An ideal leadership style for unit managers in intensive care units of private health care institutions

Van der Heever, Mariana (2009-03)

Thesis (MCur (Nursing Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The work environment in critical care units in South Africa is hampered by a profound shortage of nurses, heavy workloads, conflict, high levels of stress, lack of motivation and dissatisfaction among the staff. The task of managing a C.C.U. has therefore become a challenge. It is important that unit managers apply a leadership style that matches these challenges. The aim of this study was to investigate the ideal style of leadership. The objectives set for the study were to identify the ideal leadership style required in the following areas:  administrative functions  education functions  patient care  research An explorative, descriptive research design was applied, with a quantitative approach to determine the ideal leadership style for unit managers in critical care units of private health care institutions. The research sample consisted of all nurses working permanently in eleven private hospitals in the Cape Metropolitan area. A questionnaire consisting of predominantly closed questions was used for the collection of data, which was collected by the researcher in person. Ethical approval was obtained from the Committee of Human Science Research at Stellenbosch University. Permission to conduct the research was obtained from the institutions and informed consent from the participants. A pilot study was conducted to test the questionnaire at a private hospital which did not form part of the study. A 10% sample of the relevant staff, namely 27 participants were involved in this study. The validity and reliability was assured through the pilot study and the use of a statistician as well as experts in nursing and a research methodologist. Data was tabulated and presented in histograms and frequencies. Statistical significant associations were drawn between variables, using the Chi-square test. The Spearman rank (rho) order correlation was used to show the strength of the relationship between two continuous variables. Findings of the study show that participatory leadership style and transformational leadership approach were valued in all four (4) of the objectives. Emphasis was placed on consultation prior to any decisions. Nurses requested an opportunity to give feedback on a regular basis regarding the unit managers conduct (Chi-square test p = 0.025). They also agreed that unit managers should apply the necessary rules and procedures (Chi-square test p = 0.016). A huge request was made for integrity, trust, impartiality, openness, approachability and particularly honesty. The nurses also maintained that the nurse manager’s behaviour should be congruent. Furthermore, the results indicate that nurses would like to be empowered by:  being involved in the scheduling of off-duties  taking the lead in climate meetings  being granted opportunities (to all categories of nurses) to attend managerial meetings. N = 41 (48.2%) of nurses admitted that unit managers would instruct them to cope with insufficient staffing pertaining to ventilated patients, putting them under severe strain and at risk legally. N = 39 (47%) of nurses admitted that unit managers only consider qualifications and experience in the delegation of tasks if the workload in the unit justifies it. Safe patient care is not always a priority. N = 99 (96%) of nurses agreed that autocratic behaviour relating to task delegation exists. Recommendations included the application of transformational leadership and participatory management. The aim to create a healthier, more favourable work environment for critical care nurses will hopefully be attained through applying the ideal leadership style and leadership approach.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die werksverrigtinge in kritieke sorgeenhede in Suid-Afrika word deur ‘n ernstige tekort aan verpleegsters, hoë werklading, konflik, spanning, min motivering en baie ontevredenheid onder verpleeglui gekortwiek. Die leiding en bestuur van ‘n kritieke sorgeenheid is dus nie ‘n maklike taak nie. Dit is dus belangrik dat eenheidsbestuurders ‘n leierskapstyl aan die dag lê wat dié uitdagings doeltreffend aanspreek. Die doel van die studie is dus om ondersoek in te stel na die wenslike leierskapstyl vir kritieke sorgeenhede. Die doelwitte daargestel is dus om die ideale leierskapstyl in elk van die volgende funksies te bepaal:  administrasie  opleiding  pasiënte-sorg  navorsing Die ideale leierskapstyl vir eenheidbestuurders in kritieke sorgeenhede in privaathospitale is bepaal deur ‘n kwantitatiewe benadering met ‘n beskrywende ontwerp toe te pas. Die populasie het alle kritieke sorg verpleeglui ( permanent werksaam by een van elf privaathospitale in die Kaapse Metropool) ingesluit. Instrumentasie het ‘n vraelys behels (met oorwegend geslote vrae) en data is persoonlik deur die navorser ingevorder. Etiese toestemming is vanaf die Etiese Komitee van die Mediese Fakulteit te Universiteit Stellenbosch verkry asook die hoofde van die verskillende privaathospitale waar navorsing plaasgevind het. Ingeligte toestemming is ook van elkeen van die deelnemers verkry. Ten einde die vraelys te toets, is ‘n loodstudie by ‘n privaathospitaal ( wat nie by die studie ingesluit was nie) gedoen. Die loodstudie het N = 27 (10%) van die totale populasie behels. Die betroubaarheid en geldigheid van die studie is deur die loodstudie, die gebruik van ‘n statistikus, verpleegdeskundiges en die navorser-metodoloog versterk. Data is getabuleer en in histogramme en frekwensies voorgestel. Deur die Chi-square- toets te gebruik, is statisties betekenisvolle assosiasies tussen veranderlikes bepaal. Ten einde sterkte van verhoudings tussen twee opeenvolgende veranderlikes te bepaal, is die Spearman rangordekorrelasie (rho) aangewend. Die bevindings van die studie het getoon dat ‘n deelnemende bestuurstyl en transformasie-leierskapbenadering die mees aangewese keuse vir al vier doelwitte is. Die toepassing van veral ‘n deelnemende besluitnemingsproses het groot voorrang geniet, Verpleegkundiges wil daarbenewens ook op ‘n gereelde basis geleentheid hê om terugvoering oor die leierskapgedrag van die eenheidsbestuurder te gee (Chi-square toets p = 0.025). Ook verlang die deelnemers dat eenheidsbestuurders nie reëls en regulasies moet verontagsaam nie (Chi-square toets p = 0.016). ‘n Ernstige versoek is gerig ten opsigte van integriteit met pertinente verwysing na eerlikheid, vertroue, onpartydigheid, deursigtigheid, toeganklikheid en dat die leier se woorde en dade moet ooreenstem. Die resultate het verder getoon dat verpleegsters graag bemagtig wil word deur:  betrokkenheid in die skedulering van afdienste,  leiding in klimaatsvergaderings te wil neem,  geleentheid te hê om bestuurvergaderings by te woon (alle kategorieë van verpleegkundiges).. N = 39 (48.2%) van verpleegkundiges het erken dat hulle gedwonge personeeltekorte ten opsigte van geventileerde pasiënte ervaar en dus aan mediese geregtelike risiko’s en onnodige druk blootgestel word. N 39 (47%) van verpleegkundiges het erken dat eenheidsbestuuders kwalifikasies en ondervinding slegs in ag neem indien die werklading in die eenheid dit toelaat..Veilige pasiëntesorg kry dus nie altyd voorkeur nie. N = 99 (96%) van verpleegkundiges het erken dat outokratiese gedrag ( wat met werkstoewysing verband hou) wel voorkom. ‘n Transformasie leierskapsbenadering en deelnemende bestuurstyl is dus aanbeveel. Die hoop word dus uitgespreek dat deur aan die verpleegkundiges se versoeke ten opsigte van die ideale bestuursbenadering en bestuurstyl te voldoen, die werksatmosfeer binne kritieke sorgeenhede toenemend gesonder en dus aangenamer sal word.

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