Ask the nursing expert

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Ask the nursing expert
Ask the nursing expert
As a DON, I oversee more than just the nursing department. I am responsible for most areas of the interdisciplinary team. Any ideas on how to manage this team efficiently?

It is always interesting to me how the role of the DON changes from facility to facility! I think that it is important to meet with the team on a daily basis. I have always felt that a morning clinical services meeting to review the 24-hour report together gets the day started off with the team being involved with developing a plan of care for residents with acute situations.

This way, no department feels that the “nurses” are making all the decisions without talking with or consulting with them. This approach also gives the team members an opportunity to offer input. They are all individuals, of course, but should have an equal role in care plan development.

Also, when this is done, I can focus the team on the issues at hand, including new admissions, illnesses, potential concerns by family members, or behaviors that are not healthy. And I can be sure that each team member stays consistent in providing the best care possible for each resident in the facility. Professional behavior is always expected by members of the interdisciplinary team.

It's important to remember that team members have valuable contributions to make. Seeking their input can help them feel like they are playing a key role – which is exactly what they are doing. It can also help relieve some of your burden as the DON. And who can't use some extra help?
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