It is no surprise that hospitals across the world are examining new patient care delivery approaches, given the pace of change in the healthcare system. In many cases, professionals with experience in management are driving innovation in healthcare. Janati, Hasanpoor, Hajebrahimi & Sadeghi-Bazargani (2018) mentioned that healthcare managers are the missing link when it comes to debates on healthcare reforms. The ideas and skills of healthcare managers bring fresh approaches to the table with significant patient benefits. Owens, Singh & Cribb (2019) mentioned that management professionals are the ones with specialized training to improve healthcare organizations. The author further mentioned that health care managers oversee key areas of responsibility such as budgeting and quality of care. Apart from this, healthcare managers also juggle day to day responsibilities in healthcare establishments such as planning, coordinating, directing other groups and practitioners. Given the importance of their role in the healthcare setting, it is important for healthcare managers to develop their skills, in order to deliver better healthcare in the rapidly changing environment. This essay provides an analysis of key characteristics, including caring, dedicated, diplomatic, adaptable and emotional intelligence that a healthcare manager must possess and provides a critical reflection and evaluation of development strategies for the same characteristics.
Professional development plan documents required skills, competency, objectives and goals of staff members need to accomplish to support continuous career development and improvement (Walker 2017). A professional development plan of a healthcare manager is created to identify the necessary resources and skills to support organizational business needs and career goals. For the professional development plan of healthcare, the below-mentioned characteristics are taken into consideration.
The daily-lived values of healthcare institutions have changed from the key values of medicine, namely, empathy, caring and compassion for patients to more productive corporate values and profits. However, as Svantesson, Carlsson, Prekert & Anderzen-Carlsson (2016) mentioned, this extensive focus on efficiency and productivity has compromised the effectiveness of healthcare delivery. More importantly, it has eroded the base of patient-centric care. It is important for healthcare managers to be caring and develop an environment which facilitates patient-centric care. This not only improves the quality of care delivery but also prevents work disengagement and burnouts. Being caring means listening to, caring about and understanding patients (Huang, Chengalur-Smith & Pinsonneault, 2019).
Thinking back of my own healthcare experience and professional knowledge, I think that first and foremost I would like the care I am receiving is competent and compassionate care. This means that the people I call to diagnose and fix have a sense of caring for me and are attuned to my sense of vulnerability and anxiety. I will incorporate the same values in my professional practice as a healthcare manager to ensure that the people who reach out to the establishment feel that we care about them. One of the most gratifying parts about embracing this principle is that, apart from providing the tangible health benefits, we will also provide the intangible benefit of conveying that we care about recovery and wellbeing of our patients (Krause & Boldt, 2018).
Moreover, in order to monitor the degree to which I convey a caring attitude, I will use the following metrics of behaviour. The checklist involves placing a premium on listening and focusing my attention on the person I am with (Wei, Corbett, Ray & Wei, 2019). Moreover, I will also explain other what I am doing and why I am doing it. Also, I will check whether I am taking the time to stop and answer questions, rather than powering through my procedures. In addition to this, I will find out if the persona I am talking to has questions rather than assuming that they will ask if they do.
Healthcare, or any other profession, one cannot embark upon a career without dedication. Within the healthcare sector, there has always been a need for individuals who work selflessly every day and dedicate their lives to improve the lives of others. Dedication involves embracing the organizational policies and objectives to work best and knowing the direction to follow in executing responsibilities (Reed, 2016). Healthcare management involves looking for better ways to solve everyday problems and in order to become dedicated, one must be clear on the end goal and needs an unwavering focus. Evidence of dedication in the workplace includes high work ethics, a visible passion for work and positive and demeanour in personal interactions with patients and employees (Mathes, Henry, Schmidt & Norberg, 2019).
Dedication is also one of my strong qualities mainly because of my passion for healthcare. I ensure that I am punctual at all time for work and meetings and have high attendance at work. I also demonstrate initiatives quite often in my given setting and try to be flexible when it comes to change. This helps me to stay engaged in my work and avoid emotional exhaustion, inefficiency and work-related burnouts. I feel energized by what I do and feel that I am making a difference.
In order to facilitate further professional development, I will monitor my punctuality by my rate of attendance and absenteeism at work. Moreover, I will also monitor my reputation for getting things done and my work ethics. I will also 3Ps of hard work, namely, pressure, positivity and patience, to measure that I am putting the right amount of pressure to push myself and to realize organizational goals. Moreover, work performance is another metric which can be used to measure dedication as dedication is highly correlated with work performance (Gagne, Dubois, PrudHomme & Da Silva, 2019). This will help me to monitor that I am dedicated to my work and professional development.
