Everything has been linked since we resumed the activity of our website and in which we have been reviewing with a critical and constructive spirit the different aspects that concern nursing management in this time of crisis.

On this occasion, we address the issue of material resources. From our pages, we have already addressed issues related to material resources, such as innovation at zero cost and in which we show how a small project was able to pioneer the use of technology and care at a very low cost, zero.

Nursing professionals have always had scarce material resources, or at least, not all of those that we would like to address the different perspectives of care. This scarcity of resources may be due to the fact that care, despite its high impact on the patient and society, rarely makes headlines. 

On this occasion, and for many weeks, we have seen nurses across the country using their imaginations to make protective material for themselves, which made headlines in the press and on television as it served as an arrogant weapon against the political management of the Covid crisis. However, there was little or no talk of the responsibility of the nursing managers at the micro level (direction, supervision…).

Behind each nurse dressed in a garbage bag as an epi, there was imagination and drama. We were sent to war with our hands tied behind our backs and the nursing team leaders sometimes explained… «that masks were not necessary to put an aerosol on a hospital ward».

Managing material resources in times of crisis and in times of «normality» requires two fundamental things:

– Leadership 

– Shared objectives

Leadership is key to lead the groups through the different circumstances, to be a model, to inspire the rest of the team, to guide each action based on the best scientific evidence, always the best scientific evidence.

The management of material resources also requires known and shared objectives, knowing the reasons for spending ceilings, knowing how each of the materials that pass through the hands of nurses are used, optimizing them to obtain the best result in health and care. When the correct use of the materials is known, the savings in consumption and the best results in terms of care, as we say, come alone.

Managing materials does not consist of keeping them under lock and key and distributing them in drops, «so that they last longer». If you need 10 masks for a morning shift, spending 5 is not a gesture of good management, it is a lack of leadership, communication and knowledge of the objectives.

In conclusion, this week we bring you the principles we established some time ago to manage material resources properly.

First principle: In order to properly manage material resources, a proper appointment policy must be followed. Make sure that the people who are going to manage the material resources know how to do it.

Principle Two: Good nursing resource managers have a thorough knowledge of good nursing practice. They know the evidence and implement it in their day-to-day work.

Third Principle: To manage material resources, it is necessary to know them and know how to use them efficiently. Example: Not asking for a dressing for a nursing unit does not mean that you will save more.  It is all about knowing the material and managing it.

 Fourth Principle: Managing a resource means knowing it and supervising it. This includes a training function for the personnel around us. The good manager explains the evidence and good use of the dressings, for example.

Fifth Principle: Evidence of soap and water for everything does not exist.

Sixth Principle: Managing material resources implies knowing how and when each resource is spent, knowing the techniques for monitoring and tracking materials.

Seventh Principle. Work with people.

Eighth Principle. Communicate and inform people.

Principle Nine. Do not leave the responsibility of managing the training agenda to others, carry it out yourself and include principles of good nursing practice and effective use of resources.

Tenth Principle. Educate yourself, as if it were or were important to do so.

ISO 9001 says about the management of material resources:

– It shall be carried out by persons with sufficient capacity to carry out their functions.

– They will know the adequate resources at every moment.

– With the necessary equipment and technology.

– Raw materials, consumables, spare parts, managed efficiently.

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