Nurse Leader, Essay Example
This paper focuses on the nurse leader’s characteristics and behaviours that I have been shadowing. A consideration of those I consider most effective and also least effective is given, as well as my reasons for my viewpoints.
The person that I was shadowing is G.A., who has her RN, MSN, and OCN. She is the Director of Nursing on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit and the Alkek 8 at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, a position that she has held for 17 years. She is also on the Peer Review Board for the hospital. G.A. also teaches new hire nurses the chemotherapy course and checks them off annually for certification at the hospital. G.A. stated that she reads the Clinical Journal of Oncology and the American Nursing Journal, as well as various other nursing literature. Additionally, she believes professional development to be extremely important and takes advantage of every opportunity to attend various in-house and out-of-the-hospital lectures, seminars, and conferences. She also takes advantage, of whatever is available on the internet.
Importantly, she does not confine her professional development activities to nursing per se but to all of the components that make for an effective Director of Nursing; such as how organizations work and what makes them effective. Nursing leadership and management, although often used interchangeably, are not the same. “A nurse can be a manager but not possess many nursing leadership skills” (nurse together) and vice versa. “A leader typically has good communication and interpersonal skills” (ibid.). ,which G. A. has.
A knows and embraces the fact that “different situations require the use of different leadership styles” (Team Technology) and that “A good leader will be able to develop flexibility to use any of the styles; recognize the demands of each situation; adapt appropriately by using the styles that will give optimum success; and ensure one’s own personality needs are met” (ibid.). For the most part, G. A. uses the participative leadership style, which is described as “people oriented, motivator, builds personal relationships, likeable, interpersonal skills, cares for others” (ibid.). These should be used when “commitment from others is critical, or sensitive situations” (ibid.), which they are to G. A.’s effectiveness in her position. They should, however, not be used when “decisions need to be forced through, conflict is being avoided” (ibid.), in which case ideological leadership might be a better style. G. A. is effective in both, but for the most part, uses the participative leadership style, which agrees with her personality. This has resulted in an excellent rapport with—and respect from– her superiors, subordinates, peers, patients, board members and others They all know that communication with her is not just downwards, but also upwards and sideways. This, along with her positive and encouraging attitude and the cooperation that surrounds her, has resulted in G. A. being a good team builder and an effective delegator. An example of the latter is her delegating the ordering of unit supplies to the day shift unit secretary on both wards and then checking that it was done properly.
It is natural for conflict to arise from time to time in virtually any place, but especially so in large organizations, something which also occurs at the Methodist Hospital in Houston. When it occurs in G. A.’s areas of responsibility and other areas of interaction, she knows that although often some positive things result, it must be resolved as quickly as possible. G. A. is thoroughly familiar with the various methods of conflict resolution, but prefers to use the Win-Win compromise or collaboration solutions, preferably the first. Both solutions are similar, but the latter goes deeper. Both solutions, however, result in both parties giving up something and gaining something. As a result, both parties lose something, but both parties also gain something (Scott, 1990). G. A. touches on the various methods of conflict management during her monthly meetings with the various shifts, encouraging them to resolve any conflict as soon as possible and not let it fester. However, when that does not happen, G. A. invites the parties at conflict into her office and mediates the resolution. Although I have, obviously, not been in the office during this time, G. A. has told me about some of the cases, being careful not to reveal the names of the parties. Apparently, every case whether it involved one nurse working so slowly that the other had to pick up the slack or a nurse abusing the staff power of self-scheduling and always getting the shifts that she wants regardless of the wishes of the nurse with whom she is in conflict, has been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties by using the win-win method
I have discussed with G. A. how she does the monthly budget so well, considering her staffing grid based on patient ratio and acuity coming into play when before and after a transplant the ratio becomes 1:1 and not the usual 1:3 or the 1:4 and 1:5 with oncology patients.
Communication is very important to effective nurse leadership. The most effective style is considered to be when the leader communicates upwards, downwards, and laterally and receives it the same way. This empowers and respects everyone. This is the style that G. A. uses and through which she has received many valuable suggestions. G. A. is, however, also a good listener. Good communicators give feedback and solicit feedback to their communication. Paraphrasing is very important to make sure that the receiver understood the message accurately. Whether speaking or writing, it should be done at the receiver’s level, especially when speaking to patients who often receive messages that other professionals understand, but they may not—and this without speaking down to them. Body language should agree with the message.
Speak at a volume suitable for the receiver and use a tone that reflects your message.
Nurse Together. Nurse leadership versus management. Retrieved on August 26, 2012, from http://www.nursingtogether.com/career/career-article/itimid/1138/nurse.
Scott, G. G. (1990). Resolving conflict with others and within yourself. New Harbinger Publications: Oakland, California.
Team Technology. Leadership styles. Retrieved on August 26, 2012, from http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/leadership-styles.html.
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