Final Capstone Project
The current practicum project was focused on the issue of shared leadership within surgical settings, which is an important research topic. The term shared leadership (SL) implies a horizontal approach to leadership, in which whole teams assume responsibilities for the tasks that they are expected to complete. SL is seen as a reasonable aspect to be integrated into surgical settings and can be achieved with the help of training of staff. The topic bears significance because the choice of leadership approaches has always been a complex task, and in surgical settings, the complexity of tasks is higher compared to other contexts, which can lead to issues in care coordination and delivery. With the help of SL, it is expected to achieve greater levels of team collaboration when providing quality care to patients. The subject of research presents significant opportunities for exploring the relationships between leadership and assuming shared responsibilities for the assigned tasks. According to the study by D’Innocenzo, Mathieu, and Kukenberger (2016), the connections between shared leadership and the complexity of assigned responsibilities have been traced. Therefore, SL is important to
The chosen research topic was expected to contribute to other studies associated with the issue of choosing leadership approaches within healthcare settings. The PICOT questions formed for the study pertained to determining the effectiveness of SL training to improve surgical team performance compared to no training. Thus, the project was meant to reveal valuable information on how surgical teams can become better at meeting the expectations of care through the appropriate choice of leadership. The project offered a comprehensive insight into the complexity of surgical settings and the challenges that healthcare personnel encounters when dealing with leadership. The aim of this final paper is to summarize, analyze, and evaluate the practicum experience in terms of reaching personal learning objectives. It is imperative to explore the impact of the project as it would point to
Exploring the Effectiveness of the Practicum Project
The effectiveness of the practicum project experience can be traced to the impact it could have on healthcare teams and the overall increase of knowledge on the topic. The key issue that the project aimed to address is that was limited up-to-date evidence on how surgical teams should be led (Barling et al., 2017). Even though studies suggested that SL could have diverse and effective outcomes for the performance of surgical teams, including positive behaviors and efficiency, research on the issue is limited, especially when considering individual leadership types. It is reasonable to believe that the practicum project opened further opportunities for research on effective leadership styles in such complex care settings as surgical units. Moreover, it showed that it can be a good practice to introduce the aspects of shared leadership into the work of surgical teams and encourage students to evaluate the potential outcomes of the intervention.
To reach the desired objectives of the practicum project, it was necessary to conduct a comprehensive review of available literature that would facilitate the development of a proposal for the implementation of SL in nursing settings. The project was effective in identifying the gaps in the available literature to determine the need for an intervention. The focus on collaboration between healthcare providers in reaching the desired quality outcomes is an important aspect of the project, which was intended to teach students how they can use background knowledge to conduct research on a particular issue and make a proposal aimed at addressing the identified. The effectiveness of the project can also be attributed to the range of components and tasks that should have been completed. However, an important objective was to make significant connections between the parts of the assignment to facilitate the development of a cohesive proposal that has the potential of being applied in a healthcare setting.
The limitations of the project should also be briefly mentioned because they can help to reveal the areas for future research that could address the identified barriers. One of the main limitations of the study was attributed to limited evidence from the medical research literature that could have contributed to the development of an intervention proposal for the integration of SL principles into the practice of healthcare personnel. Due to this limitation, it was necessary to collect evidence from non-medical literature that explored the concept of shared leadership. For example, the research by Choi, Kim, and Kang (2017) was instrumental in revealing the trends associated with practicing shared leadership Another limitation of the project pertained to the absence of a sample population that could have been involved in the proposed intervention. In the developed PICOT question, the target group has not been identified. It could have been useful to identify the population because the intervention is concerned with the improvement of practice among nurses with the help of the SL approach.
Analyzing the Learning Experience of the Practicum Project
The practicum project facilitated increased competency in different aspects of research. First, it was necessary to determine the significance of the issue at hand to form an understanding of how the particular objectives can be reached with the help of research. The significance of the current study was attributed to the fact that there was limited research on the topic as well as the development of good leadership strategies that could benefit healthcare settings. Second, an important point was to develop a PICOT question, which represents a formula for developing answerable and researchable study questions. It was imperative to develop a simple yet cohesive question to make the entire research project more straightforward in terms of finding and evaluating evidence to support the use of SL in surgical settings.
Third, a search strategy was developed to explain how the researcher would collect relevant evidence from study literature. With the help of the PubMed database, such keywords as SL, surgery surgical floors, and surgical units allowed for the retrieval of evidence to facilitate the literature review. To ensure up-to-date data, only recent articles were included, which implied the substantiation of the project with relevant materials. The goal of the literature analysis was to collect evidence that would cover the problem at hand as well as the intervention that could be implemented. However, the topic of SL has not been covered extensively in the available research literature, thus limiting the background section of the project.
