quality. There does come a point where leadership acumen will be important to keep the medical facility operating properly. An understanding of various care models may be something quite alien to a nurse or healthcare specialist, but as health care continues to change with the times these must be mastered. The days of bedside manners are slowly moving to accountable care.

Management Training is Important

Nursing schools understand the need for management skills and this type of study is becoming standard curriculum for the Master of Science in Nursing programs. The ability to better use information systems and collaborate with other health care professionals are among the knowledge sets now being taught. The changes in the hospital administration and care resulting from the Affordable Care Act will make increasingly more important to be able to think critically, and make decisions that would not be required in an earlier healthcare environment.

Coordinated care is one of the current trends. Nurses and healthcare specialists must have the communication skills to both share and receive the information important to the health of a patient. Team strategies are now more important than ever and the ability to coordinate activity is essential. The hospital is not what it used to be at all.

It is a new environment where the desire to provide a healing service may have to be combined with a bit of administrative expertise. Some nurses are going to hate this. They are patient focused and fear they may be sacrificing empathy for efficiency. That does not always happen. A good nurse or healthcare provider will continue to keep the well-being of a patient at the centre of daily activity. Managerial skills will make the quality of service be higher and more effective than before.

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