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Interview of a Health Care Leader

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Interview of a Health Care Leader

A leader is able to "influence the activities of an organized group toward goal achievement" (Porr, 2010, pg.133). An effective leader should be a good role model who displays trustworthiness, good ethics, and moral character and who is honest, fair, confident, dependable, accountable, a positive attitude, and the ability to motivate others (Feltner, Mitchell, Norris, & Wolfle, 2008). A leader will display open communication with staff and management that is open and honest communication. Leaders should be approachable by staff and believe that their concerns are being heard. The leader's ability to communicate with staff encourages motivation of staff and the desire for the group to work together for a common goal. These are attributes that were considered when choosing a leader for this interview.

D.B. is the director of an ICU unit and has a very positive attitude toward his position and the staff that work for him. D.B. is a strong leader who has over 20 years of experience as a nurse and has spent 12 years of his career in a leadership or management role. D.B. started his career as a nurse on a medical-surgical unit and after two years he looked for a change in the direction of his career and accepted a position in an intensive care unit. At this point in his career he then decided to return to college and received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. With the degree he was able to apply for a clinical manager position at a facility in Ohio. D.B. enjoyed the autonomy that the position offered and the relationships that matured from this new position. He enjoyed being a leader of the unit he worked on but felt he wanted to expand his career options. The facility that he was employed at was looking for nurses that wanted to work within the organization at a management level. He realized that this was a position that intrigued him but needed to return to college to receive his Masters of Science in Nursing degree. He stated that this was the change he was looking for. D.B believed that he had a positive attitude and motivated to work with staff to implement changes to improve the unit. D.B. is currently the director of an intensive care unit in Arizona and states that his responsibilities have not changed over time since he first became a director. D.B. describes his responsibilities as administrative but also spends time with staff to make sure that what he is doing as a director is effective and that staff is happy with their positions and with him. His administrative duties include: balancing a set budget, projecting the unit budget for the next year, quality improvement measures, implementation of new processes and procedures, supervising clinical managers and staff, hiring of new employees, and serving on several committees within the organization. D.B. is also willing to come into work and help staff care for patients when there is a need for extra help. He does what he believes is best for the unit and if that means he needs to come in and help care for patients, then that is where he needs to be.

D.B. describes a leader as someone who has the ability to motivate staff to do what is best for their unit and meet the goals that he has set forth to improve quality of care provided to the patients and to have a cohesive unit that works effectively. He also stated that you need to lead by example and be committed not only to yourself but to the staff who work for you. He believes that you have to have the support of your team to be an effective leader because without the support of your employees you will fail. He describes the use of communication in a leadership position and felt it is the most important aspect for a leader and that having an open door policy for staff to express concerns or issues that are positive. He states that you need to be able to listen and understand the positive and the negative, so that you will be able to make changes that will improve the unit you are leading.

D.B. explains that there are many characteristics of a leader that are important to be successful. He feels that a leader should be supportive, understanding, knowledgeable, a good listener, honest, dependable, have good ethics and display a positive attitude. A leader must have the ability to motivate staff and have their support to reach a common goal for the unit. He states that he



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