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Leadership and Management in Nursing Essay

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Updated: May 14th, 2022

One of the major impacts that the current American government has brought up is in the field of healthcare. The Healthcare Bill 2010 has had a huge impact on society. Every American citizen can now access free medical services from any part of the country. This is a positive achievement that the society of America should be proud of. Having access to free medical services for everyone is a major milestone for the country. However, some factors should be considered to ensure that this noble gesture benefits all the stakeholders involved. It is a fact that with free healthcare for all Americans, there is increased pressure on the nurses. All public hospitals will be receiving an increased number of patients who will need the attention of the nurses. The government of the United States has made an effort to ensure that there is increased funding to all the public hospitals in the country. However, the government is yet to meet the standard nurse staffing ratios that will ensure that all the patients get the right attention they need when they visit these health facilities.

It is important to note that nurses all over the country have been struggling to meet the demand from clients. It may not be possible for the nurses to work effectively with their current population, and they have made this very clear in their recent protests. Their protest, through their unions, may be justified because the government is yet to hire enough employees who will be able to meet this huge demand for medical attention. This research focuses on how leadership can be applied to manage this situation.

While the government is trying to solve this problem of staffing of the nurses, the leadership of the nurses must attempt to come up with a mechanism through which the unrest can be brought to an end. According to Thomson (2010), understanding organizational behavior theory can help these leaders deal with the situation in a successful way. It will start with the leaders understanding the claims brought up by the nurses. In this approach, the leaders will act as part of the nurses. They will address the issues as the victims of the predicament. In this situation, therefore, they will be coming up with strategies that will help them arrest the situation while the government is looking for a lasting solution. In this strategy, transformational leadership will be important in making the employees understand and appreciate the current predicament. Through the principle of transformational leadership, these leaders will be able to appeal to the nurses and convince them that they have to do their best to salvage the situation as the government plans to come up with a permanent solution. These leaders must develop some form of propellant force that will make all the nurses feel that they have a responsibility of performing an extra job to achieve the best in their profession.

Buerhaus (2009) calls this strategy ‘the tactic of transferring responsibility. The responsibility of ensuring that patients are taken care of depends on having enough nurses, and therefore, it is the responsibility of the government. In this strategy, however, the leaders will try to overshadow the government, and make the nurses feel that they have the responsibility to take care of the patients irrespective of their numbers. This way, it will be easy to find nurses who can sacrifice themselves and work for extra time just to get their patients the best service that is within their capacity.

The above approach may need leaders who have a high sense of appeal to the workers, and therefore, can achieve the result described above.

Another approach can be taking up issues with the government while ensuring that the working environment for the available nurses is improved. In the United States, some people work for over 17 hours a day. This is equivalent to two shifts, therefore two employees in a day. Some work for more hours, just to get an extra earning that will improve their living standards. This means that management can double, if not increase the current population to double, by just increasing the working hours of employees. The management can develop a mechanism where employees can decide to voluntarily enter a contract where they will be working for a specified extra hour for additional pay (Goleman, 2009). This extra funding can come from the proceeds of the hospitals, or government and nongovernmental agencies. The management will also improve other factors within the firm that will make employees feel valued within the firm to encourage them to work even if their population is low. The rationale of this strategy is to ensure that any discomfort on the side of employees is eliminated. This way, the employee may not feel the weight of having to work for extra hours.

The first approach of motivating nurses to work despite their lower ratios to that of the patients is the best strategy that I, as a professional nurse, can consider taking. As a nurse, it is important to note that this profession is a calling. Taking care of a sick person may not be easy if one does not feel a special call to do that task. This is one of the most sensitive professions in the world. It deals directly with the health of people. Americans are hospitalized in thousands daily in various health centers around the country. This means that any form strike that involves downing of the tools by the nurses will have a direct negative impact on the patients. This may lead to mass deaths in various hospitals in this country (Kurzman & Buerhaus, 2011). This will be beating our mission of reducing the number of preventable deaths around the country.

The main objective of a professional nurse is to see a patient who came to the hospital with health complications going back to a healed person who sees life ahead of him or her. When such a person gets out of the hospital worse than he or she previously came, then some sense of guilt may not fail to develop, especially if this is caused by a deliberate act of refusing to help. I recommend this leadership style and approach to handle this situation because I feel that I have a responsibility as an American to make a difference. Society needs me as a nurse, and I have to avail myself. I have to demonstrate to society that I am responsible, and therefore, will not look back and demand that I have to work only in the presence of more nurses.

References

Buerhaus, P. (2009). Recent trends in the registered nurse labor market in the U.S: Short-run swings on top of long-term trends. Nursing Economics, 25(1), 59-66.

Goleman, D. (2009). Working with emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.

Kurzman, E. T., & Buerhaus, P. I. (2011). New Medicare payment rules: Danger or opportunity for nursing? American Journal of Nursing, 108(5), 30-35.

Thomson, P. (2010). Guiding principles. Hospital and Health Networks, 78(7), 86-112.

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