Hospital care settings face several challenges, such as employees’ remunerations, changing demands and expectations of consumers, financial and fiscal constraints, raised requirements for healthcare access, responsibility to enhance patient-centered care and quality, as well as safety issues. Effective leadership is important in maximizing management of care in health facilities since it is impossible to attain quality outcomes in the health centers amid poor leadership.
Health care organizations in Australia have unique characteristics, which make their leadership unique as compared to other firms. For instance, the chief executive is not the only segment of leadership accountable to the governing body. Notably, in health facilities, due to unique professionals and the legal role of licensed independent staff, all medical personnel are responsible to the governing body for the care they offer to patients. Hence, it implies that the governing body should provide quality care and offer oversight function to bring together all responsibilities of the medical staff, senior managers, and chief executives in a structure that achieves the objectives, such as safety, financial sustainability, quality care, ethical behavior, and community service (Daly et al., 2014). Therefore, this analysis provides an evaluation of interviews from five professional health care providers, who offered their opinion about leadership in nursing.
Definition of a Good Leader
This section presents the factors that define a good leader as recorded from the interview. The interviewees highlighted flexibility, positive communicator, and creativity as the main characteristics of a good leader.
In the interview, professionals revealed that a good leader should be flexible to understand the team’s work burden and other aspects, such as family and social problems. The past decade has faced turbulence and dynamism in the economic environment due to changes in technology. Hence, to maintain a balance in the workplace, leaders should adopt a leadership style that meets the demands of specific individuals in different situations. To handle the diversity of activities, leaders should have an extensive behavior repertoire and demonstrate the ability to change based on the behaviors in diverse circumstances. To manage dynamism and the rapid pace of activities, leaders should adopt flexibility when reacting to contextual demands. There are two main dimensions of flexibility that are necessary for leadership; the first one is the ability to practice productivity while at the same time creating cohesion and building morale of employees, while the second one is the ability to integrate natural stress between tendencies directed to the external environment or the internal procedures (Baron, 2018). Hence, flexibility involves the ability to adapt and introduce innovations, while encouraging stability in the workplace.
Leaders who demonstrate a balanced repertoire of behavior are effective and exhibit a more significant impact on the performance at the workplace. More so, flexible leaders tend to cultivate innovation among team members and collaborative learning (Baron, 2018). Flexibility in leaders can be developed by building on cognitive skills, emotional intelligence, and social intelligence. Leaders must value other peoples’ needs to meet those prerequisites positively. Emotional intelligence is made up of social awareness, self-awareness, relationship management, and self-management (Baron, 2018). Hence, flexibility helps the leaders to implement change based on what is around them.
The interviewees highlighted that they needed someone who would listen to them. Leadership involves balancing various aspects at the same time. One issue facing current healthcare environments is how to handle environmental and social expectations, since many stakeholders are interested in different areas of the workplaces, implying that leaders have a task to make decisions and develop relationships with the stakeholders (Hills, 2015). Hence, the way leaders communicate has an impact on the reputation of the health care facility.
Notably, communication is an essential function in every workplace. Inadequate communication could be detrimental to any organization and hence can lead to operational challenges. Thus, effective communication cultivates job satisfaction among employees, which enhances organizational growth. It creates trusting work associations and adds significance to work relations (Hills, 2015). Therefore, communication is a contributor to employees’ success.
Furthermore, the focus of positive communication is to exchange information, enhance effective positioning, and encourage persuasion. Communication is more than just delivering messages. Hence, it involves extending the direction, content, and outcome of activities, such as meetings, negotiations, and speeches. Consequently, competent leaders can develop communication strategies that enhance interaction. Thus, it implies that the cognitive skills of a leader, just like written and oral communication, are the most critical leadership skills (Ziek, 2014). Therefore, for communication to be effective, it is vital to develop skills related to the conversation, including listening, interviewing, and giving feedback.
Creativity and Encouraging
The interviewees revealed that a good leader was able to reward work and initiate change by listening to the staff’s opinion about various matters. Creativity involves developing something new, whether in the form of an idea, object, or process. The approach indicates that the leader can use diversified abilities, skills, views, knowledge, and experience to create new ideas, make decisions, solve problems, and complete tasks in an efficient manner (Tung & Yu, 2016). Creative leaders encourage employees’ to develop a positive effect on their focus towards the set objectives.
