Health care environment requires professionals with the high level of self-awareness because such people are able to identify their strengths and weaknesses and make resolutions for positive outcomes. At some point, one’s leadership career depends on personal attitude to the ethical and moral dilemma that requires a person to take a stand and defend his or her position. To defend a position means to be able to have it. Therefore, a health care leader should not only obtain professional skills, but also be a good advocate or a moral agent who can empower health care stakeholders to pursue ethical, moral, and legal skills. The purpose of this paper is to identify what ethical and moral skills are imperative in the development of a successful leader in the working environment in a health care setting.
Self-Awareness and Its Strengths
A nursing profession requires individuals who deal with patients to realize their level of self-awareness because it is an important tool to manage patients. Nobody can help others if he or she does not know his or her strengths and weaknesses. Being self-aware encourages nurses to understand their strong qualities, as well as those that need further development. Cox (2009) believes that self-awareness comprises of the following interrelated aspects: affective, cognitive, and behavioral. In other words, these issues can be interpreted as feeling, thinking and acting. The success of nurses depends on their individualities, in relation to their ethical and moral values. For example, nurses’ self-awareness can improve therapeutic effects. Thus, self-awareness helps nurses to realize their place in health care environment and their mission.
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According to David Keirsey’s temperament theories, there are four temperaments and sixteen character types (Rigolosi, 2012). Four basic temperament groups serve to describe human behavior, which are Rationals, Artisans, Idealists, and Guardians. As for me, I consider myself to be a guardian because I worry about my duties and encourage others to do so. For this reason, I often feel more like a barrier than a facilitator in resolving problems. I realize that I should give more freedom to my subordinates to make their own decisions.
In order to achieve career success, a person should identify what kind of leadership style he or she prefers. Kelly (2011) believes that there are advantages and disadvantages of every leadership style, and every individual should choose the style that fits his/her character and the workplace environment. Therefore, nurses with a high level of self-awareness can choose an appropriate leadership style that can help them be successful leaders. To do so, one’s morals should be clear, and a person should be ready to insert them into the nursing profession.
Many findings reveal that leaders can be divided into the following categories: democratic, autocratic, laissez-faire, and paternalistic (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2014). According to this scale, I consider myself a democratic leader because I prefer to lead through an example, rather than force. My desire to be a moderator encourages my team members to make their own decisions and give suggestions. I am sure that participative leadership is more effective than other styles.
A working environment may be rather challenging because it consists of diverse people and patients with health impairments that require special attention. However, the reason for this behavior lies in the lack of knowledge of ethical, moral, and legal norms of nurses. A talented leader understands that providing training and ethical courses will help nurses and other stakeholders improve their knowledge of ethics, morality, and nursing laws. Rigolosi (2012) reported that in the nursing profession even small censure deserve punishment and condemnation. Therefore, ethical, moral, and legal considerations may become urgent in everyday interaction. Ethics, moral and legal standards are intertwined but they cannot substitute each other. As such, issues like integrity, compassion, honesty, and dedication develop a sense of trust between nurses and patients.
Furthermore, patients want to be well aware that they would not be discriminated according to their race, marital status, gender, or disability. For example, obese patients often feel discriminated because of their high body fat index and not so appealing appearance, and most of them are very anti-social, preferring to stay at home instead of being in public places. Cox (2009) asserts that all individuals are protected from discrimination under the US labor laws. However, there are many instances when patients fill discrimination in the health care settings. The purpose of nurses is to prevent such cases and act legally in accordance to legal laws, ethical and moral norms.
The above mentioned moral dilemma is common in the health care settings when patients require protection from psychological abuse. Some of them may be abused by their family members, while others might be abused by nurses that make them feel miserable. Thus, obesity has become a real epidemic during recent decades, encouraging obese patients to complain about the lack of protection and support in health care facilities. Indeed, the practice has shown that some nurses do not treat obese individuals with respect, and the fact of obesity evokes irritation among nursing staff. Surely, such unethical and immoral behavior of nurses requires disapproval.
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The Values and Principles that Guide the Nursing Profession
Health care professionals conduct in accordance with a professional code of practice and ethical standards (Stanfield, 2009). While the legal aspects of nursing require nurses to act in accordance with the laws and regulations for professional practice, the ethical norms concern with the issues of what is right and what is wrong. Furthermore, moral norms are associated with a typical behavior that is a norm in a certain group of people. Thus, a health care environment is a place, where all employees should act to protect people’s health and well-being. Therefore, ethics involves different moral and philosophical positions regarding what is good and what may not be right.
Professional code of ethics direct nurses to act in accordance with accepted standards of behavior that are used to guide ethically sound professional nursing conduct and practice. Murray (2010) reported that the code of ethics is not a set of rules but rather a guide for nurses to make their professional decisions. The nurse is supposed to be responsible for everything he or she does to maintain the patients’ safety. Therefore, I consider being responsible for ethical and moral issues that can occur in the workplace environment. The best way to avoid similar problems is to educate people and help them obtain the necessary skills.
My personal values and reasons encourage me to enter the profession. I admit that it is important to develop my relationship with patients, in accordance with the code of ethics and my personal ethical and moral norms. I feel the strength in my decisions and conducts that ensure me to be a good candidate for a nursing profession. First of all, I am compassionate and reliable, which never allows me to mistreat people with illnesses, even in challenging situations.
A health care environment is a rather challenging one, requiring professionals who obtain not only professional skills but those who can have high ethical, moral, and legal skills. Nurses should realize the importance of the development of self-awareness that can help them evaluate their personal strengths and weaknesses, dealing with patients and other health care stakeholders. Moreover, the clear awareness of one’s leadership style can identify nurses’ conduct and behavior.