Leadership: Nurses V. Managers Essay Sample
Following the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines
In the quickly expanding field of medical technology, it is important to understand the many roles nursing leaders and managers can play in the various situations that arise in hospitals and doctor’s offices. Each situation requires firm leadership that will set guidelines, allowing other staff members to follow as seamlessly as possibly. This is all for the benefit of the patient. Unfortunately, some situations may leave nurses without leadership if too much emphasis is placed on management, especially if management is not equipped to handle the situation. Similarly, staff may not understand which further steps to take if too much emphasis is placed on nursing leaders rather than managers. For instance, many hospitals and doctor’s offices make the most changes in the interest to achieve continuous quality improvement and patient satisfaction. This can include learning to use new electronic equipment, converting records from written files to computer files, etc. Working in the medical field, especially as a nurse, is a difficult job without needing constantly to learn a new trade thanks to the ever-evolving occupational landscape. However, proper leadership can make the transitions easier, allowing for better patient satisfaction, as well as happier employees. Managers and nursing leaders have different ways for handling situations involving patient care and satisfaction, though in these situations the manager will be more successful in implementing the changes than the nursing leader.
Implementing new equipment or systems, even if it is to ensure a patient’s health or satisfaction, can be stressful and tiresome. In many cases, nurses do not see the point in spending time learning new routines if the old ones appear to be working just fine. This is where leadership is crucial in rallying staff members for a common cause. If we assume a nursing leader was sent to address the staff’s anxieties about new equipment implementation, they could choose from many approaches. Kathleen B. Bagerson and her associates, authors of, “Clinical Teaching Strategies in Nursing,” suggest that sending nursing leaders to speak to staff members allows for the benefit of staff closeness . Team leaders know staff members more intimately than mangers know them, and are able to communicate on a more personal level at times. They can address worries on this level, which can often be beneficial. The friendship between nurses and nursing leaders can usually be used to help ease transitions, even when nursing staff members are resistant to change. However, there are many instances in which the nursing leader shares the same worries as the nursing staff, which can make it difficult for them to help ease the staff into the transition. They may, in fact, complain and be just as resistant as the staff themselves. If they continue pushing the use of new equipment, schedules, or adaptations, they may lose the close communication they had, as well . Though a nursing leader would have an easier time communicating on a peer-to-peer level with staff members, it would be difficult for them to assert power over staff. Therefore, managers would have more luck easing staff into a transition.
Much like being a nursing leader, there are many ways a manager can approach nursing staff when attempting to implement new ways to uphold patient satisfaction and care. Each one is associated with helping the workplace run smoothly, and keep staff members calm and happy. Pamela J. Grace’s, “Nursing Ethics and Professional Responsibility in Advanced Practice,” suggest a list of tactics and approaches to help staff members become familiar and comfortable with new methods and strategies on behalf of the patient . Grace first suggests that staff members are able to see new methods, schedules, or technology in action. For example, if there is a new computer system or other piece of equipment that will be in use around the office or facility, staff should be able to see it tested in order to understand that it is easy to use. It will also help the staff see the change is an improvement over the ways they are used to doing things; a common problem with staff members is they believe there was nothing wrong with how things were previously completed . Once a manager is able to show the staff that though the implementation of new technology or strategies may be a slight interference to their normal day it will help the patient greatly, they are more likely to accept it. Specifically, if two monitors are being used on patients, one to assess a patient’s blood pressure and another to assess their heart rate, learning to use one machine that monitors both may seem like a hassle. However, once the staff sees that one monitor can help reduce the risk of heart attack and other serious conditions in a patient, they will be more welcoming to the technology.
If showing staff how useful new technology can be fails, there are other strategies managers can use to help staff transition. Communication is essential to any workplace operation, especially when helping staff members transition from an old routine or piece of equipment to a new one. Igor Portoghese stresses in, “Change-Related Expectations and Commitment to Change of Nurses: The Role of Leadership and Communication,” that managers must attempt to communicate with staff members on a peer-to-peer level, while still maintaining their status as a manager in these situations . It can be difficult, and sometimes impossible, which is why nursing leaders and the communication they provide among staff members can be essential when making transitions. Managers must communicate the importance of the new routine or piece of equipment, not only for the benefit of the staff, but primarily for the benefit of the patient . If needed, the manager must also remind staff that a patient’s overall satisfaction, care, and wellbeing is why they are there, thus making the transition essential to the facility’s integrity. Though the nurse’s may still see it as a waste of time, or as a useless piece of technology, it will be difficult for them to deny that it may help the patient survive. It will also be difficult for them to deny that a new schedule or piece of equipement might increase patient satisfaction or overall wellbeing. If the manager successfully expresses these benefits, the staff will be more likely to accept changes in the workplace.
My professional and personal philosophy concerning nursing is managers should be entrusted with any changes the workplace undergoes. Nursing leaders are valuable resources in their own way, but managers are likely to be tools that are more efficient when making transitions when staff members may be resistant. If needed, managers can ask leaders for help when making transitions. Leaders can help communicate changes, as well as the needs of patients to their peers; they have a different level of communication with nurses and are, therefore, better suited for communicating frustrations and anxieties . Communicating these worries allows the integral relationship between nurses and nursing leaders to stay intact, while managers are still able to oversee operations. Managers are able to make final decisions about new technology, equipment, or schedules that will be ultimately implemented in the workplace, and are able to demonstrate their importance from the patient’s point of view. If there is further confusion, managers can demonstrate how easy the new operation will make the nurse’s job once it is mastered . My philosophy supports this method because I prefer managers to be the primary source of delegation when it comes to working in the medical field. I respect nursing leaders and their position of power. However, I value their position as communicators more during transitions, and would not want them in a position that would sever those ties.
In closing, nursing leaders and managers have several different strategies at their disposal when helping make successful transitions in the workplace. The primary goal in this specific instance would be make sure the staff understands the client’s wellbeing and overall satisfaction is at stake. Though the transition may upset their daily routine slightly while it is being put in place, nursing leaders can help communicate its importance, while managers can help enforce the change. In this regard, nursing leaders are vital to the operation, but managers are the most important members of the team because they are the initial enforcers of the transition. They command the respect of the entire staff and are essential to health transitions in the health practice.
Bagerson, K. B., Oermann, M. M., & Shellenbarger, T. (2014). Clinical Teaching Strategies in Nursing, Fourth Edition. New York City: Springer Publishing.
Grace, P. J. (2013). Nursing Ethics and Professional Responsibility in Advanced Practice. Burlington: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Portoghese, I., Galletta, M., Battistelli, A., Saiani, L., & Penna, M. (2011). Change-related expectations and commitment to change of nurses: the role of leadership and communication. Journal of Nursing Management, 582-591.