Managerial support for the team

Steve L master 1
Managerial support for the team
Interviewee: Steve Lennox. Interviewer: Wendy Rickard.

Steve was the Charge Nurse on an HIV  ward  in London; here he discusses his role in supporting the nursing team.

“I got too close to one of my patients, and got absorbed in my relationship with that patient, and I remember when that patient died, may have been quite distressed, which is unusual, actually, but I do remember, and not outwardly but inwardly, I was, I was quite distressed.  So that patient had certainly touched me. 

Impacted on support for the nurses

And I remember a couple of weeks later, when I was getting over it, we were having a group supervision session, and one of my bright sparks, one of the staff nurses, said to me, where was I, i.e. ‘my support’, whilst that patient was dying?  And I remember thinking, what? What are you talking about?  And, and he said, ‘Where were you for us when that patient died?’  And I said, ‘Well I was here.’  And they said, ‘You weren’t supporting us, you were wrapped up in your own emotions. We got no support from you during that period.’  Really powerful.

Learning from this experience  

So I made the decision from that point that I would never have that sort of a relationship with those patients, because if I did, I couldn’t support the team that were dealing with them day in and day out.  So I had to slightly distance myself.”