Nursing and leadership
The field of nursing is one of the most important in the medical are. It is a profession requiring a lot of discipline because of its association with the lives of people. It is a profession requiring advocacy, critical thinking, and action. Nursing leadership is also paramount because hospitals and other health institutions require courageous, energetic, visionary nurses with the capabilities of exerting authority and manage health resources in an innovative, modern nursing practice that is professional. Leadership is, therefore, a very important aspect expected of nurses at all levels such as simple students to experienced nurses. The maximization of the leadership potential of nurses is very important in the development of beneficial outcomes from the other aspects of the organization, and it becomes a shared responsibility that results in the establishment of a nursing practice that is of high quality. Leadership is also interdependent with management as they go hand in hand in all aspects of an organization where nursing practice takes place (Diane et al, 2010, p.5). Nurses are usually involved with a wide range of scenarios from their day to day activities. They engage with people from all walks of life and interact with different people every day. In addition to that, the world has become quite diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, cultures and nationality. This is diversity associated with many differences. Nurses have to ensure that they accommodate all aspects of diversity in their practice because these differences demand a lot regarding equity and equality. Nurses, therefore, need a lot of leadership skills and deep critical thinking skills to be able to address the various issues mainly attributed to diversity. This is an essay that will try and analyses various aspects of leadership in a nursing profession that may be effective in addressing factors of diversity, equity and equality (Rose, 2017). It will also try and explain a learning model that is relative to the reflection and assess the model based on its influence in learning and development as a nurse.
The scenario involved the need for good leadership skills at a workplace. Nursing is a very sensitive profession because it is associated with safeguarding the lives of people. Nurses are more of the custodians of the health and wellbeing of their patient. The scenario involved working in an organization filled with diversity in the form of culture and nationality. It was an Australian hospital but had people especially from the Philippines. These are people of a different nation, speaking a different language and have a different culture. In such a diverse setting there is usually great fear of being discriminative based on race, ethnicity or culture. I had a comrade who took me to one of his rounds, and that is where I met other Filipino nurses. The problem is that they were speaking in their language and it appeared a little bit rude and unprofessional because they did so in front of the patient. In this scenario, there is the aspect of the need to be accommodative of the differences that come with working with people from a different part of the world and on the other side there is the issue of professionalism. The scenario demonstrates the need for values that consider how nursing practice needs a high level of professionalism. It was quite difficult because I was only a student nurse in a hospital and such a position taking action about the situation is very difficult. Equality and equity are two very important aspects that nurses ought to understand, and there was also great fear in handling the situation without considering the two factors. Speaking one's native language in a foreign setting is not a bad thing, but in a professional setting such as the one with the two nurses, it can be very unprofessional.
The scenario provided a good learning experience associated the importance of being proactive. The scenario was sensitive in the sense that it created a dilemma between the need for professionalism and having the ability to identify and take actions when acts of malpractice take place and the need to be accommodative of diversity in the workplace. In most cases people fear to handle such situations because they fear being labeled racist or discriminative because, in such a scenario, the two nurses would be urged to stop using their native language in a professional setting especially when working with patients, however, this still a scenario that needed action and a leader ought to move beyond such challenges and address the issue directly as it is. Some of the self-development challenges included the reconciliation of the two aspects discussed above and this involved being courageous and being very critical in thinking. I had to prepare well to be an efficient problem solver and be as proactive as possible in such scenarios and others that might develop (Diversity and Equality of Opportunity, 2016).
The scenario was based on a leading model associated with leadership as responsibility as well as a form of management. Patients in the hospital are usual aspects that nurses manage. Leadership in nursing ought to have a good understanding of the practice as a form of management. Nurses need to have good skills in planning, controlling, organizing and coordinating resources. Leadership is also a responsibility. Nurses are usually the custodian of the health and wellbeing of the patient and are usually responsible for their lives. The scenario showed the great need for a good sense of responsibility needed to safeguard the needs of the patients (Nahavandi, 2000, p.13).
