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The premier resource for hospital professionals from Relias Media, the trusted source for healthcare information and continuing education.

Trading suits for scrubs – Hospital leaders take a walk in nurses’ shoes

There’s often a disconnect between administrators and clinicians in hospital settings. While clinicians are working on the front lines of healthcare, administrators are behind the scenes looking at the bottom line.

University Health System University Health System

One hospital has found a way to bridge the gap. University Hospital in San Antonio had its administrators hang up their suits and don scrubs as they shadowed nurses to learn what exactly they do. It was certain to be an educational experience, as University Hospital is the lead level I trauma center for its county and all of South Texas. The shadowing came at an opportune time, as the hospital is building a new trauma building and is certain to be in the media spotlight.

The administrators made the exchange as part of National Nurses Week. The hospital’s theme for the week was “Innovation. Motivation. Dedication.” The theme seems appropriate, considering the many roles that nurses play, from hand-on staff nurses to researchers who make important discoveries that enhance patient care. With the current healthcare focus on quality care and saving costs, nurses are taking on increasing responsibilities every day. For example, nurse practitioners increasingly are taking on new roles, including prescribing medications. Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are handling increasing patient loads. Nurse case managers start planning for a safe patient discharge not long after patients are admitted. And we can’t forget the nurse managers and directors who run around “putting out fires,” while giving oversight and direction to nurses in all of these roles.

Who can you do to make your administrators more aware of the different roles that nurses play? Share your ideas in the “comments” section below.