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Importance of Clinical Leadership

Discuss About The Development Model Of Situational Leadership.

Nursing is one of the most compassionate and impactful professions that gives the professional the opportunity to provide care and support to the sick and ailing. However, in order to shine in the field of nursing or health care, there is a need for a few professional attributes such as critical thinking and clinical leadership (Bathurst, Jackson & Statler, 2010). Clinical leadership is associated with clinical reasoning and decision making. There are many challenging situations involved with the clinical scenario where the nurse is required to make critical decisions that are fundamentally associated with the safety and well-being of the patient. Hence, there is a need for more contemporary and multidimensional leadership approaches (Beydler, 2017). This essay will explore the different leadership styles to find the most suitable approach that can be aligned with the complex leadership needs of clinical scenario.


First and foremost, it is very important to align the different ideas and understanding of the concept of clinical leadership and how it relates to the key clinical scenarios. Clinical leadership can be considered as one of the key concepts that facilitate positive and optimal client or patient outcomes across different clinical settings (Cameron et al., 2012). It has to be understood that in any organizational scenario, the only way to maintain optimal functionality while meeting the quality benchmarks of the performance is having a sound leadership framework, and the healthcare scenario is not an exception to that either. This is where the congruent concept of clinical leadership comes from, and it not only guides the nurses to their utmost performance outcomes but it also helps them understand their role and responsibility with clarity. According to Mannix, Wilkes and Daly (2015), it has to be mentioned that in the clinical scenario, the concept of multidisciplinary care is very popular. In multidisciplinary care, there are different care professionals involved belonging to different care backgrounds to address the different needs of the patient, however, the efficiency and effectiveness of the care depend on the co-operative harmony of the varied range of different care professionals (Carlos Do Rego Furtado, Da Graça Câmara Batista & José Ferreira Silva, 2011). The concept of clinical leadership comes to aid in this scenario as well providing a framework of guidance and management that will address any conflict that arises and will provide the best care outcome to the patients. On a more elaborative note, the clinical leadership in the healthcare scenario provides system performance, achievement of health reform objectives, timely care delivery, system integrity, and efficiency. Hence, clinical leadership is one of the greatest operational needs of the contemporary health care scenarios to ensure optimal productivity and performance (Swanwick & McKimm, 2011).

Different Leadership Styles and Their Applicability with Clinical Leadership


Now there are various different leadership styles and approaches, and each one of them has a significant use and impact on the functionality of the organizational construct. Transformational leadership is the leadership style of the millennium; it provides the most benefit to the organization. The transformation leadership is the leadership of change; here the leader attempts to portray as a role model in order to have the followers be motivated by the vision and mission of change brought forward by the leader. According to Doody and Doody (2012), in transformational leadership, the leader attempts to motivate and inspire the followers to see and feel the need for the change in the scenario and work towards facilitating the change along with the leader. In clinical leadership scenario as well, the most notable leadership approach that has been discovered is the transformational leadership. It has to be mentioned in this context that the professional development is the sector that requires the most of the leadership attributes in the healthcare scenario. And hence, the transformational leadership style has been the most utilized leadership style in the healthcare, other than the rest of the leadership styles (Daly et al., 2014). Considering the other leadership styles that can be aligned with the healthcare scenario is the transactional, autocratic and situational leadership styles. Although, it has to be mentioned these leadership styles have not been very prominently observed in the healthcare scenario (Hutchinson & Jackson, 2013).

Elaborating more, autocratic leadership is the leadership approach where the leader does not share the decisive power with the subordinates in any manner and is only concerned with results rather than the impact on the followers (Doody & Doody, 2012). This leadership style is emotionless and devoid of any compassion, hence it cannot be implemented in all healthcare scenarios. Health care is a profession that is based on delivering care that is compassionate and empathetic, hence a leader with no compassion to guide the professions providing care or establishing care skills will not lead to positive outcomes. Transactional leadership, on the other hand, is reward and punishment based leadership style (Giltinane, 2013). In this case, the leadership approach is a based on a leader that attempts to attain compliance on the basis of both rewards and punishments. Although, this leadership style lacks compassionate approach as well, it has to be mentioned that this leadership style can be beneficial to the healthcare scenario to some extent. Nursing burnout is one of the greatest contributing factors behind the different medical errors and often the workload is the driving factors behind many prospering nursing candidates resigning leading to higher staffing shortage in the clinical scenario. Higher remuneration or incentives for extra initiatives taken or extra hours worked per employee can be a motivational factor for them to continue despite extreme workload. Similarly, for noncompliance with different protocols like infection control and hand hygiene, punishments can help the clinical leader attain better commitment. On the other hand, the situational leadership is another very effective leadership technique that can help the clinical leaders handle critical and emergency situations. In this leadership style developed by the Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey, the leader has to change his leadership style based on the need of the situation (Dumdum, Lowe & Avolio, 2013). It has to be understood that in health care crisis situation, the life of an individual lies in the hands of care providers. In such a situation a single mistake can cost the patient his or her life, hence, the need for quick thinking and fast decision making combined with co-operative harmony is required (Dumdum, Lowe & Avolio, 2013). In such cases, the situational decision making can serve as the most suitable leadership style in the clinical leadership context.

