Managing Up in Healthcare

By Jenny Palmgren, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse Manager, MSSI

As care continues to change, patients are often finding themselves no longer seeing the same physician during a stay, but several different ones. This does not even include the numerous specialties they may see on top of that. Once discharged, the patient may need to return for a follow-up visit, where once again, they may be scheduled to see a new physician. For a patient, seeing so many different providers can be stressful. As a caregiver, you can help ease this anxiety by ‘managing up’ and being sure to speak highly about the other caregivers and departments, allowing your patient to feel safe and in highly capable hands.

Managing up in this way is helpful to the entire organization, especially to the particular unit that a patient is being sent to. It allows the staff in the department to know they are being represented in a good manner rather than a negative light. As caregivers, we may not always agree with how another unit completes a test or handles a situation, but if we supported each other more this could change the negativity.

By speaking highly of all your partners in healthcare it allows your patients to feel comfortable and safe by knowing they are going to be in good hands. Who wants to hear that they will have to wait because that department is “always behind” or that they have to see “that” doctor? These types of comments can cause someone to instantly feel insecure about their appointment.

Put yourself in the patient’s shoes – would you want to have an RN, MD, tech or another caregiver care for you after you heard another staff member talking badly about them? I, for one, want to have the best caregivers, or even feel as if I have the very best. Let’s remember to raise each other up instead of creating doubt within our organizations.

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