The fourth important aspect of the project was to evaluate the quality of evidence used in research. The evaluation of sources is an important aspect because it would reveal whether some evidence is suitable for the project at hand. Since most of the sources that are currently being used are found through the Internet, it is imperative to assess their authority, accuracy, and objectivity. As a method of evaluating the quality of research literature, and evidence matrix was developed (Polit & Beck, 2017). Evidence evaluation matrices represent a method of proving and substantiating the findings of an investigation. The matrix listed the study purpose, design, sample, the level of evidence, and the contribution of research to the current practicum project. Developing the evidence matrix allowed to resolve issues associated with conflicting evidence as well as offering an insight into how evidence should be analyzed and broken down to illustrate its value for the current study. While there were not enough reliable sources on the topic of SL, the evidence matrix provided a comprehensive overview of research in different areas of expertise, showing that the principle has a wide implementation in different areas of practice.
As research evidence was analyzed with the help of the matrix, the next step was the literature review. Although the task seems uncomplicated, it was required to explore the available research literature on the topic of shared leadership in order to situate the project in relation to existing knowledge. The experience of conducting a literature review is important because it enables one to look at the available studies from different angles, compare their findings, and determine how they will contribute to the current project. Therefore, a literature review goes beyond summarizing the sources, it requires evaluating them, identifying themes and gaps, and critically analyzing the evidence to provide a comprehensive picture of the state of knowledge on the topic.
The final and the most important learning experience from the project is attributed to the development of an intervention to integrate shared leadership into surgical care units at a healthcare institution. The proposal represents a way of convincing the target audience that a project should be implemented in order to solve a particular healthcare problem. It was essential to provide an in-depth exploration of how the project will be commenced and implemented to offer a perspective on the proposed issue solutions. The proposal included the discussion of innovation, the resources needed, including human and financial resources, the characteristics of an institution in which the project will be implemented, various environmental factors, procedures, and the expected outcomes.
The development of the proposal is an important learning experience because it brings theory closer to real life. The proposal part of the project was aimed at convincing the target audience that the issue of shared leadership can bring benefits to surgical settings and facilitate good results for organizations. An inadequate proposal, which misses important information on timeline and resources, cannot be taken seriously when there is an objective of improving care in hospital settings. The proposal also had to include an appropriate design that would help staff to have a positive impact on patient care within a chosen setting. Furthermore, the long-term implications of the proposed solution have also been considered to support the increased quality of care provided to patients in surgical settings.
To summarize, the project offered a range of learning opportunities associated with enhancing expertise related to answering a particular research question that is focused on the implementation of recommendations aimed at improving the quality of care. The project also allowed to offer a perspective on how the effectiveness of healthcare providers can be improved through the implementation of a leadership approach that encourages their participation and increased responsibility. Further, the links between the learning experience and professional nursing development as a future nurse.
Links Between the Experience and Professional Nursing Development
Many academic programs in nursing training offer students capstone or practicum experiences to facilitate real-world training in their disciplines. While the immediate effects of such projects have already been studied by scholars, it is important to understand their impact on professional life after graduation. Practicum courses have been shown to have positive influences on both students and the settings in which they operate like professionals. Through knowing how to apply the knowledge to a new setting, students can be far more effective in their job as well as be proactive in finding solutions to issues that arise in the workplace.
Studying the topic of shared leadership allows students who plan to become nurses in the future to understand the complexities associated with leadership and how they can be addressed in order to reach care expectations. Shared leadership training is a topic that can be further investigated within healthcare providers’ scope of practice. For both formal and informal leaders, the subject is a matter of interest because it has shown to offer moderate-to-good advancement of SL in healthcare teams. Overall, the research analyzed in the study suggested that training in SL can be beneficial and may result in an improvement of the overall care quality.
The development of a proposal for the implementation of SL in nursing and surgical settings presented an important point for professional nursing development. For example, it was chosen to focus on the integration of SL in an Operating Theater setting as there is a lack of evidence as to how the method can be applied to such contexts (Hu et al., 2016). With the lack of a cohesive leadership framework, the effective management of personnel at surgery units may be hampered, which points to the necessity of introducing the proposed method in real-life settings.