Need for a Contemporary Leadership Framework


Hence, it can be undoubtedly stated that the clinical leadership scenario is not just limited to professional development; there can be an emergency crisis or the need for compliance and organizational commitment to deliver the best possible support and care to the patients (Giltinane, 2013). Hence only transformational leadership will not suffice to handle the different needs of the clinical leadership scenarios. There is a need for transactional leadership and situational leadership to address the different demands of the different crises of the health care at times as well. However, the transition from one leadership style to another can be difficult for the professional in the role of clinical leader. It has to be understood that these leadership styles can be very overlapping and there is a need for a sound framework that will align all the mentioned leadership styles for the applicative benefits of the clinical leaders (Carlos Do Rego Furtado et al., 2011). The concept of aesthetic leadership that is based on tactic knowledge and aesthetic knowing can provide the best possible solution. This leadership style defies neither the transformational nor other congruent leadership styles, on the other hand, it provides the clinical leader with the opportunity to decide based on experience, regarding which leadership model to follow under different circumstances (Mannix, Wilkes & Daly, 2015). However, Hutchinson and Jackson (2013), have argued that knowledge, especially in the clinical scenario, is formed transformed and transferred through interactions and connections. Furthermore, it can also be argued that health care is based on science and aesthetic leadership depends more on silent knowledge than logical explanations (Swanwick & McKimm,  2011). According to Beydler (2017), aesthetic leadership depends on awareness and knowledge that has been gained by embodied experiences. As the relevance and importance of aesthetics, emotion and art has been established in the nursing care, aesthetic leadership can easily be considered the best solution for clinical leaders allowing them to choose the most suitable leadership style based on their knowledge, experience and the demand of the situation (Cameron et al., 2012).


On a concluding note, it can be stated in the modern-day organizational scenario, the need for sound leadership is imperative. However, adhering to only a single leadership style or approach will not meet the multidimensional needs of the modern day organizations. Especially, the clinical scenario, adhering to only one leadership style will not suffice with the rising demands of this public service sector. This essay has illustrated the need for a contemporary leadership framework that will combine the benefits of different leadership styles so that they can be employed in different situations. Aesthetic leadership style, as discussed, can be the best possible solution in the clinical leadership scenario, so that the clinical leader has the liberty to choose the leadership style most fit for the situation based on their knowledge and experience.

References:

Bathurst, R., Jackson, B., & Statler, M. (2010). Leading aesthetically in uncertain times. Leadership, 6(3), 311-330.

Beydler, K. W. (2017). The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Perioperative Nursing and Leadership: Developing Skills for Improved Performance. AORN journal, 106(4), 317-323.

Cameron, S., Harbison, J., Lambert, V., & Dickson, C. (2012). Exploring leadership in community nursing teams. Journal of advanced nursing, 68(7), 1469-1481.

Carlos Do Rego Furtado, L. U. Í. S., Da Graça Câmara Batista, M. A. R. I. A., & José Ferreira Silva, F. R. A. N. C. I. S. C. O. (2011). Leadership and job satisfaction among Azorean hospital nurses: an application of the situational leadership model. Journal of nursing management, 19(8), 1047-1057.

Daly, J., Jackson, D., Mannix, J., Davidson, P., & Hutchinson, M. (2014). The importance of clinical leadership in the hospital setting. Journal of Healthcare Leadership.

Doody, O., & Doody, C. M. (2012). Transformational leadership in nursing practice. British Journal of Nursing, 21(20), 1212-1218.

Dumdum, U. R., Lowe, K. B., & Avolio, B. J. (2013). A meta-analysis of transformational and transactional leadership correlates of effectiveness and satisfaction: An update and extension. In Transformational and Charismatic Leadership: The Road Ahead 10th Anniversary Edition (pp. 39-70). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Giltinane, C. L. (2013). Leadership styles and theories. Nursing Standard (through 2013), 27(41), 35.

Hutchinson, M., & Jackson, D. (2013). Transformational leadership in nursing: towards a more critical interpretation. Nursing inquiry, 20(1), 11-22.

Lynch, B. M., McCormack, B., & McCance, T. (2011). Development of a model of situational leadership in residential care for older people. Journal of nursing management, 19(8), 1058-1069.

Mannix, J., Wilkes, L., & Daly, J. (2015). Aesthetic leadership: its place in the clinical nursing world. Issues in mental health nursing, 36(5), 357-361.

Swanwick, T., & McKimm, J. (2011). What is clinical leadership… and why is it important?. The clinical teacher, 8(1), 22-26.

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