The interviewee started by introducing herself as an Operating Room (OR) nurse in a modern healthcare organization. Besides, she is involved in the execution of the functions of an assistant coordinator of orthopedic services. The respondent added that she was a member of one Operating Room Committee in the healthcare organization. The interviewee showed an understanding of her duties in the healthcare environment implying that she acknowledged herself as a professional, who is required to apply her nursing skills in the OR department. Bunkenborg, Samuelson, Åkeson, and Poulsen (2013) argued that team members should understand their roles and responsibilities in the organization to foster its success.
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The respondent described professionalism as the capacity of experts to execute their duties in a way that upholds competence and integrity. Besides, the respondent affirmed that upholding the healthcare organization’s core beliefs and values counts as professionalism in her area of specialization. Additionally, the interviewee underlined the importance of embracing professionalism in the healthcare setup since it fosters the image of an institution to the public. Bunkenborg et al. (2013) argued that the sustainability of professionalism in a healthcare environment is bolstered after the establishment of a healthy organizational culture. In this light, the interviewee affirmed that she always endeavored to comply with the set standards and practices to perform her roles satisfactorily.
Professionalism in the healthcare sector facilitates the delivery of patient-oriented services (Mahlin, 2010). The interviewee explained that her professional responsibility starts with her patients in the OR. Importantly, she highlighted the provision of quality healthcare services through the maintenance of patient safety and advocacy among other strategies. Moreover, the respondent associated her professional responsibility with upholding the institution’s standards and values that construct its organizational culture. The maintenance of ethical practices in the healthcare organization goes a long way in reinforcing professionalism (Grace, 2013).
The interviewee identified the leaders in her organization as healthcare stewards. Stewardship entails the responsible and meticulous management of a society’s well-being (Fleet et al., 2014). In this concern, the respondent considered steward leaders as individuals interested in fostering patient-focused services besides meeting the needs of the medical staff members. Furthermore, she likened stewardship among leaders in the health care setting to moral and change agencies. Moreover, the interviewee suggested that servant leadership complements stewardship amongst the leaders in any organization.
The interviewee saw the relevance of integrating professional authenticity with influence and power to bolster inspiration that boosts the performance of nursing practitioners. In health care, authentic leaders innovate ways that link followers with the shared interests and goals (Mahlin, 2010). As such, the respondent underscored that leaders need to assume their role as change agents by influencing the behavior of others. The authenticity of leaders stands out when they accept their mistakes and welcome ideas from the team members. Additionally, she identified effective leadership with the sound execution of power in the hospital setup. Therefore, leadership without authority undermines the realization of the set vision and mission just as the absence of authenticity depicts the lack of concern for the team’s well-being. Moreover, she insisted that leaders should consider the best interests of the patients and staff members when using power to influence others.
The respondent introduced himself as an Emergency Room (ER) manager at a local hospital with over 14 years of experience. His roles encompassed the management of a hospital environment equipped with 180 licensed beds with 25 of them being ER beds. Furthermore, the interviewee was a chairperson of his institution’s Emergency Room Nursing Committee besides being a member of other committees in the organization. Primarily, his work involved ensuring that patients in the emergency room get the highest quality healthcare service by instilling the essence of patient-oriented services among the ER nurses.
The ER manager associated professionalism in the healthcare environment with the ability to uphold and comply with the ethical and nursing standards while leading others towards the goals and objectives of the organization. In leadership, professionalism manifests in qualities such as honesty, effective communication, positivity, confidence, commitment, and intuition (Grace, 2013). Additionally, the respondent asserted that professional leaders show proactivity, open-mindedness, flexibility, resourcefulness, and the ability to appraise the achievement of their team members. The ER manager attached professional responsibility to the ER patients, co-workers, the organization, and himself. As a way of ensuring professionalism in his undertakings, the interviewee maintained that he acted in a way that promotes the best interests of all the stakeholders in the healthcare industry. Furthermore, the respondent saw the importance of ensuring that one’s credentials including working licenses are updated since they represent one’s professional responsibility. Moreover, the interviewee revealed that a professional leader is the one who makes effective decisions in his/her entire undertakings especially when problems emerge.