The hypothetical proposal of using SL in nursing settings can allow the student to be more effective in applying the learned skills and experiences to the practice of healthcare institutions. The innovative approach to leadership offers a new perspective into how the responsibilities of nurses can be managed, with a focus placed on the interdisciplinary collaboration of professionals. Shared leadership in nursing environments can help to improve the coordination between nurses and implement relevant management of information flows (Hu et al., 2016). Therefore, when starting one’s work in a nursing setting, the knowledge acquired as a result of the project can be used for directing the work of other workers.
The project has also enabled considerations in the area of becoming a successful nursing leader after advancing as a nurse. The implementation of the project can help the nurse in the position of leadership coordinate the work of other participators of the care process. Within the SL framework, a leader will motivate other nurses to become effective and guide them toward the set results. Such an approach enables leaders to act as role models for other nurses who have an example that they can follow. Besides, the knowledge of SL acquired as a result of the project can support the competency of becoming a nurse coordinator who will monitor the progress of the plan’s implementation and measure the achievement of nurses as related to the integration of shared leadership within the given context.
Finally, the project pointed to the importance of communication and collaboration between the participators in the nursing process. The concept of shared leadership implies the broad distribution of leadership responsibilities between team members, and, therefore, calls for the establishment of trust and positive attitudes toward the care process. If one is to become a practitioner within a nursing setting, the principles of shared leadership can be applied to both internal and external team environments. For example, within the internal team environment, SL principles encourage teams to have a shared purpose, which is reflected in the similar understandings of team members regarding their core objectives. This way, they can implement steps for ensuring a focus on collective goals. Social support is another crucial principle brought by SL in regards to collaboration because it offers team members an opportunity to enhance the emotional and psychological strength of one another (Aufegger, Shariq, Bicknell, Ashrafian, & Darzi, 2019). Such an aspect of SL is highly important for enhancing collaboration within nursing teams because of the overall focus on well-being and positive accomplishments. This approach to practice is highly important for reaching the established goals with the help of fostering an environment that supports healthcare personnel and considers their needs.
Concluding Remarks on the Practicum Experience
The practicum project provided an insight into how one can reach positive outcomes in nursing learning as well as future career development. It combined the theoretical and practical aspects because of the inclusion of literature synthesis and a PICOT question, which served as a background for the proposal of SL implementation within nursing settings. Overall, the concept of SL is highly valuable to the practice of healthcare personnel because of its focus on collaboration, teamwork, and the support of one another. In future practice and research, the topic has the potential of being explored further because the project showed that there was limited evidence available to support the efficient implementation of the strategy.
To finalize, the current research project has shown to be imperative for showing the significance of teamwork and collaboration when approaching the subject of leadership. The subject matter is unique in the sense that it puts leadership in the context of encouraging nurses to take greater accountability for the processes that they are carrying out in healthcare settings through having a shared vision. When considering a personal opinion regarding the effectiveness of the project, it should be mentioned that it has given a push toward considering a career in nursing leadership specifically, possibly in surgical settings. The specialization requires serious preparation, especially in terms of personnel management. However, the perspective of shared leadership showed that leadership can be an integrated and multi-dimensional process that involves multiple participations of the care process. It should also be mentioned that the subject of SL in the medical context requires further research to understand the influence of the approach on the teamwork and collaboration of nurses. As a future nurse leader, it is imperative to explore SL further because of its unique perspective on leadership and the results that it may bring for the entire process of care delivery.
Aufegger, L., Shariq, O., Bicknell, C., Ashrafian, H., & Darzi, A. (2019). Can shared leadership enhance clinical team management? A systematic review. Leadership in Health Services, 32(2), 309-335. Web.
Barling, J., Akers, A., & Beiko, D. (2018). The impact of positive and negative intraoperative surgeons’ leadership behaviors on surgical team performance. The American Journal of Surgery, 215(1), 14-18. Web.
Choi, S., Kim, K., & Kang, S. (2017). Effects of transformational and shared leadership styles on employees’ perception of team effectiveness. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 45(3), 377-386. Web.
D’Innocenzo, L., Mathieu, J., & Kukenberger, M. (2016). A meta-analysis of different forms of shared leadership–team performance relations. Journal of Management, 42(7), 1964-1991. Web.
Hu, Y. Y., Parker, S. H., Lipsitz, S. R., Arriaga, A. F., Peyre, S. E., Corso, K. A.,… Greenberg, C. C. (2016). Surgeons’ leadership styles and team behavior in the operating room. Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 222(1), 41-51. Web.
Polit, D.F., & Beck, C.T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.