Creativity plays a vital role in enhancing strategies in the healthcare facility. The aspect is based on the innovation associated with performance in the workplace. However, for employees to be innovative, leaders should listen, support, and encourage them through the creative process. It is apparent that the leaders’ orientation on the organization’s goals can influence the behavior strategies applied in pursuing innovation and creativity in the workplace. A leaders’ regulatory attention has a promotion focus, which can be motivating through creating minimal goals (Tung & Yu, 2016). Therefore, achievement of creativity depends on the leader’s obligations, perceived duties, responsibilities, and selflessness.
Health Care Difficulties of Tasks
The interviewees stated that some of the challenges facing healthcare include financial constraint and a shortage of staff during crisis.
The interviewees highlighted that some of the issues facing health care included labor burden, technology expenses and maintenance, monthly supplies in the health facilities, unexpected low financial income, and increased costs of treatment plans. Therefore, health facilities are required to raise enough funds to enhance access to services whenever needed by every citizen. Health facilities must ensure that citizens are protected from unforeseen expenditures that might arise, especially in the absence of insurance coverage. Financing may include allocation, acquisition, and pooling financial resources to contribute effectively towards the achievement of expected outcomes. The main challenges include increasing costs in technology, expenses and maintenance, high costs of medicine and other medical supplies, financial unsustainability, and lack of nursing autonomy (Roncarolo, 2017). Therefore, the methods and techniques in which health services are funded have a significant impact on the governance and leadership of health services.
Shortage of staff
Further, the interviewees stated that the challenge of staffing included unexpected resignations and lack of balance between workload and the available personnel. Notably, the team comprises providers of health services, managers of health, and support employees who work in both public and private organizations. The challenges faced by staffing include the availability of healthcare workers, staff turnover, geographical distribution of the workers, and inadequate skills (Roncarolo, 2017). If this challenge is rectified, it could affect service delivery in the health facilities.
Organizations can counter this challenge by improving the capacity of training, amending policies of recruitment, and enhancing strategies for workforce distribution. This is because; effective health staff should be competent to demonstrate technical skills and knowledge to offer high-quality care. They also need to have interpersonal skills to ensure that professional care is patient-centered (Roncarolo, 2017). As such, the initiative will improve patient outcome as well as the quality of care.
The interviewees highlighted that the challenge with unexpected crisis was on handling natural disasters, such as floods, fires, hurricanes, terrorism, earthquakes, and disease epidemics. It is worth noting that the emergency involves events that lead to significant losses. They create disruptions to the community’s and affect well being of the society, including economic, material and environmental damages. Other consequences of such crisis are a loss of lives, political and economic instability, psychological harm, and loss of property among others. After a disaster, people may require healthcare intervention due to risks related to the outbreak and other related challenges both physical and psychological. Hence, this means that health care services are usually different during crisis since disasters call for quick decision-making. Leaders should develop proper disaster healthcare management systems based on methodical procedures, organizational, administrative, and operational skills for making decisions and handling the challenges that arise during planning to reduce and improve disasters’ healthcare consequences. Therefore, leaders in health facilities have a role to play in initiating reforms and anticipating effects of the crisis in the health care sector.
Furthermore, to minimize stress on THE healthcare services that arise with disaster, leaders should mobilize all staff members to cope with difficult situations. Secondly, to respond to disaster effectively, healthcare leaders should have enough medical supplies, hygiene items, and food in warehouses, which can be accessed in case of emergencies. Thirdly, the leaders need to facilitate and ensure that the central ministries of health have a comprehensive database of their medical facilities to make the distribution of supplies in case of a crisis. Thirdly, health facilities leaders should develop a disaster triage system to help victims of the crisis, which includes well-equipped ambulances to ease the victims’ movement and prevent further injuries. Fourthly, leaders should ensure that nutrition experts are available in case of crisis to provide advice on disaster friendly diets, as well as professionals who can monitor drinking water and food distribution and storage as a way of controlling further infections. Finally, leaders should create teams consisting of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, neuro-specialists to assist victims in affected areas. More so, leaders could facilitate the training of rescuers on techniques of emotional and psychological support (Pourhosseini et al., 2015). These actions will improve the preparedness of leaders for any unexpected crisis.