Apart from being dedicated and caring, the healthcare manager should also be diplomatic, considering the changing healthcare environment. Harrison, Meyer, Chauhan & Agaliotis (2019) suggested that the solution for healthcare establishments to navigate the increasingly complex environment is to take a new look at their leadership development which includes assertive yet collaborative action with reasoned diplomacy and bluntness. Moreover, excellent leaders understand the importance of communicating which involves cultural, experiential, generational and professional representation (Prestia, 2017). Healthcare managers must be adept at fostering cohesiveness, recognizing the role of positive reinforcement, nurturing strengths and creating a sense of curiosity.
Diplomatic leaders are properly aware of communicating with comradery, tact and intention. They embody a compassionate and caring cadence which promotes teamwork by holding team members and themselves accountable for engagement in work (Henisz, 2017). I also try to be diplomatic, for instance, when two of my team members were negatively competing with one another which was effective the overall performance of our team, I conducted a meeting with them to find out their motivations behind the struggle. This helped me to improve the performance of my team and to facilitate better teamwork. This skill has also helped me while working with teams consisting of people from diverse cultures and generations.
Monitoring diplomacy involves an awareness of personal behaviour to know whether I am thinking about the objections of others and considering their opinions and arguments as well. Moreover, one needs to monitor his or her emotional state while entering a negotiation and should try to keep an open mind and remain calm (Gifford et al., 2018). I also need to monitor whether I am listening to what others are saying or has to say. Monitoring communication also includes watching for non-verbal cues, such as body language and tone of voice.
Stromgren, Eriksson, Ahlstrom, Bergman & Dellve (2017) mentioned that employers in every industry want to find candidates that are a perfect fit for the organization, and it is the responsibility of the manager to work with people and align their personal goals with organizational vision. In order to do so, the quality of being adaptable and flexible is a necessary quality for healthcare manager. Adaptability in healthcare allows one to integrate a patient’s cultural beliefs and values into any encounter. As a healthcare professional, it is important to have skills and awareness to assess non-verbal and verbal cues and to adapt individual care to minimize misunderstandings and to maximize patient comfort (De Brouwer, Fingal, Schoonhoven, Kalijouw & Van Achterberg, 2017).
I also think that it is one of the most important skills for healthcare managers as it allows them to tackle cost-efficiency and productivity for clinical activities to facilitate better workplace output because of improved motivation and retention of staff. In order to become more adaptable, I will redefine my motivations by observing and learning from others, asking questions and preparing alternative solutions. Moreover, acquiring new skills and setting small goals is also important to improve adaptability (Nilsson & Blomqvist, 2017). Given my personal experience in my practice, I think that I am quite rigid in my approach and need to improve my adaptability skill.
In terms of monitoring my progress during my professional development, I will use Gibbs reflective cycle to assess the way I have handled the past situation. This will help me to reflect on the way I responded to situations and whether I was rigid in my approach, took risks and enjoyed new challenges. In addition to this, I will also take feedback from my peers and co-workers as they have a better understanding of my behaviour (Wilson, 2018).
Emotional intelligence is a key component of effective leadership. Healthcare managers need to have a sound understanding of the way their actions and emotions affect people around them. Emotionally intelligent managers are able to effectively listen and communicate with their team, increase productivity and rectify errors. Reshetnikov (2018) reported that failing to communicate effectively in a healthcare establishment leads to bitterness, confusion and frustration among team members. Emotional intelligence results in a better physical patient relationship, increased empathy, increased teamwork and effective communication. Moreover, it is also helpful in stress management, organizational commitment and effective leadership.
While looking for a walk-in a medical clinic, I saw a zero rating review of frustrated and angry patients who posted reviews complaining about everyone from the rude receptionists to indifferent doctors and indifferent assistants (Samiuddin, Ahmad & Kazmi, 2017). This experience had a significant impact on me and showed me how our approach to attending emotions impacts the organization and reduces morale, performance and patient satisfaction.
In order to improve emotional intelligence, I will practice observing how I feel and how I behave. I will also observe how I act when I experience certain emotions and the way it affects my day to day life (Kotsou, Mikolajczak, Heeran, Gregoire & leys, 2019). Moreover, improving emotional intelligence also includes taking responsibility for my feelings and questioning my opinions. Developing self-awareness is also a key aspect of improving emotional intelligence which involves learning to take an objectively look at yourself and understanding your motivations. Examining the way I react to stressful situations will also me to monitor my emotional intelligence development (Kotsou, Mikolajczak, Heeran, Gregoire & leys, 2019).
In conclusion, it can be stated that professional development is not an option but a necessity for healthcare manager, given the rapidly changing healthcare environment. Moreover, given the importance of their role in the healthcare setting, it is important for healthcare managers to develop their skills, in order to deliver better healthcare in the rapidly changing environment. The analysis suggests that key characteristics that a healthcare manager must possess and provides include caring, dedicated, diplomatic, adaptable and emotional intelligence. The reflections and monitoring measures mentioned in the paper helps healthcare managers to improve their professional skills to facilitate professional development.
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