Leadership changes always exist, and they are inevitable especially in a nursing practice. Challenges always test the abilities of leaders; however, if challenges are positively achieved then, they can incite a leader to rise to a new level. Challenges of leadership are usually categorized into three factors they include, external, internal and the nature of the leadership role. External challenges are those that come from other people and other situations. External challenges are usually shared responsibilities between the leader and the organization because the failure of the leader to handle them means that the organization will not be able to also. They are, therefore, very difficult challenges and require great strength, focus, and critical thinking. Internal challenges are those from within. They include aspects such as fear, insecurity, lack of confidence, intolerance and many other internal factors that make up a person. The strength and capability of a person depends on their ability to overcome these challenges within them. The other challenges are associated with the leadership aspect itself. The nature of the leadership role such as being a leader in a nursing practice may be a challenge on its own. Leaders always have high expectations and demands from the people they lead. They are responsible for upholding the mission and vision of the organization by being their representatives. They carry great burdens, and many times people seem to think the responsibility is shared, but it is usually borne by only one person; the leader. In this case, the role of a leader itself can be a challenge by being overwhelming and lacking adequate supports from the other staff members for which the leadership is intended (Diane et al, 2010, p.19).
Leadership is usually a very specific factor, and leaders need to identify their leadership style that suits their professions and organizational environment. Leadership is usually a term that is used to mean the process of identification of a goal and objectives, motivating and supporting people to work to achieve them (Nahavandi, 2000, p.15). When it comes to nursing, patient care is the foundational aspect of leadership as well as the general nursing practice. It is a unique form of leadership that has a lot of expectation because of the great health demands, complex health policies and health standards and their association with taking care of human life. Leadership in the world of today needs, even more, wisdom because of the diverse nature of the world. Leaders ought to understand the importance of accommodating people from other parts of the world. The world is becoming very cosmopolitan with the society having people from all walks of life. Diversity is always positive for the society because it is a factor that enriches the culture of a particular society and brings in new perspectives and ways of thinking. However, the difference can sometimes be disadvantageous especially because of aspects of racism and discrimination. These are negative aspects that make up the world of today and cannot be ignored. We live in a world where people expect equity and equality in all aspects of life; however, others find themselves superior to the others and thus bring in negative aspects of discrimination. A good leader ought to well prepare to identify and handle such negative issues. He or she ought to know the right time to act and the right process to make especially if it is in a nursing practice environment (Nursing leadership, 2017, p.3).
The leadership experience from the scenario provided a learning experience responsible for a positive development as a nurse in the complex sector that is the nursing practice. The experience was much like the one based on a learning cycle based on Kolb. It is a model that tries to explain how people learn from their life experiences that occur through events that take place on a daily place. The Nursing practice and the activities that take place in it are usually very routine and as each day goes by, any new experience that occurs becomes part of the learning process that means growth and development as a nurse. The use of the experience coupled with the ability to reflect on the events of the scenario form a good basis for Kolb’s learning cycle. Reflection is therefore, a core factor of the cycle. The cycle is based on the following process; the experience which in this case was the scenario that occurred, the reflection of what happened, conceptualizing, and finally planning which also involves active experimentations based on the conclusions drawn from the experience after reflection and conceptualizing (Kolb, 2005, p.3).
Conclusion and action plan
Leadership in nursing practice is, therefore, a very important aspect. This is clearly shown in the scenario with the Filipino nurses. Action has to be taken even if there is fear of backlash. In a nursing practice, the wellbeing and health of patients have to be on top of the list and the two nurses may have the best intentions at heart but ought to be professional in their activities. Leadership ought to uphold good values and strength will to ensure that everything is running smoothly. It ought to be based on the theories of responsibility and good management of people and resources. The experience from the scenario was important for the learning process especially as a nurse and it has been well explained by the use of Kolb’s learning cycle. Based on the reflection it is clear that work ethics are very important especially in nursing practice. One of the professional issues is handling the Filipino nurses who were using their native language even with patients. A nurse with adequate leadership skills ought to be bold and directly address this issue in a peaceful manner. He or she needs to approach them and explain to them why it might be rude and unprofessional to use their native language, especially with patients. Despite the fact that such an effort may not be accepted positively, a nurse needs to be bold for work ethics in premises is upheld. Because of the hierarchy in a health institution, a student nurses may find it difficult to address the issue because the rest of the people might ignore them because they are inexperienced, but all in all the issue still needs addressing and identifying the right authority may be prudent in order for such a situation to be handled amicably.
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