Reflection On Effective Teamwork And Leadership Skills

Incident in Rehabilitation Ward

Reflection and composing a piece of self reflecting writing are intricately associated with one of the best effective healthcare practices by the professionals. This procedure helps in the developing of the skills along with the proper reviewing of the effectiveness in place of carrying on doing actions that are always done (Lutfiya et al., 2016). This helps in improving the ways by which healthcare professionals work and also help in carrying on the learning procedures throughout their lives. It helps in developing confidence and thereby makes the healthcare professionals become more proactive and qualified professionals (Wald et al., 2015). Some of the benefits are increased learning from an experience or situation, promotion of in-depth learning, identification of the personal and professional strengths and area of improvement, educational needs and many others (Tolks et al., 2016). This assignment would be mainly based on the reflection carried out on some of the most important incidents that occurred and will also shed light about how reflection on such incidents had helped me to develop as better professionals. Gibb reflective framework would be used.

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While working in the rehabilitation ward, I was given the duty of nursing and caring a 65-year-old woman who had faced stroke and was shifted to the ward after emergency treatment as care-coordinator. During the time of working in the ward, I saw different issues coming up every day that affected the patient care and the patient satisfaction. Medication error had occurred where the delegated nurse did not communicate with the nurse f the previous shift and administered the medication again resulting in increasing of the dose. When I tried to inquire about the situation, blames games started where one nurse was blaming the other entirely and no one was ready to accept their faults. Moreover, the different experts like physiotherapist, the occupational therapist and the dietician contradicted each other’s treatment to the patient. This made the patient nervous as she though the other expert was providing the worn treatment and care. Moreover, they complained about the other professionals on different notes and all these created several issues. The senior nurses went to the patient and saw her having a particular diet given by the junior nurse and shouted on her in front of the patient. Although the junior nurses stated that she had followed the doctors’ guidelines, the senior nurse did not trust her and took away the food. I was not able to understand why so many issues occurred and tried my best to reach to the root of the issues. More, I tried to solve their conflicts, more they were seen to be becoming rebellious. I received a complaint from the family members that we were not providing effective and safe care and that they are concerned with health of patient.

Importance of Effective Teamwork in healthcare

I was quite upset from the occurrence of the entire situation. I was quite shocked about how the rehabilitation professionals lacked proper team building spirits that affected the mental and physical health of the patient. I was disappointed that being the care-coordinator, I could not fulfill the responsibility that was assigned to me for managing and coordinating with the healthcare professionals and maintain the healthcare functions smoothly. I was feeling helpless at one time; where I noticed that nothing was going according to my plans and advises. I felt bad that my poor management of the teamwork ultimately affected the health of the patient and she was not being able to receive high quality and safe care that met her requirements. However, I did not lose confidence over my skills and attributes. Therefore, I decided to undertake more researches into the incident and find out the cases so that such issues do not repeat in the future.

Ineffective teamwork was mainly found to be the reason that resulted in failure of proper evidence-based care of the patient that resulted in patient and family dissatisfaction. One of the most important outcomes that resulted in ineffective outcome was negative health impacts of the patient. Researchers are of the opinion that ineffective teamwork results in communication issues, missed interventions, long waiting times of the patients, medication errors, and trust issues with the patient, emotional turmoil in the patients (Casimiro et al., 2015). The patient in the incident had noticed ineffective teamwork that had affected the patient resulting in concerns between the patient and loss of trust. Therefore, the bad part of the incident was that the ineffective teamwork had affected the health of the patient both physically and mentally. This even affected the reputation of the hospital. The only good part was that it helped me in learning that I do not have proper knowledge about the team working attributes and i needed to develop more knowledge and skills in maintaining effective teams.

On close analysis, I came to understand certain important attributes of team learning which I have not emphasized before the rehabilitation planning took place. One of the most important attribute that I had noticed in the incident was entire lack of trust and bonding. Researchers are of the opinion that the presence of trust and bonding among the members are extremely important for maintain of effective teamwork. This helps each of the employees in understanding each other’s strengths, weakness and interest (Rosen et al., 2018). Often, this is shown to reduce stress and fatigue among the members by the distribution of emotional and physical work burden and helps in achieving the team goals effectively. Complete lack of trust and bonding were found between not only the junior and the senior nurses that reflected from the food incident of the patient but also among the junior nurses who made the medication errors. Power struggle was also observed among the different healthcare professionals from the various incidents that were reported to me (Weller, Boyd & Cumin, 2014). Power struggles also impact effective teamwork as different types of complexes are seen to play among the employees that make them undertake various negative approaches towards ach other and this impact the final goals that are needed to b achieved. Complexes, egos, turf protection as well as negative attitudes, lack of communication, effective feedback sharing and many others affect the power dynamics making teams suffer massively. These impacts need to be cared by every team so that they can overcome the barriers and provide high quality care to the patients effectively.

