What is change theory, and why is it necessary?
The change theory is the theoretical paradigm that describes organizational changes, its peculiarities, factors affecting it, its causes and effects, etc. (Mick & Shay, 2014). Practitioners can benefit from using theories that can become helpful templates for their projects. The implementation of change is a complex process that can become disrupted or implemented unsuccessfully if no theory of change is used.
One of the major challenges of the change implementation is employees’ resistance. People tend to stick to some rules, regulations, norms, practices, and so on as they know them well enough and have certain experiences in using them. Healthcare professionals place a significant value on knowledge, evidence, experience as they understand that mistakes can result in adverse or even catastrophic patient outcomes (Rigolosi, 2012). Hence, nurses often dislike changes. They are also overloaded with tasks, which makes them unwilling to change practices they are accustomed to. Another serious obstacle is the lack of empowerment and confidence among nurses, which prevents them from initiating changes.
At that, the use of change theory can help nursing professionals initiate and implement change successfully. A nurse who understands that there is a need for change can use the theory as a specific plan. New nurses often use theories as frameworks for initiating the discussion, facilitating the change, evaluating it, and so on. It is noteworthy that an organization should apply a theory that best suits the situation and the characteristic features of the staff, organizational structure, etc. (Rigolosi, 2012). Theories can help in making employees accept the change and make new practices a norm.
Describe the change theory that is most applicable to your change project
Different theoretical frameworks concerning organizational change have been developed. Lewin’s theory of change is often criticized as it lacks details (Bishop, 2015). However, this theoretical paradigm is the basis for many other theories that divided Lewin’s three basic stages into more levels and phases. According to Lewin, the three milestones of a successful change project are unfreezing, changing, and refreezing (Bishop, 2015). To implement my project, I will use several strategies and methods based on the chosen theory.
First, I will initiate a broad discussion of the weaknesses of the existing falls prevention agenda existing in the facility. I will involve different healthcare professionals in the discussion including nurses, physicians, administration, and so on. I will try to create a team that will deliver evidence of the efficiency of the new program. The implementation of the project will require the allocation of certain funds, as well as the participation of members of the facility’s staff. I will communicate with all stakeholders to encourage and inspire them to take part in the project. The final stage of the project can be the most difficult to carry out. It has been acknowledged that employees tend to go back to old strategies and procedures even if new methods have proved to be effective (Shirey, 2013). To make sure that the change will turn into a new norm, I will develop a new policy and initiate the process of its implementation. Apart from the introduction of the new policy, it is vital to motivate employees to use new procedures. It can be effective to reward the employees who adhere to the new policy. The reward can be monetary. It can also involve additional days-off or other perks. The development of the list of the most effective employees of the month or week can also be a good motivational strategy as appreciation is a potent factor affecting people’s motivation.
Discuss the importance of communication in implementing successful change
Researchers and practitioners agree that effective communication is the key to the successful implementation of change (Porter-O’Grady & Malloch, 2015). All the involved stakeholders should understand the purpose of the project, its features, their roles, expected outcomes, and the like. This information should be delivered effectively, and the stakeholders should be able to share their ideas, concerns, updates to make sure that the project is carried out according to the plan.
The major characteristics of effective communication include efficiency, transparency, engagement (Burnard & Gill, 2014). It is important to make sure that communication channels are effective. Every message should reach its target audience within the shortest period possible. Transparency is also necessary as it facilitates the development of trusting relationships and collaboration among employees. The stakeholders should be fully engaged in this communication, which can be achieved in different ways.
To implement the project in question, it is necessary to use several tools and methods. Email and memos will be used to deliver updates, important data, meeting details, and so on. Regular meetings are essential as employees will be able to share their ideas and experiences. To make these meetings effective, employees will send their concerns, ideas, fears, and so on to the person responsible for these discussions. This employee will develop the agenda for each meeting, which will help the participants to come up with questions, remarks, and the overall discussion. After every meeting, a brief report will be developed. The report will include the major issues discussed. Some of these issues, solutions, suggestions, and so on can be used when implementing the project.
Identify the education and training needs for your clinical change project
The work on any project often requires training and education delivered to the involved staff (Jurkowski, 2013). The project in question will include the provision of training to nursing professionals who will participate in the fall prevention program. Although many nurses may have extensive experience in educating patients or training them, the nurses who will take part in the project will have to receive certain training. The person responsible for the project implementation will train them. This training will involve the discussion of particular strategies to be used to educate patients, specific types of physical activity for patients, and the like. The successful implementation of change can be facilitated through the involvement of external trainers (Armstrong Persily, 2013). It can be effective to invite professionals from other healthcare facilities where similar projects have been successfully implemented. To make sure that the administration will allocate the necessary funds, it is possible to confine the involvement of the external trainer to several meetings with the use of video records. Thus, the external trainer will provide the materials, describes major features, and share some pitfalls they encountered. The rest of the training can be provided by internal trainers. These can be experienced nursing professionals who will train other nurses on such aspects as communication with patients, ways to motivate them, etc.
The evaluation of any training is essential as it defines the effectiveness of the project and can help it more efficient (Armstrong Persily, 2013). The evaluation can be carried out in several ways. Nurses will complete some questionnaires that will assess their knowledge and skills associated with the falls prevention program. It can also be effective to assess patient satisfaction. It is possible to ask patients about their participation in the project or ask them to complete brief questionnaires.
Armstrong Persily, C. (2013). Team leadership and partnering in nursing and health care. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Bishop, S. (2015). Theories of organizational behaviour and leadership. In J. B. Butts & K. L. Rich (Eds.), Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice (pp. 339-354). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Burnard, P., & Gill, P. (2014). Culture, communication and nursing. New York, NY: Routledge.
Jurkowski, E. T. (2013). Implementing culture change in long-term care: Benchmarks and strategies for management and practice. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Mick, S. S., & Shay, P. D. (2014). Advances in health care organization theory (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Porter-O’Grady, T., & Malloch, K. (2015). Leadership in nursing practice (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Rigolosi, E. M. (2012). Management and leadership in nursing and health care: An experiential approach (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Shirey, M. (2013). Lewin’s theory of planned change as a strategic resource. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(2), 69-72.