The third goal is to focus on developing my professional role. My leadership with the staff and NVQ candidates is primarily clinical but also has influence in their education and training. My notion of work is to lead staff and candidates to achieve the task by working as a team. This seems to fit with Adair’s (1988) model of task need in leadership which states that teamwork is useful in achieving result. I have a supervisory role on dementia care, supporting and assisting staff when necessary.
However I am not trained in mental health. I have on personal basis been reading journals, pamphlets, books, attending seminars and through work experience and previous studies to get a bit of knowledge on dementia care. In order words I have been drawing upon the knowledge and skill associated with academic and management (Antrobus and Kitson 1999). By means of self-performance appraisal, I have identified a gap and developmental needs especially in area of personal skills. I need to commit myself to a learning programme in order to develop the skills. Adair (2002) argues that when a capability gap is identified that should be met by a training course. I would like to continue to assist in strengthening learning on the job, training and supervision therefore I need to enhance the theoretical base of my work through full course on dementia.
Antrobus and Kitson (1999) argues that each domain of influence has a particular knowledge base and skill set associated with it. I value self-development and I believe that education and training are vital support for role development. This seems to agree with Hersey and Blanchard opinion that growth and development of self and others is the responsibility of the leader. Adair (2002) points that a leader needs to be technically and professionally competent to win respect and trust and to be a leader in a particular field, the leader needs to possess the knowledge and technical competence in that area.
Armstrong (1988) suggests of a leader fitting into the followers expectations of a leader for that situation. I cannot continue to supervise my subordinates with little knowledge in dementia. Research by Baker (1983, cited in Girvin 1998) describes a ward sister whose position power and authority was completely overturned by her subordinate because she failed to obtain authority of knowledge. My organisation has commitment to develop a skilled and educated workforce for delivery of quality service.
Reflecting on all the above concepts, I intend to attend the six month modular scheme for those working regularly with dementia leading to ENB N11. The course provides opportunity for one to have the skill needed to provide high standard of care in dementia. It will enable me gain greater understanding and knowledge of client needs within EMI setting, that is, to understand how sufferers feel so that care can be tailored to meet their individual needs. The new role will be integrated within my professional structure and role. The sharing of knowledge and experience from the course will enhance my supervisory role and improve standard of care.
I expect information on activities and suitable exercise movements for frail older people will be discussed and I can apply them in my working area to promote and improve active mental health. I also intend to read research studies in dementia and synthesise what I have read, discuss with my critical friend and colleagues with RMN about care to help me gain different perspectives and broaden my world view. For example reading through the National Service framework for older people, it appears to have dwelt on medical model of intervention. However from experience some older people with mental health problem need practical support for disability.
Except I have a broad knowledge on dementia I may not be able to make meaningful suggestion as to the best aid to support them with their disabilities. According to the Study Guide (pg 65) although there are external policy statements there is need to grasp the opportunity to articulate my contribution to such decision making. The knowledge will help restructure my leadership in practice and policy. While on the course I intend to adopt action learning as means of developing my leadership because it makes me feel confident to challenge others, receive support and encouragement (Cunningham and Whitby 1997) Role development always incurs cost and it involves time for training and saving time for client care. I plan to have a dialogue with my manager on negotiation of time and money. Collaboratively we will make consensus decision.
My approach to leadership reflect situational and action centred leadership which has been demonstrated by an interest in well being of others and development of self and other through a vision of leadership. I have stated means of steering actions to achieve the vision which include motivation of staff, knowledgeable fact in the area, discussion with colleagues, coaching, mentoring, decision making, encouragement and experimental learning.
The action plans which have been developed, determine the sequence of actions to be taken and the dead line that need to be met to achieve the objectives. These developmental action plans with the example of those ahead of me will help to form a framework for effective strategic leadership. It will take continuous learning through my career. I need to have the courage to follow the actions to establish myself as a leader before others.
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