Inter-Professional Practice Kimberly Wong Vancouver Community College Professional Practice Nicole Rogers August 27th, 2012
Inter-Professional Practice In the inter-professional health care team, a leader is a valuable member who works with others to provide high-quality care, ensuring patient safety and facilitating positive staff development in long-term care (Frankel, 2008). In many cases, the LPN is seen as a leader, taking charge, influencing and guiding others towards a mutual goal (Hood, 2010). Also, assigning roles and providing guidance to unregulated care providers (UCPs), assisting in maintaining safe work environments and advocating for residents as necessary (Rogers, 2012). Guidance is offered in The College of Licensed Practical Nurses in the form of the Standards of Practice document and Practice Guidelines documents (Rogers, 2012). Moreover, the several leadership styles that we have discussed in class can either complement or diminish the standards of practice. These styles include autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire, and participative. However, this paper will focus on the democratic style which I have identified as my own leadership style. Personal Leadership Style To begin, there are many personal characteristics that have led me to identify with the democratic leadership style. A democratic leader is one who makes members of the group feel more engaged in the process, and encourages group members to share ideas and opinions, even though the leader has the final say over decisions (Nursing Times Learning, 2008). Some other personal characteristics include working in a group to make major decisions and considering each person as a unique individual as each have their own unique personalities and abilities (Anderson, 2009). Just before entering this program, I was a lunch supervisor at a restaurant. I worked as a hostess, server, busser, and barista along side two to six other team members on the floor. Before making any major decisions, as a democratic leader, I would use a group process to
make all major decisions (Anderson, 2009). Also like a democratic leader, I consider each person as a unique individual and we would discuss in a group who takes on what job at the beginning of every shift as each individual has their own characteristics and abilities (Anderson, 2009). Because I encourage the process of group mindedness and require a strong commitment of time to make decisions through the process of the group, I have concluded that I am a democratic leader. Managing Unregulated Care Providers When it comes to managing UCPs, it is important to know that allocated tasks must be within the educational qualifications, role description, and range of competence of the UCP (CLPNBC, 2008). The LPN is accountable for decisions and actions when assigning to, teaching, and supervising UCPs, making LPNs liable for improperly assigning tasks (CLPNBC, 2008). However, as a democratic leader, I would bring the team together to decide on appropriate resident care assignments based on the individuals characteristics, abilities, and legal responsibilities. When it comes to emergency situations, democratic leadership may not be the best stye as it is a time-consuming decision-making process (Anderson, 2009). At times, there won’t be time for the group to process the solution, and this is a serious problem for a democratic manager who is unaccustomed to solving problems without the input of the group (Anderson, 2009). After all, it is important for each LPN to learn how to work individually in times of emergencies where group discussions are too timely. Also, when it comes to managing UCPs, the required care must fall within the scope of practice and range of competencies of both the LPN and the UCP, and within the employing agency’s role descriptions and policies. (CLPNBC, 2008).