Speak Nurse
Healthcare management skills needed

Speak Nurse

Do you speak Nurse? If you don’t and you are employed in healthcare management or facilities, perhaps you should. To start on your journey to speak Nurse, first read the short story below. It was told to me by a healthcare facility director as we spoke about the challenges of communicating with internal hospital customers.

The Lesson

“Years ago I was in a meeting listening to nurses speak. During the meeting they asked me why I couldn’t open certain fire doors. I explained to them why I could not in simple, non-facilities language. After that meeting I realized I couldn’t always give them what they wanted, but I could give them the information they needed to understand why I couldn’t do what they asked. Once they understood the why behind my answer, they could accept the what of my answer. I had learned to speak Nursing.”

The key he says was to sit back and listen to what nurses, or any other hospital customer, was saying or asking for. Don’t talk over them, listen to them.

Stop talking. Be present. Focus on what the speaker is saying. Don’t formulate responses as the speaker speaks. Realize that what we have to say is not always the most important thing to be said. Listening is a skill that can be improved at any age, but it does take work.

And then, when the speaker stops speaking, respond with simple language that avoids the use of acronyms so pervasive in healthcare facilities management. Acronyms can easily lose listeners as they try to determine the difference between a MOB or a CMMS, a NFPA or an IBC.

So to speak Nursing, first listen to the nurse. Listening, and then providing information that nurses (or others) can use, is a key skill for effective meeting management. It is also an essential skill to add to your overall healthcare management skills toolbox.

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