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Nur 492 - Interview of Health Care Leader

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Interview of Health Care Leader

Nur/492

January 21, 2013

Interview of Health Care Leader

By definition, leadership is simply a way of one influencing individuals or groups of individuals to attain specific goals and can be learned if one chooses (Sullivan & Decker, 2009). A leader is anyone who has the ability to influence or motivate others, a manager is an individual employed by the organization, who is responsible for accomplishing the goals of the organization (Sullivan & Decker, 2009). The following is the summary of my interview with my administrator (DC), who is both a leader and a manager.

Background

My administrator has been a nurse for over 30 years. She started out as an office nurse, then progressed to the ICU, and finally transferred into nephrology nursing where she has spent the past 25 years. During her years as a nephrology nurse she has had many roles including staff nurse, charge nurse, head nurse, manager, and now administrator. She completed her master's in nursing last year. Professionally, she is very active in various organizations and has held many offices and appointments, including President of the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC), and as a board member for the National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA). She also continues to reside on the NNCC test writing committee and the board for the National Kidney Foundation (NKF).

In her current position, as administrator, she is responsible for the entire program which includes over 200 employees and 800 patients spread through out eight chronic outpatient centers, two acute programs, two home dialysis programs, two acute kidney injury units, and an administrative unit which includes billing personnel. Also included in her realm of responsibility, is our financial performance, quality indicators, patient satisfaction, employee engagement, program growth and enhancements, and compliance with all regulatory agencies. Since we are a hospital based program we are subject to both The Joint Commission (TJC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations, although CMS is our main certifying body.

Describe a Leader

When asked to describe a leader she went on to explain that her idea of a leader is someone who spends their time developing others, who advocates for both staff and patients, and who possesses integrity and passion. She explained that without these attributes a leader can loose sight of their purpose. She states that as an advocate that we will sometimes choose a supply item or process improvement that might be more costly but is the right thing to do for patient safety. DC role models integrity and passion by being and staying active professionally. She demonstrates integrity in her decisions and communicates clearly to staff in a monthly news letter. She continued by stating that she also felt trust and communication were essential to mentoring and motivating employees. Without trust and a clear goal in mind it is hard to incentivize and motivate staff towards a common goal, this takes communication, trust in your staff's ability, and their trust in you as their leader.

Other qualities and characteristics she says are essential to good leadership is the ability to listen, to admit when you are wrong, to learn from your mistakes, and to recognize behaviors and reward results. By doing these things we inspire trust and encourage others to do the same. She states it is important for staff to see that leaders are human also and it is just as important for staff to know that leaders make mistakes. Accountability for those mistakes and our ability to learn from them is what helps a leader to learn compassion and to discipline fairly. DC goes on to state that another key characteristic of a leader is their ability to tap into the strengths of their team and too see all members as individuals who have value, worth and something unique to offer. She believes that a leader does their greatest disservice to their team by not acknowledging their strengths and individuality.

Personal Philosophy

When asked about her personal philosophy of leadership she stated, "I try to be honest and transparent in all my interactions. By doing this I hope that I inspire trust and eliminate barriers and obstacles to success." She went on to elaborate that she felt her high performers

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