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Ejiro O'Hare Stratton, Clinical Nurse Manager 2
Medical & Healthcare

Ejiro O'Hare Stratton, Clinical Nurse Manager 2

Ejiro O'Hare Stratton is a Clinical Nurse Manager 2 with the HSE working in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda in a supervisory role for Care Assistants. She holds a Certificate in Nursing Studies and has also received a Diploma in Management & Industrial Relations and a BA in Human Resource Management & Industrial Relations.

 

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What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

My biggest career decision was when I decided to undertake a part-time course in Management and Industrial Relations straight after completing my nursing studies. This choice and interest was inspired by the desire I had to bring out the best in others. On completion of the part-time course I undertook the Degree in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

My father is the one person in my life who influenced my career direction. Dad was a teacher and he encouraged me a lot in choosing a career that would match my talents and abilities. My husband also contributed to my career development. He has been very supportive and understanding. He undertook to mind the kids after his days work while I went to college which made all the difference.

How did you go about getting your current job?

The job was initially advertised internally as an acting position and I entered for the competition. I was then interviewed for the job along with others and was informed in writing that I had been successful.

After two years of acting in the job, it was again advertised nationally. I again applied for the job and was again interviewed along with others and was also informed in writing that I had been successful.

Describe a typical day?

I start work at 9.30am. and I am responsible for all the Health Care Assistants in the hospital. Every Monday I prepare and validate salary returns for the Accounts Department. I take phone calls from the various ward managers and meet with my staff on a regular basis. I am also in contact with recruitment agencies to fill staff shortages.

It is a very busy department. If I am not at meetings and negotiating with staff representative bodies on matters pertaining to the Health Care Assistants, I could be on the wards assessing staff performance or assessing the practical skills of those staff doing their FETAC Level 5 training. I am also involved in the interviewing and the selection of staff, look after the rosters and manage sick leave, etc.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

  • Giving on-going support, supervision and guidance to Health Care Assistants and supervising their work through effective liaison with appropriate Clinical Nurse Managers and nursing staff.
  • Help to provide a safe working environment by ensuring that safety policies and procedures and infection control policies are known and adhered to.
  • Assist in collection of data on the performance of assigned staff and the service they provide.
  • Be an advice resource person for registered nurses and midwives in relation to the role of the Health Care Assistants.
  • Foster good working relationships between nursing staff and Health Care Assistants and deal with any problems which may arise.
  • Demonstrate flexibility by accepting other assignments from time to time at the request of the Director of Nursing & Midwifery Services.
  • Monitor and control sick leave, late attendance, or any unauthorised absences.

What are the main challenges?

The main challenge is having to deal with different managers who have different managerial styles and each department has different needs. There is also a challenge to ensure that each ward has sufficient staff, particularly when staff are out sick.

What's cool?

Working with a team whom you know and get on well with makes the tasks so much easier. We also socialise together, so that it is not all work and no play.

What's not so cool?

Sometimes people are working under a lot of pressure and the work situation can be stressful at times but on the whole people approach their work in a professional manner.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

I am a good listener but don't allow myself to become over involved in people's personal problems. I am also patient. Sometimes it is necessary to hear what is not being said in order to help people open up to what is not easy for them to express.

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

Economics, English, Maths, History, Biology, Art, BK, were the subjects I took. Biology stood to me for nursing but Economics and History also proved useful when I did my course in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations.

What is your education to date?

  • Certificate in Nursing Studies
  • Diploma in Management & Industrial Relations
  • BA in Human Resource Management & Industrial Relations
  • Human Development Studies

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

Human Resource Management & Industrial Relations and Human Development are all relevant to my current work. The employee relations aspect is particularly important and organisational behaviour.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

I went into the job with the intention of bringing out the best in others and over the years I think I have had some success. I have encouraged some employees to develop themselves through courses - people who would not have considered themselves capable and they have done very well.

I would like to be remembered as someone who brings tranquility into the workplace, upholding the interest of the employees while being dedicated to upholding high standards in the workplace - someone who listens and cares.

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

I am a good listener and can remain calm while others are pulling their hair out. I can work under pressure and still have a laugh. Generally, I get on well with people and can motivate others to perform to the best of their ability. I am a team player.

What is your dream job?

To work in the Department of Health or Justice on issues relating to equality and diversity concerning the employment of non EU nationals.

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

My job does allow me a lifestyle that I am happy with. I drop the children off to school in the morning and start work at 9.30 am. I finish work in the afternoon and I am home the same time as the kids. I spend quality time with them every afternoon and I am there for the homework. I am also there to bring them to other activities outside school that they want to be involved in. There is enough time too for myself and family life as a whole.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

I would advise having a degree in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations. Professional training in nursing is necessary in order to understand patient care and what standards are required to provide quality care in an acute hospital setting.

One would also have to understand the value of planning, implementing and evaluating work practices in order to get the best out of employees. The person coming into the job would need to be patient, able to negotiate and work under pressure, as well as work on their own initiative.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

A good communicator
Well organised
A leader

What is your favourite music?

Country & Western

What is your favourite film?

The Jazz Singer

What is your pet hate at work?

Untidy dressing or not being presentable in front of patients.

What is your star sign?

Leo.

Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?

I plan to complete a masters in Employee Relations. I have done a year already but have taken some time out due to family circumstances. Another thing I would love to do is to do a course in employment law.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

Experience in front line management or to shadow someone working in the area of nursing support service manager.

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