Thepurpose of Canada’s health care system is to delivery inexpensive and high-qualityhealth care to Canadians across the country (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). Thishealth care system proves to be successful in many ways, including the steadyrise of the country’s life expectancy (Statistics Canada, 2016). However, some minorityand low income populations in Canada experience drastically variant healthresults due to the lack of adequate resources, and the health inequality thatis still present in Canada (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). In particular, thehealth of First Nations people in Canada continues to be disproportionatelysubstandard in comparison to the general population (Tang & Browne, 2008).Complications in sufficient health care in rural and remote locations, combinedwith a long history of oppression in Canada, have put First Nations people at adisadvantage in regards to their health care experiences. Initiatives andorganizations such as The Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative aim to provideAboriginals with the high-quality health care that Canada promotes (Kelly &Quesnelle, 2016). However, the substandard care is still not acceptable.
Throughgovernment and community collaboration, the inequalities in health careexperienced faced by First Nations people can be minimized. Witha group of nurses and professionals, and the help of this board, we plan onopening a family health centre in Cowichan, BC. Cowichan is an Indian Reservelocated in South of Vancouver Island with a population of 2,068 people(Statistics Canada, 2017).
With the average annual income of the reserve beingnearly 60% less than the national average, low-income families often lackaccess to health education and an efficient, holistic health care experience(Statistics Canada, 2017). Rightfully named Cowichan Family Health Centre(CFHC), the clinic would be dedicated to providing high-quality health care tothe people of Cowichan, with a special commitment to respecting the culture andhistory of the First Nations people. By integrating our conventional,evidence-based Western health care practices with the holistic approach ofIndigenous cultures, our clinic will provide the First Nations people with asafe and respectful health care environment (McNally & Martin, 2017).
Witha team-based and patient-centered approach to the health care experience, wehope to foster an environment of exceptional care, compassion, and mutualrespect. With a significant focus on staff empowerment and improvement, ourclinic aims to promote growth, leadership, and collaboration among theemployees of CFHC. Our mission statement is as follows:At Cowichan Family Health Centre,we intend to provide high-quality and timely health care to all citizens of theCowichan region.
By integrating and respecting traditional holistic healthpractices of the First Nations people with conventional evidence-based healthpractices, we hope to become a leader in the health care experience of FirstNations people in Canada.Throughall aspects of our organization, from our organizational structure to our staffempowerment practices, to our conflict resolution strategy, we aim to providepatients with the best experience possible and promote staff satisfaction.TheCowichan Family Health Centre is comprised of employees in Finance andOperations, Physicians, Nurses, Team Leaders, and a CEO. Split into numerousunits, the flat organizational structure allows for team collaboration andactive communication among levels.
Additionally, with fewer management tiers, staffare given the opportunity and authority to make important decisions and grow asleaders (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). I plan on heading the nursing teams(indicated in pink below) by promoting teamwork and targeting mutual goals andachievements.Leadersand managers direct their employees and ensure that their unit / organizationruns smoothly (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). The goal of a leader is toencourage positive change and growth. To empower their followers, leadersprovide and promote shared objectives and direction. Managers, on the otherhand, handle the operations behind each team and ensure their subordinates dotheir jobs effectively and efficiently (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016).
As theNursing Team Lead, I plan to function as a leader to the various nursingdepartment teams. Leadership involves a complementary relationship between theleader(s) and the follower(s), and therefore should be built upon mutualrespect and open communication (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). To function as aneffective leader, I need to develop a number of skills and characteristics inorder to build this respect, encourage open communication among the nurses, andempower all employees of Cowichan Family Health Centre (Kelly & Quesnelle,2016).Bennis and Nanus outline three attributes generally common to leaders. First,it is essential to form clear, shared goals and a vision statement thatpromotes positive growth and direction (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). With theflat organizational structure of CFHC, this step is crucial to the developmentand success of our teams.
Having a clear vision statement allows for consistentdecision making, as all employees strive for the same goals (Kelly & Quesnelle,2016). To be an effective leader, I plan to make our mission statement andgoals clear to all employees and use them as a constant reminder of our purposeas nurses and employees. The second fundamental quality of effective leadershipis a passion toward the shared goals and vision outlined previously (Kelly& Quesnelle, 2016).
