Nursing Leader and Issues in Healthcare The task of maintaining client and staff satisfaction is a vast challenge that nurse leaders face in all fields of expertise. Nurse leaders work with staff who share a common goal of returning clients to their optimum health. Leadership is being proficient in providing guidance toward chosen ambitions and supporting followers regarding achievement of goals. To be a quality leader one must have many qualities such as integrity, inspiration and transparency. Nurse Leader Interview Shamorrow Brooks, is a Registered Nurse, a charge nurse and a preceptor at Thomas Hospital on a medical surgical floor.
Shamorrow graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2010 with her BSN. Shamorrow worked in Birmingham at UAB Hospital for one year following her graduation before deciding to return home to Foley Alabama. Shamorrow has been employed at Thomas Hospital for the past five years. As a charge nurse, Shamorrow coordinates and monitors daily client care activities for the unit, and assigns clients to staff to ensure full coverage of patient care needs. In her role as a charge nurse, Shamorrow also provides direct evaluation of client related care and consultations as required.
In her position as a preceptor, Shamorrow is creative, caring and adaptable. Shamorrow is patient with her students and inspires them to do their best. Shamorrow exhibits the characteristics of a charismatic leader. She is an energetic worker and she carries a large amount of responsibility. Shamorrow encourages others on her team to do their best. Shamorrow is a very well-liked nurse in her unit and her co-workers admire her work ethic. Ethical Issues in Nursing Nurses face ethical issues every day, regardless of their specialty or the atmosphere in which they choose to practice.
Provider onflicts with colleagues is often a reported ethical issue that nurse’s encounter. Nurses feel caught in the middle between providers. If the nurse goes ahead and does not implement an order from one physician, then he or she can be seen as uncooperative or difficult. On the other hand, if a nurse goes ahead and executes orders that providers are in conflict about, then the nurse may be accused of practicing out of his or her scope of practice. Any instance of health care providers not agreeing, placing the nurse in the middle, and not being able to come to an understanding should be reported to the nurse’s mmediate supervisor.
The nursing supervisor can help bring closure to the conflict without the nurse being compromised. Unfortunately, nurses face ethical issues with client family members on a daily basis. Family members often have care preferences that differ from standard practice. Nurses worry that these breaks in the standards of care will result in below average care that reflect badly on nursing staff. According to Hegge (2012), Nurses often fear that client’s poor decisions or poor decisions made by family would be viewed as a “nurse failure in an outcome driven health system” (p. 22).
The most frequent ethical issue was making the decision to report colleague practice that does not meet standard care guidelines. Nurses often feel the dilemma between working hard to compensate for errors made by others, keep quiet about the incompetence, or, ultimately report the colleague. This ethical issue is often one of the hardest in a nurse’s career. Those who decide to work and fix someone else’s lack of competence can feel used and resentful. The nurses who decide to go ahead and report errors and incompetence can face huge hurdles, such as fear of retaliation and damaged relationships among peers.
Ethical issues will rise and cannot be avoided throughout a nurse’s career. The duty of nurses is to provide optimal health care to clients regardless of challenging situations. Nurses are trained to use clinical judgment and make their decisions based on experience, maturity, and wisdom and be willing to handle every ethical dilemma with professionalism. Aging Nursing Workforce A difficult economy has nurses working longer, often past retirement age. According to Stichler (2013) “The USA now has the largest cohort of registered nurses (RNs) between the ages of 50 years and 69 years ever experienced in the profession.
At resent, the average age of a RN is 46. 8 years years, and it is estimated that one-third of all nurses in the US workforce are between the ages of 50 years and 64 years (Valencia & Raingruber 2010, Juraschek et al. 2012, Buerhaus et al. 2013)” (p. 956). A career in nursing is challenging physically and numerous older nurses perform their duties while experiencing pain. Loss of vision and hearing are a normal part of aging, as are loss of balance, aches and pains associated with arthritis, and loss of strength. These normal effects of aging can affect the abilities of older nurses to perform their duties appropriately.
Should an lder nurse suffer an injury, recovery time can be lengthy. The most common types of injuries experienced by older nurses are carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder pain and low back pain. Older nurses have stated that they are hesitant to inform supervisors of their injuries because of the concern over being asked to retire or losing their job. Older nurses reported that just like the younger generation of nurses, they often ignore aches and pains and issues with their own health because of work demands. It is a fact, that nurses are going to age, it cannot be avoided.
There are certain measures that can help the older nurses to ope with the physical demands of their job. In the United States, most hospitals have a staff lounge located in client care units where nurses can take breaks, eat lunch or even watch TV for a few minutes to allow them a few minutes of rest. Administrators and unit managers across the United States recognize that while staff lounges offer nurses a place to have a break, the lounges can be noisy and not adequate at all times to offer nurses a stress reducing atmosphere, so respite rooms are being developed.
Respite rooms are quiet, with reduced lighting, offering the older nurse a place to relax without noise nd interruptions making it a place to cope with their work demands. Hospitals that have comfortable chairs located in central nursing station offer older nurses a place to converse, review orders and exchange ideas with other staff have been shown to be helpful to the aging nurse.
Older nurses report that they stay in their positions because they are content with their employment, they like the interaction with patients, and they value the support of colleagues. Older nursing staff bring a wealth of wisdom and experience to the nursing profession and while the role of a nurse is challenging as we age, it is hopeful hat hospitals will continue to employ this aging workforce and recognize their hard work and dedication as valuable.
Conclusion Leadership in as essential trait in nursing. Nurse leaders can influence their staff positively to achieve the tasks and goals of their unit. Ethical issues and the aging workforce in nursing are ongoing challenges for all nurse leaders. Empowering nursing staff to think through these tough situations and helping them rise to their potential is a characteristic of a nurse leader that is needed in the nursing profession and can help resolve issues fairly and professionally.