Ruth, one of our nurse bloggers interviewed a Community Health Nursing Manager, Azilda Fernandez. Find out more about her and her perspective as a Nursing Manager.
How long have you been a nurse?
I started my nursing career in 1990 and have been in the profession for 19 years.
How did you get your current role and what made you take up nursing as a profession?
I came from a family of nurses, my mum was a nurse. I didn’t want to become a nurse as I wanted to take up journalism but as fate would have it I had to go a long way to study journalism and be separated from my family so I decided to take up nursing instead. No regrets, I love being a nurse and I am proud of the profession.
What are your hobbies etc?
I’m an avid reader, I’m into autobiographies lately, latest books that I’ve read are the ‘Life of Mother Teresa’ and ‘A Long Way Gone’ - a book about the life of a boy soldier in Ethiopia. I also love gardening and travelling. I get the most joy spending time with my family.
What parts of your Manager role do you find the most challenging and interesting?
Being a Manager has its joys and sorrows, I love developing my staff and seeing them blossom into a good and caring nurse who is patient centred. I am passionate about providing a good service to our clients in the community so we can maintain them being at home in their own environment.
What do you enjoy the least in your Manager role?
Managing itinerant nurses who have lost their caring ability and are only in the profession for their own self gain.
How do you make sure tasks get done?
Having worked in various clinical settings, I have gained good time management and prioritising skills so competing demands don’t faze me as much now as they used to. I have also got better at delegating tasks.
How do you juggle the different demands and expectations of patients, their families and staff?
I believe in good communication and negotiation skills. I always tell my staff that they have to let the clients know at the outset what to expect from our service, which is empowering them to self manage as appropriately as they can with our assistance and support.
What changes would you make to your current job to make it easier to do well?
More administrative assistance and less paperwork and stats to do.
What advice would you you give someone entering a Management role similar to yourself?
I was once a beginning Manager and I had good mentors so I would say find yourself a good mentor and learn and observe what and how they do things. You have to be passionate about people as most of the time they will disappoint you so try to separate the issue from the person, easier said than done sometimes! Don’t be too hard on ones self as mistakes can be our friend sometimes if you are wise enough to learn from them.
Last but not least, look after your inner self (spiritual side) as that is where you draw your strength.