To be able to offer excellent and effective medical services, health care institutions require able leadership. Functions and operations of various units and individuals in these institutions are guided by a code of conduct that aims at maximizing productive and effectiveness. The leaders in health care institutions are therefore charged with the responsibility of implementing a leadership style or code that will guide the staff. The task of implementing a new patient tracking system while working with new experienced and inexperienced staff is considerably daunting. For smooth and successful implementation, I believe transformational and servant leadership are the most strategic leadership styles to utilize.
As a leader, I am well aware that I bare the most responsibility in motivating and inspiring others to achieve common goals. However, I believe that some of the other experienced nurses can provide assistance in guiding the new team of nurses. The first course of action would be to group these nurses, ensuring there is a balance of experienced and inexperienced members. Each team is to have a leaders who in this case is a group member who is highly tenured in this ED and experienced in this specialty. Ideally, this system will allow the new nurses to have a go to person when in need of assistance and the team leader can also provide hands on training as they conduct their duties. In addition to this, the leadership role will be rotational, on a weekly basis in order to engage the staff and increase motivation. As the nurse manager, I will also take up the position of team member in all teams on a rotational basis in order to learn and know all the staff on an individual level. I believe that this will help me learn the strengths and weaknesses of all the members and in the future mold them to become better nurses.
Servant leadership will be essential for the success of this new system. The new system which is a Hospital Real-time Location System (HRTLS) is significantly sophisticated and the implementation process is bound to be a challenge especially for the new nurses. Empathy and patience are therefore vital in this process, both of which are pillars of servant leadership. I will strive to lead by example, taking up tasks and openly asking for clarity or help from my team when in need (Boamah et al, 2018). This should help me showcase to my team that there is no shame in asking for help or being vulnerable, a concept that I trust will increase the chance of swift and smooth implementation of this system.
The selection of these leadership styles has also been greatly influenced by my strengths as an individual. I am firm believer in team work, one of the pillars of transformational and servant leadership. My ability to positively engage with my team will grant me the power to leverage emotional intelligence and understand interpersonal dynamics to drive individual and collective performance (Fischer, 2016). Charisma is also one of my strong suits. Charisma is essential for transformational leaders because it is their responsibility to rally team members around a shared vision of a better future. Transformational leaders express charisma by listening, being present, giving praise when things go right, taking responsibility when things go wrong, and providing constructive criticism to team members.
Granting the members the opportunity to lead also stems from my high tolerance for risk. Transformational leaders understand that calculated risk taking is a necessary and integral part of their job. Transformational leaders lean on their innate curiosity to seek out new approaches, they rely on research, seek counsel from experts, and act assertively when opportunities are discovered. With this affirmation, I trust that allowing other team members to take a lead and learning from them not only boosts motivation, it also allows me to learn and grow as a leader.
Empathy and patience also make up some of my core strengths that relate to the leadership styles implemented. It is imperative for every leader to have a sense of tolerance and empathy especially when handling new team members who at times make mistakes (Boamah et al, 2018). A sense of patience will propel any leader to take the role of mentoring and guiding team members to becoming great. Great leaders are able to put together a diverse group of people from all walks of life. This requires coaching and mentorship.
With a number of leadership styles in existence, one would wonder the basis of choosing these types of leadership. There two main factors that influenced this decision, personal prowess and the challenge at hand. My personal prowess of strengths played a significant role since I am well aware of just how much the success of a leader is dependent on how well he/she can utilize individual strengths. Being a team player primarily pointed to transformational and servant leadership since it will allow me to actively engage with my team members and help harness the best that each can give. Instead of giving direct orders to their employees, transformational leaders give them the tools and confidence to take charge and make decisions as necessary. This contributes to an environment where all employees are engaged and empowered. I am confident that this will make the nurses think critically about their roles, challenge conventions when appropriate, and maintain positive workplace momentum.
The fact that my immediate task was to effectively oversee the implementation of a new patient tracking system also influenced the type of leadership styles I picked. With a team composed of diverse members in terms of experience and personality, striking a balance is integral for the success of this project. To be able to get these individuals to operate as a unit can only be achieved by a leadership system that ‘leaves no man behind’. The idea is to use the more experienced nurses to teach the new nurses operations in the institution. The objective of this idea is to ensure that once the new system is running all the nurses with well-versed in how this and other systems in the department function.
These styles of leadership also have significant differences with other leadership styles, an aspect that makes them most appropriate for this situation. Unlike transformational leadership, transactional leadership utilizes a reward and punishment system that prioritizes efficiency over building morale (Fischer, 2016). This system is favorable for short term goals but does not favor long term objectives. Transactional leaders only focus on the present. They are not concerned with the performance of the organization in the future. This system would not be suitable for the implementation of the new patient tracking system as it does allow the proper molding of new staff members. This could lead to a lot of errors in the future caused by inexperienced members.
Democratic leadership is an appealing leadership style, but in this case the situation required rapid action. The implementation of a new system in the institution is a time-sensitive affair and unfortunately a democratic leadership style would only slow the process (Rousell & Thomas, 2020). On the other hand, a Laissez-faire leadership approach works well with saving time but the “hands-off” concept would mean that the some of the members would have to carry the weight of the new inexperienced members (Gokenbach & Thomas, 2020). Ideally this system would have been favorable had the entire team been experienced. It is however, a style that can be considered after the implementation of the new system. Autocratic leadership style also does not seem viable as it goes against building team camaraderie, developing trust, or having open communication.
The successful implementation of this new patients tracking system presents a unique opportunity for me as a leader. Successful implementation of this system will allow me to advance my career and in the future advocate for various issues on behalf of my team members and the patients. The most immediate impact will be on my supervisors who will now have the confidence that I can serve the institution at a leadership capacity as well. This could propel them to grant me more roles and more power over matters in the institution. This will mean that I can make significant changes in a bid to create a conducive work environment for my members and foster better care for our patients.
Success in this project will also increase the trust between me and my team members. Trust will allow them to freely air their views and grievances to me, and in turn I will seek progressive solutions. Creating a harmonious, conflict –free working environment will promote provision of excellent and effective medical services. This will reduce fatalities and increase confidence in the work we do as nurses in the emergency department.
Boamah, S. A., Laschinger, H. K. S., Wong, C., & Clarke, S. (2018). Effect of transformational leadership on job satisfaction and patient safety outcomes. Nursing outlook, 66(2), 180-189.
Fischer, S. A. (2016). Transformational leadership in nursing: a concept analysis. Journal of advanced nursing, 72(11), 2644-2653.
Gokenbach, V., & Thomas, P. L. (2020). Maximizing human capital. In L. Roussel, P. L. Thomas, & J. L. Harris (Eds.), Management and leadership for nurse administrators (8th ed., 189–226). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Roussel, L., Swansburg, R. J., & Swansburg, R. C. (Eds.). (2006). Management and leadership for nurse administrators. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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