Leadership styles in nursing refer to a nurse leader’s characteristics and behaviors when managing, directing, guiding, and motivating their teams. Leadership styles are classifications of how leaders behave in management positions. As we watch the video of Sara interacting with Dr. Acharya with the response of her five minutes from leaving, may have been the emotionally responding oppose to hearing the situation with the patient and trying to find a resolution all while leaving at a respected time. According to Hardee, Effective leaders are those who can recognize what followers need and then adapt their own style to meet the needs (2017). Sara initial approach was not effective as a leader. Once approached by the doctor, if she was overwhelmed, she can ask for a second then recollect her thoughts and reapproach the Dr.Acharya, understand his concern for the discharge education and safety for the patient, and since it was not completed, tell him you will further investigate to have discharge ready for the following day. Then as a leader, follow-up with Case management to see what are some issues that can be causing delays in discharging patients and how can you as a leader assist them. This type of leadership can be viewed as situational leadership.
In the episode with Paula, there were concerns with Paula not adapting to the new Electronic Health Record and causing medication errors since she was not fluent with working the EMR application. This can cause medication errors, that can lead to death or failure of organs amongst patients. At first, Sara was hesitant with talking to Paula due to Paula having seniority over Sara regarding nursing career longevity. This leadership trait that Sara was exhibiting poor leadership. Once Paula presented to the nurse’s station and stated that since she does not know this software, she feels like she is being excluded and should just retire; at that moment Sara stepped up as a leader. Sara decided to offer Paula tactile training one-on-one to learn the new EMR system. This effort showed Paula, that she follows behind a leader that is willing to motivate her staff and assist them in excelling to be the best nurse they can be.
Hardee, G. (2017, February 8). Emotional intelligence. Global Leadership Foundation. Retrieved August 24, 2022, from https://globalleadershipfoundation.com/deepening-understanding/emotional-intelligence/ (Links to an external site.)
Path-goal theory of leadership. YouTube. (2020, December 3). Retrieved September 7, 2022, from https://youtu.be/KL8QEMR9428
Sara’s leadership style with Paula was the path-goal theory approach. The path-goal theory states that a leader’s behavior is contingent on the satisfaction, motivation, and performance of their employees. She realized that Paula was having difficulty using the new EHR and she offered her support and tried her best to come up with ways that she could help. By doing rounds with her and giving her a hard copy of the manual it will help Paula adapt to the new system. Having Paula succeed is a goal Sara wants to accomplish and this will attribute to her leadership behavior in a positive way. She incorporated some flexibility from the situational approach by determining the needs of Paula and adapting accordingly.
When Sara interacted with Dr. Acharya, although she did not appreciate the last minute orders, she knew the job had to be done. In a leadership role you have to assume responsibility for the completion of a task. A situational approach is appropriate in this case as this was something that came up unexpectedly. An area of this approach is by using directive behaviors to help group members accomplish goals by giving directions, establishing goals, and setting timelines (Quinn, 2017). She attempted to begin the discharge process herself until she was able to meet up with case management. Effective nurse leaders use their knowledge, wisdom and presence to listen to those they care for, influence healthcare discussions, and advocate for the needs of patients and their families, including influencing where resources might need to be allocated (Quinn, 2017).
It’s important to approach them differently because of the different situations. In a leadership role you will encounter various situations that require different approaches. In the case of Paula she seems sensitive to the challenge she is facing and Sara has to take into consideration her feelings when navigating this issue.
Quinn, B. (2017). Role of nursing leadership in providing compassionate care. Nursing Standard, 32(16–19), 53–63. https://doi.org/10.7748/ns.2017.e11035