Leadership in Nursing Anesthesia

Transformation Leadership in Nursing Anesthesia

There are many theories of leadership and they all play vital roles in healthcare depending on the situation for which they are needed.  However, the one theory that I aspire to when considering the field of anesthesia is the transformational leadership theory.  Reconstruction of the context in which people work, removing the old and replacing it with the new (Stanley, 2017), can lead to a greatly improved anesthesia workforce. This is a student sample: Click here to ORDER NOW

Historically, it was believed that leadership knowledge, skill and attributes were important only to individuals in formal management (Barker, 1991).  People in formal leadership positions may think they guide the behaviors of a group; however, it is often an informal leader that is the true guide (Fischer, 2017). Transformational leadership is not associated with power and is needed and appropriate at all levels of an organization (Stanley, 2017).

The concept of transformational leadership was originally introduced by Burns in 1978.  Burns suggested that demonstrating particular characteristics and behaviors had the ability to promote positive change among colleagues (Fischer, 2017).  In 2002 Bass and Avolio provided the term transformational leadership, based off of Burns concepts from 1978.  They expanded off of Burns suggestions, developing the leadership model that describes how individuals and organizations can implement the theory (Fischer, 2017).  The model includes four key elements: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration (Fischer, 2017).

When I consider these four elements in relation to the field of nursing anesthesia, I see an excellent theory to achieve success. An exceptional leader (CRNA) would be viewed as a role model for the clinical team (idealized influence), and would provide a vision for future improvements that could be made (inspirational motivation).  The leader would consistently demonstrate genuine concern for the feelings and needs of others (consideration), while providing challenges to their coworkers to promote critical thinking and personal creativity (stimulation) (Fischer, 2017). Teamwork is a key element in the operating room and in transformational leadership, goals cannot be achieved without contribution of followers (Fischer, 2017). Promoting these elements in the operating room can create a much safer and team focused working environment.

There was an interesting study done by Suratno, Arivanti, and Kadar (2018) to determine the relationship between transformational leadership and quality of nursing work life (QNWL).  QNWL is an important indicator of nurse satisfaction with their work and the ability to see opportunities in the working environment (HSU, 2016). This particular study was implemented with a cross-sectional approach.  The study included nurses, with a working period of a year or more, in five Makassar City Regional Hospitals.  A survey consisted of 542 nurses with results confirming that transformational leadership was directly related to QNWL and can even increase QNWL by 28% (Suratno, Arivanti, & Kadar, 2018). An increase in QNWL provides a healthier working environment with greater job fulfillment in any nursing position. This is a student sample: Click here to ORDER NOW

Working in the operating room providing anesthetics poses a high risk of burn out. Providing anesthesia to critical patients can lead to continual high stress levels.  Unfortunately, 1/3 of nurses meet the criteria for burnout.  Burnout results from continuous and repeated exposure to stressors that can result in decreased concentration, mental and physical exhaustion, loss of hope, absence of energy and irritability (Sacco 2015).  A CRNA experiencing burn out can be detrimental to the entire perioperative team or even jeopardize a patient’s life.

Nursing is the largest proportion of healthcare staff, making the need for leadership integral to the profession.  (institute of medicine 2009, Buchan et al 2015). If healthcare services are to capitalize on the potential of nurses to transform the quality and safety of patient care, it is essential to develop the transformational leadership skills of all nurses (Fischer, 2017). Transformational leadership is vital for the nursing profession to improve patient safety and influence improvements in the healthcare service as a whole (Fischer, 2017).

In nursing, transformational leadership has the ability to contribute to nurse retention and provide healthy working environments (Suratno, Arivanti, & Kadar, 2018). The theory would propel individuals (CRNAs) to expand their personal potential while fostering an environment of teamwork.  A strong transformational leader has the ability to improve job satisfaction and quality of work life, while giving it profound meaning (Stanley, 2017). Transformational leadership challenges the status quo by creating and sharing a vision. The leaders establish and gain support for the vision which drives workplace momentum and empowerment for all (Stanley, 2017). This is a student sample: Click here to ORDER NOW

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