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With over thirteen years of experience in the healthcare field, I have witnessed various management styles and have held roles ranging from a novice nurse to an informal leader and eventually an appointed manager. Throughout this journey, I have encountered diverse feelings towards management, and my experiences have led me to reflect on the importance of leadership theories and their application in healthcare settings. In this essay, I will explore the evolution of my personal nursing philosophy, the impact of Peter Drucker's management theory, and the significance of emotional intelligence in leadership.
As Blaise and Hayes (2002) suggest, philosophy in nursing examines the nature of nursing phenomena and aims to provide meaning to them. It offers a broad understanding that guides nursing practice and decision-making. Combining a defined leadership theory with one's nursing philosophy enhances the comprehension of personal concepts and experiences, fostering personal and professional growth.
Peter Drucker's management theory advocates involving the entire organization in planning and establishing the management process.
This approach has been adopted in my current workplace through weekly staff meetings that encourage open discussions. Moreover, an anonymous "drop box" allows employees to share problems or ideas with upper management. Additionally, our organization incentivizes staff participation by offering a one-hundred dollar bonus for new ideas or plans accepted by the hospital corporation.
This collaborative approach to leadership aligns with Drucker's belief that leaders can be developed and nurtured, emphasizing individual autonomy and decision-making. Drucker's assertion that "leadership is something scientific but has artistic expression" highlights the unique and individualized aspect of leadership, which can lead to innovative solutions and growth.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) also underscores the importance of collaboration and recognition of expertise within and outside the profession (ANA, 2003). In today's competitive healthcare landscape, teamwork, and diverse perspectives are crucial for enhancing patient outcomes and an organization's long-term sustainability.
Reflecting on my nursing career, I can identify distinct management transitions within the facility where I initially worked. When I first started, I felt like a mere "warm body" assigned tasks without a sense of personal value or impact on the hospital's overall performance. The management style during that period resembled a laissez-faire approach, marked by a lack of structure and individual empowerment.
However, significant changes occurred when a new company acquired our hospital three years later. These changes brought about computer charting, new management, updated rules, and evolving standards. While these transformations were met with resistance from some, I recognized the opportunity for growth and embraced change. Under this new management technique, which aligned with Drucker's philosophy, staff participation, goal-setting, and leadership development were encouraged.
I distinctly remember when the hospital administrator approached me, shaking my hand, and genuinely inquiring about the status of my nursing unit. This form of management empowered us as healthcare professionals, fostering self-esteem and professional growth. I began to delve deeper into nursing skills, medications, equipment, and patient care. Challenges became learning opportunities, leading me to a management position in the emergency room department. I not only grew as a nurse but also as a person, developing a deep appreciation for teamwork and the art of healthcare.
Over the course of ten years in the emergency room, I gained invaluable knowledge and camaraderie with my colleagues. Together, we contributed to the development of new policies and systems to enhance patient care. I realized the significance of nurses sharing their perspectives and experiences to improve patient outcomes.
My journey has taught me about the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership. As Finkelman (2011) emphasizes, emotional intelligent leadership creates a positive work environment that nurtures employees and motivates them to excel. Recognition and positive reinforcement are fundamental in fostering an open, positive learning environment and building strong interpersonal relationships among employees. In my future leadership roles, I aim to incorporate these principles to create a climate that encourages teamwork, personal growth, and collaboration.
My journey in healthcare has exposed me to various management styles and philosophies. Peter Drucker's theory of involving the entire organization in the management process has proven effective in our workplace, fostering collaboration, innovation, and personal growth. The American Nurses Association recognizes the importance of recognizing expertise and collaborating with others to enhance patient care.
Furthermore, my personal growth as a nurse leader has reinforced the significance of emotional intelligence in leadership. Recognizing the value of employees and providing positive reinforcement can create a working environment that encourages excellence and teamwork. As I continue to advance in my leadership roles, I am committed to incorporating these principles to facilitate professional development, build strong interpersonal relationships, and contribute to the betterment of healthcare delivery.
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