The manager should delegate smaller problems to subordinates and teach them to solvethese by applying existing agency rules.
In resolving operational problems, the manager should consult internal and externalexperts, so that solutions will be based on current knowledge.
Problem solutions are most effective when the manager approaches problems in relaxedfashion and refuses to solve problems under stress.
It is impossible to anticipate all eventualities or to expect 100 percent accuracy indiagnosing and resolving problems. Therefore, it is unwise to agonize over selecting asolution.To conserve time, a nurse manager should ensure that job descriptions and personnel-evaluation
forms specify employees’ re
sponsibilities for problem-solving. The manager should be explicitin assigning problem-solving responsibility to particular employees and prepare detailed agendasfor problem-solving meetings. The manager should show appreciation for unacceptable, as well
as acceptable, ideas generated during employees’ search for a problem solution. An official
format should be used in presenting and reviewing proposed solutions to ensure that all
employees’ proposals receive equal consideration.
A manager can enhance sta
ff nurses’ problem solving by teaching them multiple problem
-solving techniques. Adults learn best through immediate application and experimentation withnewly acquired information. Therefore problem-solving instruction should include in-basketexercises, where nurses are given information about real-life nursing problems, which they mustsolve by using existing resources. When problem-solving instruction is given in groups,coworkers can serve as a reference source while the nurse learns new techniques; and theprimary work group can be strengthened for problem-solving in quality circles.Inaccurate problem definition is the principal cause for poor problem-solving. Teaching nurses tofollow a step-by-step problem-solving process will improve solution quality, even for employeesincapable of analytical or creative thought. To maximize the transfer of training, the manager-trainer should call attention to the type of solution that solves the problem in each in-basketvignette and discuss probable effects of using the same solution for a problem on the nursingunit.