In order to lead employees, it is essential that aleader can see the big picture and understand the positive effects they canhave on patients, fellow employees, and the health care system as a whole(Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). As a leader, I aim to inspire the nurses workingwith me by providing clients with the best care possible and rewardingcontributions that go above what is generally expected of a nurse.Additionally, demonstrating passion toward the recovery of patients allows thepatient and their family to be confident in their care and to continue to livetheir best lives (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). The final quality is integrity.
Through self-knowledge and empowerment, honesty and communication, andmaturity, effective leadership is possible. This important attribute isdeveloped through reflection and feedback of our past experiences. Withexperience and growth and by acknowledging my strength and weaknesses, I planto develop the notion of integrity in all aspects of my life (Kelly &Quesnelle, 2016). Bennis and Nanus (1985) clearly outline these three keyattributes of a leader.
In addition to these, leaders often sharecharacteristics including self-confidence, persistence, fearlessness,competence, communication skills, and intelligence (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016).Developing these skills is critical toward developing an effective teamstructure and organization. I plan to develop my skills as a leader withexperience and through the feedback of my peers, the nurses I work with, andour patients. By initiating personal growth and development, I can advance myown leadership skills.Developingeffective leadership skills will allow me to focus on promoting empowermentamong my team members and employees. Promoting personal growth is essential ina leadership position. However, it is equally essential to motivate and inspirestaff members towards their own personal growth and empowerment (Spencer &Mclaren, 2017).
Empowerment is a critical portion of leadership.Self-empowerment takes place when individuals utilize their various strengthsand weaknesses to take charge and promote improvement in their roles.Self-empowerment is the understanding that one has the power to make adifference and provide better care to their patient (Kelly & Quesnelle,2016). It is important for leaders to be self-empowered, for then they canencourage the self-empowerment and growth of their team members. Additionally,empowered and satisfied nurses increase client satisfaction through theirimproved engagement and through recognizing their crucial role in the patientexperience (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). The direct positive connectionbetween employee empowerment and health care quality has been proven andsupported numerous times by many researchers (Laschinger et al., 2009; Purdy etal., 2010; Cho, Laschinger & Wong, 2006; Simpson, 2009).
Using multipleresources including clinical studies and the Nurs 432 textbook, I havecollected a number of effective strategies aimed to empower the nurses andstaff members on my team. First, by employing a participatory style ofleadership within my team and the CFHC, instead of an authoritarian style,employees will feel self-assured and valued in their decision making and feelcomfortable in informal leadership roles (Spencer & Mclaren, 2017; Kelly& Quesnelle, 2016). The entire organizational structure of CFHC is built topromote inter-tier collaboration.
By having an informal and balancedorganizational structure, the teams can feel comfortable communicating theirgrievances and concerns among ranks. Additionally, team members will feelempowered and possess sufficient competent to take on leadership roles amongtheir teams (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). Another strategy I intend to employis a team-based approach to interprofessional care. With specialized physiciansand nurses on staff, teams should work together toward quality health care forour patients (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). Additionally, with clear roles anda collaborative environment, employees will feel empowered in the improvementsto care that results and have the chance to learn from different disciplinesand specialties (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). Another important strategy Iplan to employ to encourage empowerment among staff includes promoting the freeflow of information.
This strategy is closely aligned with the organizationalstructure formerly mentioned. Utilizing a flat organizational structure isessential in improving the flow of information (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016).To promote inter-tier and inter-unit collaboration and communication, I intendto hold weekly meetings with all teams and management levels present. Beforethese meetings, staff will have the chance to bring up any grievances andconcerns afflicting them that they want to address. By planning andcommunicating the goals and purposes of each meaning, members can allparticipate and encourage positive change (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016).Additionally, by requiring teams and management / organizational tiers to collaborate,communicate, and debate on an equal level, employees can feel empowered and a senseof teamwork is encouraged (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). Along with this,another method to empower staff members is the continuous feedback from teamleads, fellow employees, and patients. Not only does this contribute to thedevelopment of employees, but feedback can allow employees to reflect on theirachievements and mistakes to improve (Bell, 2014; Khowaja & Gul, 2014).
AtCFHC, team leaders will act as mentors toward employees. With monthly meetingsbetween team leaders and individual employees, they can reflect on theirpersonal and professional goals and objectives and consider feedback from theirfellow employees and patients. By providing a constant line of communicationand feedback between employees, team leaders, and patients, CFHC will improvein the patient care experience and in staff satisfaction (Bell, 2014; Khowaja& Gul, 2014). The final strategy I will use to empower staff members is thepromotion of education and personal growth. Through support services to promotefurther education, such as support for pursuing specialties through the CNAcertification, I aim to empower staff to continue learning and growing asworkers and people (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). Additionally, by opening aninternal leadership development unit, elucidated further below, we canencourage self-empowerment, growth and improvement, and a higher quality healthcare experience among our staff.Trainingand development opportunities are critical to the empowerment of staff.
