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Ethical Leadership Essay

In the healthcare setting, todays leaders face many challenges. One prominent and ongoing issue is the ability of healthcare staff to provide safe, quality care to patients, and to be able to provide this care efficiently. As healthcare professionals we understand that ethical issues along with cultural issues within an organization are very common. As healthcare professionals we work to improve access to healthcare, provide quality care, promote safety, and assure care is provided within a safe environment according to cultural beliefs. Things in the healthcare field are changing constantly and this in turn affects patient care, and employee satisfaction. End of life care has grown over the last decade as well as issues related to this area. We have also seen a push for organ donations. Leaders today face many ethical issues within the healthcare environment. This paper will focus on how leadership affects ethical issues that involve the ability of healthcare staff to provide efficient, safe, quality care to patients observing their cultural beliefs.

Key Strategies to Address Ethical Issue

To address the ethical issue of the ability of healthcare professionals to provide safe, efficient, quality healthcare there must be a point of focus to get healthcare professionals to this goal. The point of focus would be providing efficient. If care is provided efficiently this in turn results in quality care because the patient’s needs are being met in a timely manner. If their needs are being met in a timely manner these results in safety. We must also be culturally aware. Leaders within the organization is constantly reviewing situations and making decisions.

Every decision that is made addresses ethical issues that affect patients, family members, healthcare providers, and leaders. Leaders must provide orientation to new employees and in-services to current employees. Leaders must look at each healthcare provider’s competency and provide education in those areas that the provider lacks knowledge in. Leaders must also assess the provider’s compassion for patient care. Education and understanding and using the Code of Ethics, is the key to efficient, safe, quality patient care. Patient must also have access to healthcare.

Supportive Empirical Evidence

There was a study that was conducted on ethical problems in nursing management and it states, “The most common ethical problems concerned resource allocation as well as providing and developing high quality care”(Nursing Ethics, 2010). This article addresses the fact that leaders used the “Professional Code of Ethics”, when addressing problems related to the care of patients. Following the code of ethics also results in delivery of efficient and safe patient care. According to Nelson, Taylor, and Walsh, after a “problem or ethics gap has been clarified” (The Health Care Manager 2014), then the team and leaders need to take this information and use it to develop a plan to assist healthcare providers to understand the mission and values of the organization and put them into practice to provide efficient, safe, quality care to patients.

The plan should be comprised of goals that are both attainable and reasonable. Leaders and healthcare providers must also be culturally competent, because this leads to quality patient care. According to Slatten, David Carson, and Carson “compassion fatigue” is related to poor patient care and burnout of healthcare providers, (The Health Care Manager, 2011). Healthcare workers must be compassionate and caring. This can lead to what Slatten, David Carson, and Carson refer to as “compassion fatigue”. This article discusses the fact that leaders must allow healthcare workers you talk about what is bothering. If healthcare workers are not functioning at their maximum potential then they cannot provide safe, efficient, quality patient care.

Examples of Importance to Nursing

Providing quality care results in improved patient satisfaction. It assists the patient in achieving maximum health status. It decreases safety issues such as falls, medication errors, and improves a patient’s quality of life. Understanding and being culturally competent allows healthcare providers to provide care according to the patient’s beliefs. The care provided is what influences patient to select a hospital or stay away from a particular hospital. Performance data is now shared and available to patient’s seeking healthcare. Patient outcomes affect overall cost of healthcare.


Leadership is important in the development of plans and goals to provide safe, efficient, quality healthcare. They must not only be concerned with patient’s and family members but they too must look at their employees and make sure they have a focus and the tools they need to reach the goals and provide safe, efficient, quality healthcare. They must be able to handle any ethical issues. There must be a focus point so that employees have a goal in site to reach for. Leadership is the backbone for nursing and healthcare providers.

Aitamaa, E., Leino-Kilpi, H., Puukka, P., & Suhonen, R. (2010). Ethical problems in nursing management: The role of codes of ethics. Nursing Ethics, 17(4), 469-482. Retrieved November 30, 2014, from PubMed. Nelson, W., Taylor, E., & Walsh, T. (2014). Building an Ethical Organizational Culture. The Health Care Manager, 32(2), 158-164. Retrieved November 30, 2014, from OvidSP. Slatten, L., David Carson, K., & Phillips Carson, P. (2011). Compassion Fatigue and Burnout: What Managers Should Know. The Health Care Manager, 30(4), 325-333. Retrieved November 30, 2014, from OvidSP.

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