Developing bed managers: the why and the how

Nathan Proudlove, Ruth Boaden, Julie Jorgensen
Journal of Nursing Management 2007, 15 (1): 34-42
This paper describes and analyses the role of bed managers within hospitals, and how this can be supported through a development programme. BACKGROUND AND KEY ISSUES: Bed management has increased in importance as access targets have developed, and appreciation of the importance of patient flow has grown. The bed management role is usually performed by nurse managers, and can be particularly stressful and managerially complex. Despite calls for training support, little has been available. In response we have developed and delivered a training programme to over 70 staff in the past 2 years. EVALUATION AND CONCLUSIONS: The programme evaluation data is used to show that it has had an impact on the knowledge and skills of the bed managers involved, but also on their subsequent behaviours. These changes have translated into results for the organization and the individual, including staff retention, promotion and fewer cancelled operations. We conclude that the programme is an effective way to enhance the knowledge and skills of bed managers, and that the enhanced profile of bed management raises challenges for nurse managers in many areas of the organization.

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