Withinthe Cowichan Family Health Centre, I intend to run a leadership training unitfor nurses and physicians on site. There are numerous benefits of staffeducation and leadership development. Although staff education can be costly,the return on investment of training and development programs is transparent.Staff education contributes to employee loyalty and minimizes staff turnover.When staff members grow personally and professionally, they feel encouraged andempowered as employees (Gesme, Towle, Wisman, 2010).
This positivelycontributes to employee morale. In an environment that promotes learning anddevelopment, employees will feel valued by the company. This rise in employeesatisfaction echoes into the patient experience (Gesme, Towle, Wisman, 2010).Patients benefit from the increase in employees’ self-empowerment,self-confidence, and job competence. Employees feel important and valued whentheir organization promotes an environment that fosters growth and education.This leads to an improvement in employees’ self-concept, nurse and physiciansatisfaction, and the patient experience (Gesme, Towle, Wisman, 2010).
This isthe objective of CFHC’s leadership training unit. Along with empowering andencouraging staff, this unit will benefit patients and the Centre as a whole.The unit will function as follows:The CFHC Leadership DevelopmentUnit will provide employees at all management levels with a current andrelevant in-house training system. Two identical 1-hour sessions will be run onTuesday and Thursday, biweekly, headed by the Leadership Development Team. Eachtraining session will focus on a different aspect of leadership development.
From promoting the free flow of information and effective communication to teambuilding exercises to encouraging effective dispute resolution, theseleadership training sessions are open to upper-management, physicians, nurses,administration staff, and any other staff members. Staff members are greatly encouraged,but not required, to regularly attend these sessions.Openingthis unit up to all management levels allows for teamwork and a feeling of mutualsuccess among all employees. Additionally, this allows for interprofessionallearning as employees in different positions, management levels, andspecialties can learn from one another. By running the sessions twice, biweeklyon two different days, this allows for better availability for most staffmembers and promotes a rise in attendance.
Asa leader, it is so important to develop conflict resolution skills. WithinCFHC, there will be ample opportunities for disagreement, and therefore muchpotential for conflict. From personal conflicts to disagreements in resourceallocation to unhealthy competition, divergence in goals and objectives cancause disputes (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016).
A common source of conflict fornurses, in particular, is from disagreements in resource allocation andadministrative disparities. Consider a scenario where two nurses have a heateddisagreement in the hallway over the ordering of supplies for our Centre. Aneffective leader needs to handle this conflict promptly and effectively.
Thereare various strategies in encouraging effective conflict resolution. The mainmethods in handling disputes include avoiding, accommodating, competing,compromising, negotiation, collaboration, and confronting (Kelly , 2016). Each method has a different place in the team experience,though some may be more advantageous than others based on the scenario and theperceived objectives (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). When scenarios such as the abovedisagreement arise, I plan on using a combination of the collaboration and confrontationtechnique.
As the scenario takes place in a hallway in the centre, the mostpresent goal needs to be deescalating the conflict. Through confrontation, theconflict can be shut down as it starts. The advantage of this is that itdoesn’t allow the conflict to inflate and erupt in front of patients and otherstaff members (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). This ensures quick action towarddeescalation. However, this can also shut down staff communication, asemployees may feel that their opinion isn’t welcome if it diverges from the majority(Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016).
To combat this disadvantage, I would promotecollaboration following the dispute. Just confronting or shutting down theconflict often does not result in positive change. Collaboration, on the otherhand, promotes teamwork as the two employees work toward the same objective: todevelop an optimal supply ordering system (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2016). Insummary, by using a combination of conflict resolution techniques includingconfronting followed by collaboration, I can assist the nurses in the initialdeescalation of the conflict and then promote teamwork as the nurses worktoward a shared goal.
TheCowichan Family Health Centre aims to be a leader in the health care experienceand plans to provide patients with a high-quality and timely health careexperience. To follow our mission statement, we plan on employing a strategicorganizational structure, continuous and encouraged leadership development,planned empowerment tactics, and effective conflict resolution. We aim to helpall citizens in the Cowichan region and with the numerous strategies utilized,we can make this happen.