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What does a Director of Clinical Services do?

By Haven Esme
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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Director of clinical services is a position that registered nurses occupy when they move from direct patient care to managing other nurses and staff. Registered nurses who enter the role of clinical services directors often significantly increase their responsibilities. There are several aspects of a clinic that a director of clinical services oversees. These include teams of nurses, nurse assistants, administrative staff, and general patient services.

Certain skills and experience are crucial in ensuring the success of a clinical services director. For instance, clinical management experience is needed as well as the ability to maintain a flexible schedule based on the clinic's needs. A director of clinical services should also be able to work efficiently with others and assume managerial tasks with ease.

Although the director's main role is to help manage nurses, he or she must also ensure that the staff complies with national laws. Each country has its own set of laws, regulations, and stipulations on how health care facilities should manage and direct patient care. As a clinical services director, the individual must ensure that clinical functions are in compliance with state or national regulations. They also ensure that the staff correctly follows the doctor's orders.

Individuals who work as a director of clinical services are less involved with helping patients in a direct manner because they have managerial and administrative duties to perform. In some cases, the director is responsible for the financial management of a health care facility. For example, the director may assist in the preparation of an organization's budget.

The director is also in charge of hiring new staff. Directors help ensure that health care facilities hire the appropriate staff members who can effectively contribute to the operation of a clinic. They are also responsible for making sure that staff members are properly trained. Directors play a pivotal role in ensuring that staff members have the experience and expertise to effectively help patients.

Most directors have several years of experience working as a

registered nurse

. In addition to certification as a registered nurse, directors must have CPR certification. They must also possess expert knowledge of health care regulations and services. Some clinical directors use their expert knowledge to provide counseling and guidance to other managers. This guidance helps health care facilities improve aspects of health care services. The director of clinical services typically has a knack for patient care and a desire to see a health care facility run as smoothly as possible.

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Discussion Comments
By NathanG — On Nov 14, 2011

@David09 - That’s probably true but I don’t think it’s the most difficult part of the job. The nurse manager job description describes administrative duties, including budgetary decisions.

That’s the biggest part in my opinion because nowadays healthcare has become very expensive. I am sure that clinics and hospitals are looking for ways to reduce costs and run the operation as efficiently as possible.

While there is certainly nothing to prevent them for raising their prices, insurance companies can impose limits on how much they can pay and that will affect the bottom line of the clinic. The HIPPA regulations were implemented as part of the process to try to bring costs down, but ultimately it will depend on how effective the management is for each nursing facility.

By David09 — On Nov 13, 2011

I think this is a high stress job. What caught my attention in the director of nursing job description was the part about making sure that nurses correctly follow doctor’s orders.

The reality is that sometimes they don’t, whether you’re talking about an error in the kind of prescription administered, the dosage or something else. When that happens, you have malpractice lawsuits flying quickly.

While I am sure that the registered nurse responsible for the error would take a hit, the director of clinical services is the one ultimately responsible. I don’t think I would want that kind of stress. I also imagine that this is more or less a 24/7 position, or that at least you need to be available at all sorts of hours, and weekends too.

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