- What is the problem?
There are two deep rooted problems that a nurse leader should be able to identify in this situation. The first problem is the increase in workload being experienced by the nurses as a result of the reorganization. This is compounded by the change in institutional procedures, assignments, and companions. The offshoot of these changes brings about the second problem which is the low morale experienced by the staff nurses.
- What are the key issues?
Studies have indicated that there is a relation between healthy workplace environments, well-cared for patients and the well-being of the health care personnel . Thus, the organizational restructure have presented several issues that have hampered the quality of care being provided by the nurses and their well-being as well. One of the key issues is the change in the organizational structures that have fragmented the health care facility in general. It has created no opportunity to have seamless lines of communication among the staff members thus creating a lot of possible misconceptions and misunderstandings.
Another key issue is the increased work load of each staff nurse. Burnout is one of the predominant problems that not only affect the health care providers but also negatively affects the quality of care provided to the patients and the health facility as a whole. It does not only impair the nurses’ ability to render excellent care but also puts the patient in a very precarious situation.
It is the human nature to yearn for appreciation for the good work that has been done. It is therefore, demoralizing for nurses to be in situations that have neglected their contribution to the quality care given to the patients. Although it might be true that it is their responsibility to provide the best possible care to their patients, it is also forthright that acknowledgement of these services be given to them.
- How should Nurse Munoz handle the situation?
Nursing leaders have the duty of creating a work environment that will promote encouraging patient outcomes. They also have the responsibility to positively influence teams and individual nurses to attain the general goal of the profession and the institution . It is therefore needed in this situation that Munoz to clearly understand the viewpoints of all those concerned. She must take into consideration the hospital’s reasons for the reorganization and the staff nurses’ insights on the present working conditions in that environment. Thus, a participatory approach is needed to gather all the necessary information that will lead to workable solutions to benefit all. This approach gives importance to everyone’s opinions but also compels them to analyze their situation and how to best address the present predicament. It also predisposes an ownership to the ideas and would later induce everyone to make things work.
Munoz would also need to review existing structures, policies and procedures in the health care facility. She would have to take into consideration the applicability of each and how these positively or negatively affect the working conditions and well-being of the staff. Furthermore, a detailed study would allow her to negotiate with management to reconsider policies that are outdated and procedures that does not encourage improved performance to render quality care to the patients.
- What should Nurse Munoz do first to demonstrate leadership?
In every health care organization, there must be one who has the wisdom and a vision to reach the potential of the organization . It must have a leader that encourages a transformation of the culture in the work setting. Munoz would have to demonstrate that she is a leader that can effect change. She should be able to encourage other nurses to be actively involved in the process of making the work environment a healthier one. Thus, the first step in the process is to establish clear communication lines among the involved parties. This will allow a more dynamic exchange of ideas between concerned towards achieving the expected standard of care that the institution has envisioned.
Once the staff recognizes that Munoz is a leader that supports the efforts to improve the quality of the health institution and the well-being of all, she will be able to gain their trust and would actively participate in achieving an environment that is more conducive to learning and productive work.
- What leadership style would be most appropriate in this situation?
Munoz should employ a transformational leadership style which uses more than one style to convince staff to perform at a higher level of excellence. The transformational leader can change a culture on noncompliance among nursing staff to improve the overall performance of the institution.
Transformational leadership has a developmental nature that facilitates the achievement of results by influencing, motivating and inspiring employees . The transformational leader will enable the employee to relate to the mission and vision of an organization. He or she will facilitate the employee playing a large part in the positive efforts towards building a strong organization. The employee will gain personal achievement and external reward for the organization’s success.
- What leadership and management strategies might be helpful?
Healthcare leaders and management must not focus primarily on the tasks to be completed through pacesetting. This does not focus on sustaining working relationships with the staff as it neglects to recognize their emotional needs as they give care to the patients. It is more forthright to be relationally focused where the staff’s emotional condition is understood. This strategy builds trust through listening, empathy and responding through staff concerns. Health leaders and management would be able to understand the staff’s issues, work concerns and be able to support them and their abilities .
It will also be wise for the nurse leader to investigate factors that influence the nurses’ job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is directly related to the quality of care a nurse provides the patient. Poor satisfaction indicates a decline in positive patient outcomes and possibly increased patient mortality. Factors might be heavy workloads, disempowerment and demoralization of the nursing staff.
In conclusion, the prevalent situation of Victoria Munoz, it is imperative that she establishes a working relationship with the staff and management. It also calls for an in depth research on the physical and emotional plight of the employees. These will indicate the needs that have to be addressed to ensure positive patient care and staff retention. A discussion with the management will help them to focus on the prevailing workload conditions and reward system that are affecting the performance and morale of the nurses. This will also be a starting point for management to review existing organizational structures, policies and procedures that might have a negative impact on the staff. Furthermore, it will compel them to carry out the necessary improvements that must be implemented to ensure a healthy working environment.
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