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Health Care Leader

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Health Care Leader Interview

Nursing leaders are essential in today's health care field. They have multiple characteristics that enhance their ability to provide leadership such as possessing confidence, showing consistency between what is said and the action, a long-term vision, good communication skills to name a few. According to Sullivan & Decker (2009), a leader is an individual "who uses interpersonal skills to influence others to accomplish a specific goal" (p. 45). This paper will summarize an interview with the (P.H.) Health Services Coordinator (HSC) of an inpatient Intellectual Disability (ID) facility.


PH is the youngest of three sisters raised by both parents in a rural area. Her father was a farmer and her mother was a homemaker. Her siblings are registered nurses who also work in nursing management. PH began her nursing career in high school in the practical nursing program. As an LPN she worked in dialysis, home health care and for the ID facility where is currently a manager for approximately 15 years. She currently supervises 15 full-time LPNs and seven full-time RNs.

Leader Descriptions

"How would you describe a leader?" PH thought about the question for a few seconds and reflected on the qualities of previous supervisors that she and I encountered as LPNs. She reports she believes a perfect description of a leader is to lead by example. This quality sometimes was not displayed by many of her past managers as she reports. She continued with other qualities that enhance leadership, such as not only holding others accountable for errors but also for accomplishments; this encourages individuals to perform at their best and learn from their mistakes. It is essential to know and understand to display empathetic listening skills to supervised staff. In this setting, a leader must have the ability to plan, reconcile, and maintain the budget while ensuring adequate nurse-patient ratios and supplies are available. PH reports daily unit managing is essential to avert last minute concerns. The leader is well-rounded by maintaining a balance between consumer, individual, and team needs.

Qualities of a Leader

The characteristics of an effective leader include possessing confidence, showing consistency between what is said and the action, sincerity, trustworthy, strong self-esteem, a long-term vision, good communication skills, and empathic listening skills (Curtis, de Vries, & Sheerin, 2011). A leader, according to Sullivan & Decker, 2009 must possess enthusiasm, energy, commitment, and most important a leader must have the ability to inspire others to commit to the facilities goals.

PH expressed high criteria for the qualities or characteristics of a leader. PH displayed a serious mood and continued to express the importance of possessing good people skills and advocating for the unheard-the consumers, especially the cognitively impaired. Often times, the consumers do not understand our words but have perfect understanding for a kind word or a warm smile. PH believes it is essential to be honest and straightforward. She explains in the past she has had supervisors that did not shoot straight from the hip but beat around the bush with the inability to be honest. She smiles stating she promised herself never to display that quality because she did not respect or trust them. PH states that she believes it is important to be an active team member, pitching in as needed and not just highlighting problems but finding solutions.

Leadership Philosophy

PH has developed a combination type of philosophy, which is ensuring the unit is capable of functioning adequately in her absence and lead by example. PH believes it is vital that her team can maintain functions with minimal guidance from other HSC's. She has delegated different tasks that are the responsibility of the supervisor to the RNs and LPNs such as ordering supplies, arranging the schedules for consumer



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