The media survey experience was very enlightening. I was able to confirm some of the things I learnt in class. The questions asked tried to identify the different roles of nurse managers and human resource specialists. Admittedly, many people confuse the role of the two in a health facility setting. Gist argues that the role of the human resource specialist is confined to the general well-being of the employee in line with the organization’s needs. However, the nurse manager has to make everyday decisions and also ensure that his or her employees have a suitable working environment. After learning these in class, I was able to answer nine of the questions in the survey correctly.
One common perception I had regarding the role of the HR department compared to the nurse manager is that the HR department is solely responsible for ongoing coaching and development opportunities. Guanci argues that the direct supervisor or line manager is responsible for the advancement in the skills of each employee. This can be done through continuous training, study scholarships, and creating a learning culture within one’s department. My current working environment justifies my belief about the same. In many facilities, there are few opportunities for learning. This can be attributed to poor learning cultures within hospitals.
A second perception I had was that the HR department was tasked with creating a suitable working environment for the nurses. The survey required that only one of the two options (nurse manager or HR specialist) be selected in regards to this question. Despite selecting the right answer (it is the nurse manager’s role, not the HR specialist’s), I still hold the perception that both are needed to ensure a viable and satisfying working environment. Goodyear is of the opinion that both the line manager and the HR specialist are responsible for ensuring a safe and fair workplace.
As explained previously, the two perceptions are very different from what is suggested in the survey as well as from the Learning Resources provided in class. It is suggested (from the Learning Resources and survey) that the nurse manager and HR specialist have very distinct roles. Based on the survey, one can argue that the nurse manager and the HR specialist cannot share a role. The reason behind this argument is that there was no option for “both”. Such an option would mean that the role described should be performed by both the HR department and the nurse manager.
Giving some personal experiences with the concepts discussed is essential. In two facilities that I have worked in, the HR department was responsible for ensuring the continuous professional development of nurses. This arrangement did not work effectively due to several reasons. For instance, the HR department was not aware of the required skills or skill deficit in the department. It can be argued that the nurse manager should give the HR department representative a list of recommended training for his or her staff.