Leadership and management although often used interchangeably are not the same (Hood, 2018). To be a good manager you need to have good leadership skills. I believe in leading by example. The cardinal rules of leadership are Listen to advice, do the right thing, see the mistakes, take responsibility and give respect (Malone, 2006).
I have no prior experience as a nurse manager. As a nurse manager, I would be present frequently in the work environment and observe interactions between the healthcare team and witness daily activities of the staff. This would enable me to identify possible issues first hand. Being present often would make me easily approachable as a manager to be addressed with any issues or concerns. I would hold weekly meetings with the staff where I am able to listen effectively and everyone is able to express any incidents, concerns or suggestions for improvement. All members should feel empowered to contribute to making positive changes to improve the quality of care we provide to our patients. In addition, I would jump right in and help when I see a nurse is feeling overwhelmed. I would take any valid suggestions for improvements to the powers that be to have new policies put in place after witnessing positive outcomes from a nurseâ€™s experience. â€œAs for every nurse, patient care always comes first â€“ our golden rule (Malone, 2006, p. 63).
Having the ability to influence another demonstrates leadership (Hood, 2018). Nurses display leadership daily in their practice in their role as critical thinker, caregiver, client advocate, change agent, teacher, coordinator and colleague (Hood, 2018). On my unit, I am often used as a preceptor for new nurses. We have many newer nurses on our unit and I find I am often used as a resource person by them. If I am approached with a question I do not know the answer to, I will help them to utilize the resources available to us to find an answer.
One example of how I demonstrated leadership and improved quality of care was using nursing interventions to reduce the risk of ventilator assisted pneumonias (VAP). The hospital has a protocol in place. One requirement is to provide oral care using our sage kit, it does not specifically state frequency. I have found that some nurses fail to do this when busy, or donâ€™t do it frequently enough. When I have a vented patient, I automatically provide oral care every four hours, I routinely do it at 8:00, 12:00 and 16:00. In addition to following the protocol, I place the bed on percussion and vibration Q2H and put the bed on continuous lateral rotation to help reduce the risk of VAP. Although it is not written policy, this has become standard practice on our unit. I feel the servant leadership theory best reflects my method of leadership.
Hood, L. J. (2018). Leddy & Peppers professional nursing. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.
Malone, B. (2006). Lead by example. Nursing Standard, 21(1), 62-63.