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Reflective Journal Week 2

1. What did you actually learn from the unit? 

I learned a lot from this unit.  I learned the difference between leadership and management.  I learned characteristics of a good leader.  I also learned about various leadership theories.  I also learned quite a bit about how these ideas relate to nursing practice.

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why?

During the team activity, my team members and I were pretty much on the same page about all the names on the list of potential leaders.  We all agreed that every person on the list was a leader, even though some were better leaders than others and some used their leadership to harm others.  As I read each name on the list and thought about whether or not I would consider each person a leader, I was able to clarify in my mind what makes some one a leader.  It didn’t really change my opinion on the subject, but it helped me understand more about what makes some one a leader.

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice.

I will utilize the information learned in this lesson by consciously trying to use the behaviors and skills of good leaders, and avoiding those things that I have learned make a poor leader.  I will work on increasing my assertiveness, decision making skills and willingness to take risks, so I can become a stronger leader.  I will focus on building relationships of trust with patients, family members and coworkers.  

4. Your personal feelings about the material covered.

I really enjoyed watching Ender’s Game, and thinking about what characteristics made the characters good or bad leaders.  This gave me a lot of insight into what makes some one a good leader, and helped me to realize that a lot of these traits are things that can be learned and mastered.  I feel more confident about my ability to become a better leader.  I also enjoyed taking the DISC Personality Test.  I enjoyed learning more about myself and what areas I am strong in and what areas I need to work on.

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The DISC Personality Test

My results for the DISC personality test are: 

Dominant-1

Influential-0

Steady-6

Conscientious-8

I scored highest in Conscientious.  This wasn’t really new knowledge about myself.  I expected these results.  I knew I would score high in steady and conscientious and low in dominant and influential.  Because I am so highly conscientious and steady, I will need to work at being influential as a leader.  I need to work on being more assertive, and speaking up for what I believe.  I also have some strengths, because I am very careful to do things correctly and can learn skills to be an effective leader.  I can work hard and excel at my job and be a leader as I teach others to do the same.  I can use this information to focus on developing more assertiveness skills to become a better leader.

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Characteristics of Leaders

1.       Leadership requires personal mastery – Nurses have to be competent to complete nursing school, pass a licensing exam, and be hired as a nurse.  Getting to that point takes a large amount of sacrifice, struggle and personal mastery.

2.       Leadership is about values – Nurses are taught about values that are important within the nursing field.  They are taught to value patient safety above all else.  They are taught to be honest and trustworthy and focus on building relationships with individuals.  A nurse’s values come across in the relationships with their patients.

3.       Leadership is about service – Nursing is very much about service.  As nurses, we have the opportunity to serve people at some of the most challenging and vulnerable times in their lives.  

4.       Leadership is about people and relationships – Nurses work with many people on a daily basis; patients, family members, other nurses, patient care techs, physicians, and other members of the interdisciplinary care team.  The relationship the nurse builds with each of these people can have a huge impact on successful outcomes.  The nurse-patient relationship is of paramount importance.

5.       Leadership is contextual – Nurses need to be able to make decisions about the proper course of care depending on many variables.  The context of the situation can make a big difference in what choices need to be made.  

6.       Leadership is about the management of meaning – Nurses help their patients find meaning in difficult circumstances.  They must manage these situations and help their patients successfully navigate them, with the intention of coming through the experience with their health and well-being in tact.

7.       Leadership is about balance – Nurses must learn to balance their own needs as well as conflicting needs of multiple patients.  They need to know when to focus on a particular need and when to let some things go.  

8.       Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement – Nurses need to be constantly learning about new technology, new treatments, new studies, and new diagnoses as they interact with new patients. Continuing education is required to maintain an active nursing license.  

9.       Leadership is about effective decision making –  Nurses must make many decisions each day.  They must decide what is the most effective use of their time, and which patient’s needs should be attended to first.  They must decide when to call the physician when a patient’s condition is deteriorating.

10.   Leadership is a political process – Nurses have to understand the politics of their particular work environment in order to effectively lead and implement change.  

11.   Leadership is about modeling – Nurses often teach patients by modeling what they want the patient to learn.  They also do this with people they are training or delegating to.

12.   Leadership is about integrity – Nurses have many opportunities to act dishonestly, such as to cover up a mistake they made rather than admit it in order to keep their patient safe.  A nurse without integrity can cause a lot of damage including causing the death of a patient.

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Introduction

Hi my name is Camilla Dinkins.  Welcome to my nursing blog!  I am a full time student at Utah Valley University and recently became a Registered Nurse.  I will graduate with my Bachelors of Science in Nursing in May 2020.  The purpose of this blog is to keep a reflective journal detailing my learning experiences throughout the semester as I participate in the Nursing Leadership course.  I am excited to learn from my instructor and classmates as we share experiences and discussions about leadership in nursing.

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