The aim of Leadership in Healthcare Facilities
The researcher asked the interviewees about their opinion on the aim of leadership in healthcare facilities. They included several areas, such as to improve health care quality, advance the quality of work for an individual and team, and increase the education level and skills of the staff through practical courses. In addition, they should update the team about new developments in the medical field, ensure that respect and trust are enhanced, advocate for team safety, and provide a good working environment for the staff.
Effective leadership is important in healthcare systems and has several functions in advancing the efficiency and effectiveness of any organization. Within health facilities, consistent leadership is vital to achieve high performance and enhance the capabilities of employees to improve outcomes and quality of care (Ghiasipour et al., 2017). Hence, leaders need to manage uncertainty and promote behavioral and cultural changes.
Leadership refers to the practice of influencing staff to achieve a particular goal or mission of an organization or group. The process involves setting strategies and goals, promoting compliance and commitment to organizational productivity and objectives, encouraging team culture and dynamism within the workplace. Appropriate leadership creates a culture within an organization that reduces conflict, achieves quality, improves efficiency, enhances the productivity of the team, and promotes the satisfaction of staff (Ghiasipour et al., 2017). This concept will improve hospital performance and the achievement of both organization and personal goals.
Effective leadership in health centers ensures that systems are reliable to offer efficient healthcare services. Valuable leadership is linked to various functions such as performance in the hospital systems, achievement of health reform goals, timely delivery of care, efficiency and integrity of systems among other aspects (Daly et al., 2014). All those factors are important in enhancing nurses and patient outcome.
Nurse leaders can empower other nurses by allowing them to practice and apply theory as well as encouraging them to be innovative in a supportive and safe environment. Hence, leadership activities are intertwined with developmental aspects in nurturing practitioners that are competent by learning through practice. Nurses’ leadership is associated with coaching, mentorship, and supervision as the main values. Studies show that when leaders support other staff, it reduces mental exhaustion and decreases negative effects within the job environment (Frankel, 2014). Besides, nurse leaders offer emotional support to other nurses and give them feedback on performance to increase their self-esteem. These leaders through the application of leadership skills encourage other staff to apply critical reflection to gain new understanding. On the other hand, they help to resolve tensions between professionals, such as in the wards, to build acquaintances between multidisciplinary staff members effectively. Leaders facilitate the organization’s support and programs for development that help in reducing stress, sickness, burnout, and absenteeism. In addition, they motivate staff to regard every person as an individual with unique needs (Frankel, 2014). As a result, they can support them in ways that everyone feels appreciated individually
Impact of Leadership in Healthcare
The study asked interviewees about their thought on the effects of leadership in healthcare. They emphasized that good leaders should have a positive impact on health care. In addition, they maintained that effective leadership leads to better outcomes. Therefore, leaders should enhance effective communication between nurses and other health care providers as well between nurses and their patients to improve health care and treatment outcome.
Effective Leadership in healthcare has been stressed due to the national emphasis on public reporting, transparency, and requirements of quality, operational, financial, and clinical outcomes of healthcare provided by hospitals. Leadership in health care setting helps in public reporting of patient satisfaction and clinical outcome scores. This role has helped the consumer to make choices regarding their treatment as well as enhanced the decisions made by insurers, concerning the health provider. The healthcare organization’s leadership through the senior management and C.E.O. establish rules, policies, and bylaws that are consistent with the purpose, vision, and mission of the healthcare facility. Senior leaders offer guidance and leadership that help in achieving organizational success in terms of quality, regulatory compliance, and safe patient care. Further, they emphasize evidence-based leadership, which facilitates the industry’s ability to sustain and achieve quality outcomes (“Impact of leadership,” 2015). Therefore, leadership in healthcare facilities fosters an environment of effective communication, information literacy, achievement of quality outcomes, and organizational efficiency in the healthcare industry.
As it is evident from the analysis of the interview results and the ensuing discussions, good leadership is significant in every industry. A leader should be flexible, a positive communicator, creative, and encouraging. Effective leadership in health facilities is significant for optimum performance in health care. In addition, it connects with several hospital functions, which are vital components of the health care structure. However, despite the recognition of the significance of leadership in healthcare, challenges such as financial issues, shortage of staff, and unexpected crisis can hinder patient outcomes, and hence need to be addressed.