Hello to all of my classmates and professor. My name is Brent Braswell. After serving in the US Air Force for almost a decade, I decided to become a nurse. I started as a LVN (LPN) and a year later I went back for my RN. I tried hospital nursing and while the acute experience is very valuable, I simply was not happy. I soon found myself trying other things such as hospice and even the county jail, yet I could still not find that happy place I was searching for. Then I discovered geriatrics and there was the icing on my cake! I absolutely found my calling in long term care and rehabilitation. After a short time working as a floor nurse I was asked to fill in for the director of nursing while they were out on a family emergency. After that I was addicted and have been a director of nursing for skilled facilities ever since and I have no regrets. It has been amazing and while many times my frustration with the system can grow, I always know in my heart that geriatrics is my passion.
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My leadership style is hard for me as I vary from one to another depending on the situation. Predominantly I would have to choose democratic leadership as my primary choice. A democratic leader encourages participation and exchange of ideas from her/his team regarding the directions the team should take and what actions they should prioritize. When faced with a complex problem, she/he will elicit ideas from others, listen attentively and build consensus, but may put off making difficult decisions (Chapman, Johnson, & Kilner, 2016).
It is very important to me that I always include my staff in decision making. I am the boss, but that does not mean that I know everything or that I think of all possibilities. Encouraging my staff to speak up and pass along their ideas brings about camaraderie and trust with each other. I also believe in autonomy. I have three assistants that are called unit managers. Until they were to give me a reason to micromanage their jobs, I simply will not. This allows me to show that I trust their judgment and knowledge. The nurses who work the floor are full of ideas concerning the specific needs of their patients. I do not take care of these patients all day, so why on earth would I not ask their opinion when an issue arises? When there is a change in regulations it is my job to know and understand the details of that change and how it may impact daily routines. It is also my job to explain it to the staff so that they understand. At that point I will have already formed ideas of how to make it work, but I still call a meeting with my staff to teach the change and to share ideas of the best way to implement the change.
Chapman, A. L., Johnson, D., & Kilner, K. (2016). Leadership styles used by senior medical leaders: Patterns, influences and implications for leadership development. Leadership in Health Services; Bradford Vol. 27, Iss. 4, (2014): 283-298. , 8.
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