WGU RKOT Task #1
Mentor: Tara Stokes
Leaders come in many different forms. Not all nurse managers, unit directors or charge nurses are leaders. According to Cherry (2011), “The job title such as “nurse manager” will not make a nurse a leader. The nurse’s behavior will determine his or her ability to be viewed as a leader”. Informal leaders are very important and can be extremely influential in group dynamics and interdisciplinary teams. Two strategies that enable a nurse to occupy this role are great problem solving skills and being viewed as a role model. Problem solving skills are important to have and your peers will seek you out if they know you are great at problem solving, making you an informal leader. In addition, doing the right thing in the face of controversy will also enable you to be an informal leader. Informal leaders are personable, knowledgeable and have a good attitude.
It is imperative for nurses to have active roles on interdisciplinary teams. Two ways to accomplish this is to be a patient advocate and by being an excellent communicator. These two skills work closely together. Many nurses have their patient’s best interest at heart, but you need to be able to communicate effectively with other members of the care team to ensure the best care is given to the patient. Under normal circumstances, nurses have the most contact with patients on nearly all levels of care. Nurses understand what patients need and want and this must be communicated in a logical, medically clear way so there is no confusion. By being a patient advocate, you are always thinking in terms of what is best for the patient. This becomes important when other team members begin discussing issues/procedures that you know the patient would not agree with. Being a patient advocate gives you purpose to actively participate in these discussions.
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) has four characteristics that directly...