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The interviewee confirmed that he had been playing his leadership roles in a way that depicts stewardship. Fleet et al. (2014) held that stewardship in the leadership context infers the execution of effective trusteeship of the society’s well-being. In this respect, the respondent maintained that a leader ought to demonstrate effective managerial skills that foster the attainment of sound governance in a health care environment. Therefore, the ER manager sought to integrate a culture of self-direction and determination among nurses in the organization by observing the stipulated norms and values of the institution. Additionally, leaders need to lead by example to instill a culture of stewardship among the nurses. The respondent believed that doing so allows a leader to foster quality service delivery to patients in addition to providing a healthy working environment.
The respondent held that for the nursing profession to experience growth, all stakeholders, starting with the leaders, need to embrace the power of advocacy since it reveals their concern for others. For this reason, he resounded that leaders in the healthcare sector ought to value authenticity to create an environment that improves service delivery. Authenticity in the nursing field helps in combatting issues like absenteeism and burnout that contribute to the nursing shortage (Mahlin, 2010). Furthermore, the interviewee associated power with the ability of a leader to influence others positively. As such, he asserted that leaders should make calculated decisions before exercising their power in a way that guides the followers towards the attainment of the shared goals. Moreover, Wong and Cummings (2007) posited that the absence of positive influence in leadership leads to the ineffective execution of power in the healthcare setup.
Similarities and Differences in the Peer and Leadership Interview
In both instances, the interviewees understood their roles as team members by executing their duties to attain the collective goals. The two interviewees appreciated that, for any meaningful task to be completed successfully within the set time, people need to work together as a team by focusing on a central goal. Therefore, as a team player, one needs to be proactive as seen in the engagement of the two respondents in their respective committees. However, it appeared that the leader plays the role of managing others in a team while the peers actualize the envisioned targets by performing their duties.
In both cases, the respondents identified ethical decision-making and behavior as key attributes in fostering professionalism in the healthcare setting. However, the peer perceived the patient as her prioritized professional responsibility, unlike the leader who is responsible for all the involved stakeholders.
The two respondents revealed that they saw themselves as stewards in their professions. Likewise, the associated stewardship with efforts that seek to promote the well-being of the general population by providing quality services. Nonetheless, the embracement of the stewardship culture among the nurses depended on whether the seniors demonstrated servant leadership. Apparently, the form of leadership in place determines the performance of the followers towards achieving the set goals.
Moreover, the two respondents viewed the integration of professional advocacy and originality as a key consideration for leaders to influence others in the healthcare sector. Both the peer and the leader saw themselves as change agents that work towards the fulfillment of collective interests. Therefore, the interview created an impression that power and influence are complementary. Therefore, leaders should exercise these elements effectively to realize the healthcare organizations’ goals and objectives. Ultimately, the success or failure of the healthcare industry will depend mainly on the nature of leadership in place.
Bunkenborg, G., Samuelson, K., Åkeson, J., & Poulsen, I. (2013). Impact of professionalism in nursing on in‐hospital bedside monitoring practice. Journal of advanced nursing, 69(7), 1466-1477.
Fleet, E., Rao, G., Patel, B., Cookson, B., Charlett, A., Bowman, C., & Davey, P. (2014). Impact of implementation of a novel antimicrobial stewardship tool on antibiotic use in nursing homes: a prospective cluster randomized control pilot study. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 69(8), 2265-2273.
Grace, P. J. (2013). Nursing ethics and professional responsibility in advanced practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Mahlin, M. (2010). Individual patient advocacy, collective responsibility, and activism within professional nursing associations. Nursing Ethics, 17(2), 247-254.
Wong, C. A., & Cummings, G. G. (2007). The relationship between nursing leadership and patient outcomes: a systematic review. Journal of Nursing Management, 15(5), 508-521.