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John Adair – Action-Centered Leadership model

John Adair – Action-Centered Leadership is one of the most renowned teamwork theories that are used in management of teams and helping teams to smoothly reach the goals. This model is mainly based on three overlapping circles that are achievement of the task, building and maintaining teams and developing each of the individuals. This team states the importance of defining the task with SMART goals for setting objectives to all employees and effective planning should be done. Team briefings and controlling activities need to be imposed by the leader to get maximum results for minimum purposes. The leaders should motivate, organize, evaluate and set examples for the team-workers (Maharajan et al., 2017). When such cases would occur in future, I should strategically call for team meetings and discussion where I would be applying the above-mentioned steps to help in proper team building and planning. I would be identifying any of negative aspects identified above and accordingly take interventions. I would try my best to motivate the team-workers and implement the Maslow’s The Hierarchy of Needs so that I can help the team overcome their negative aspects. This is a team development theory where the five aspects called the “survival, security, social, ego status and self actualization” are provided importance by the author. I would look after aspects of each of the individuals in the teams for effective relationship development and team building. I would apply these management theories in the conditions to develop my teamwork development skills.

In action plan, I would be mainly focusing on developing more skills and knowledge on effective teamwork and the ways to lead them. I would find more evidence based articles and follow books on teamwork in healthcare proposed by my mentor. These would be helping me to gain more knowledge and I would be able to mange teams effectively.

The higher authority provided me the opportunity to become a leader of the team of 5 new nursing students who came for clinical placement in the medical surgical ward. I accepted the responsibility and introduced myself to the new entrants. However, I did not ask them to introduce themselves and told them that I would get to know about their names in course of time. Following this, I allocated them to different tasks and fixed a definite deadline to them within which they need to complete their work. After two days, they came to me with complaints that they were not being able to complete the tasks. They were explaining their difficulties when I cut them short thinking that they were making excuses and being lazy in their work. I cut them short. I stated that I would not accept any excuses and that they needed to complete the work within the allocated time. Two of the members came to me stating that the ways I have asked them to complete the work was taking more time and that they proposed a better way that would help them in completion off the work faster. However, I did not accept any of the feedbacks and asked them not to come to me until the work would get completed. I clearly stated them to complete the work as faster as they could without trying to modify any of the working styles and working patterns that were dictated by me. On the final day of the deadline, I noticed that none of the work as finished and many of the new student nurses had complained about me to the higher authority stating that they would like to have another member as a leader as they were not comfortable with me.

Action Plan

I was highly confused and upset about the entire incidence. I could not understand what went wrong. I had been strict with them as I though that this would be helping them to work in a discipline manner. I also asked them to follow my procedures without following their own as I assumed that they are novices and therefore, they could learn appropriate approaches of healthcare activities if they would be following my procedures. However, I felt guilty when I found that they were hurt and offended by leadership styles and that they have complained about me to the higher authority. I was also upset, as I could not properly complete the responsibility that was given to me by the higher authority.

Effective evaluation of the incident showed that the members of the team were highly discouraged and they had developed a negative idea about the working environment of the healthcare organization. They had been de-motivated and they did not feel like working in the healthcare centre and wanted to change their placement arena. Moreover, the higher authority made me know that the members also wanted to leave the profession as they had developed very poor idea about hoe healthcare teamwork (Demo et al., 2015). They had lost their confidence and self-esteem and they felt humiliated by the leaders. The leadership style that I had applied was autocratic in nature. Such leadership style affects the morale of the employees making them feel that they were not cared in the organization. They feel that their suggestions and feedbacks are not respected and this makes them feel humiliated in the organization. This style also discourages group input making the members feel that their skills and knowledge were not respected or paid importance. Hence, this leadership style is criticized nowadays as it increases the turnover rates of the employees (Weberg et al., 2016). Therefore, the new nurses wanted to leave the organization or wanted to change their leaders. This was the bad part of the incident as the healthcare centre was on the verge of losing human resources due to poor leadership traits. However, the only goof point was that it helped me realize that my leadership style was not appropriate and that I needed to undertake good practices.

I needed to undertake proper analysis to understand the negative aspects of incident to develop valuable insights from the incident. Autocratic leadership styles mainly invite little or no input from the group members and the leaders are seen to make almost all the decisions. The leaders are seen to dictate all the work methods as well as the processes and they are seen to rarely trust their employees with any important task or decisions. The work under such leadership is seen to be highly structured and very rigid. In this form of leadership, creativity as well as out-of-the-box thinking is seen to be discouraged (Watkins et al., 2016). Rules are mainly seen to be important and they tend to be clearly outlined as well as communicated. Researchers are of the opinion that autocratic leadership remains associated with poor performance from the employees, low morale among the employees, de-motivation, discouragement as well as many other aspects. Moreover, the employees can also discuss their concerns and therefore, they tend to work out them by themselves and these affect their working capability making them feel distressed. Many researchers are of the opinion that this leadership is essential for inexperienced employees but the leader needs to modify the traits in way by which the employees should feel respected and cared for without feeling stressed about the strict environment. In such situations, researchers are of the opinion that transformational leadership style is more important and helpful in such situation so that employees feel comfortable, discuss their concerns and get scopes for learning skills of working in healthcare environment (Lin et al., 2015).

Leadership incident with Nursing Students

While working in the healthcare industry, I might need to lead both experienced as well as inexperienced healthcare professionals and therefore, I need to develop leadership traits that would help the members to work effectively and reach their goals successfully. Therefore, I need to develop effective traits for transformation leadership style. One of the most important aspects is the idealized influence where I would myself participate in the work as the role model. The subordinates will see me working with them making them believe that the goals are achievable and belong them to know how to complete the work. The next trait that I would develop is the individualized motivation where I need to motivate the employees in ways by which they can work beyond their potential helping the employees to achieve the goals much easily (Troung et al., 2014). Another is the intellectual stimulation where I would be involving the members in decision-making procedures and exchange feedback exchange process. This would make them believe that they are cared and their suggestions are worthy and valuable for the organization. Another important trait that I would be developing is the individualized considerations where leaders would know the concerns faced by individuals and help them in overcoming the barriers by giving them effective strategies. If I had applied these traits in leading the new nurses, the situation would not have resulted in negative outcomes.

In the action plan, I would be undertaking evidence based studies, attend seminars on effective leadership traits, interview eminent healthcare leaders, and discuss with me mentors effectively. These would help me in developing my leadership skills effectively.

While working in team that comprised of healthcare professionals coming from various nations, various backgrounds and races, I had also gone through several incidents that had made me understand that I have poor cross-cultural communication skills. The team comprised of healthcare professionals from Asian backgrounds, aboriginal backgrounds, Australian backgrounds and many others. Moreover, there were many members who belonged to different religions like that of Christian, Muslim, Hindus and many others. I have never paid importance in developing culturally competent communication styles and I always applied personal style while communication with many of the members. I maintained eye contacts with the Asian workers who consider direct eye contacts to be rude and dishonorable during communication. I often made curious comments to many of the Muslim workers which affected their self esteem and made them upset. Although, I had no intention of harming their self-respect, but they felt humiliated. In many arenas, I often made jokes on their names which often seemed innovative me. However, they took me as a negative person as they felt that I was doing the purposely to dishonor their cultures, backgrounds, transitions and many others. Soon they started to avoid me and I could easily understand their ways of avoiding me.

I felt upset thinking that the members were avoiding me thinking me to be an insensitive person. I felt guilty of affecting their motions and making them feel disrespected. I understood that I wanted to develop my cross-cultural communication skills so that I can develop good relationships with all members of the team o that I can provide high quality service as a part of the healthcare team effectively.

The negative part of the incident was that I communicated insensitively with the members of the team making them feel hurt. Therefore, the relationship that I shared with the members of the team had become affected. As a result of this, the communication between us was also hampered and the smooth workflow by the teams was affected. They were not ready to interact with me and the team members could not work in a united manner. The care that was provided to the patients was inappropriate. The only good part was that the incident taught me that I have poor cross-cultural communication skills and that I needed to develop them so that I can work properly along with other members of the team.     

Cross-cultural competence and effective communication are highly important while working in the egalitarian society (Betancourt et al., 2016).   The society has become the resident of various kinds of people coming from different backgrounds and as part of the society, it is the duty of members to develop cultural sensitivity, cultural competence and overcome biases. Healthcare professionals need to develop both verbal and non-verbal communication skills that would align with the cultural traditions, perception and inhibitions with the members with whom they are working and along with the service users.  This helps in biding a trustworthy relationship. Trusts and bonds are crucial in team working and cultural competence helps in maintaining these aspects (Teunissen et al., 2017). When members feel that their cultures and backgrounds are respect, there would be increase in transparent and closeness among the members (Silverman et al. 2016). This would help in reducing work burden and help in better service delivery by the teams.

Therefore, I should try to develop cultural knowledge and cultural awareness about the different backgrounds of the people working with me. Accordingly, I would be not only careful but also sensitive and biased towards the other cultures. This would help me in communicating with them respectfully and would help me in developing effective teamwork and prevent any conflicts.

I would follow internet sites; evidence based articles, and attends workshops and many others to develop such skills successfully. I would also engage in constructive feedback sessions so that the relationships are based on transparency and no hard feelings are harbored by any members.

Conclusion:

From the above discussion, it becomes clear that there are certain aspects which are very important and needs to be managed effectively to ensure smooth flow of work in the healthcare centers. These are effective team working, proper leadership and cross-cultural communication and competence. It is also important for every nursing professional to develop proper attributes associated with these three aspects. These would not only help in preventing any form of conflicts among the professionals but would ensure effective boding and coordination. These will have positive impact on the health of the patients ensuring high patient satisfaction.

References:

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