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An Operational Design of Servant Leadership


This paper will describe how nurses must care for themselves before they can care for others. Self-care will ultimately lead to better servant leaders.

An Operational Design of Servant Leadership

Nurses are sometimes overlooked by patients and colleagues, as everyone depends on the doctors to diagnose and cure. However, nurses play an integral role in the care for patients. They are often overworked, taking on long shifts and working night shifts. Nursing as a career can be very taxing—physically, emotionally and mentally. It is crucial that nurses make sure they take good care of themselves, just as they do their patients. If a nurse is overly tired or stressed, mistakes can be made that is life threatening. I will explore the concept and importance of self-care in the nursing industry.

“Insights of Leadership” stating that servant-leadership is the instrument that brings together the building blocks that can produce desired effects in companies or organizations. I take this to mean that if the individual person is not caring for himself, he will in no way be able to care for others, be a productive leader and/or assist in making his individual practice successful, let alone the organization for which he is works. "Preparation is essential before planting, whether it means readying the ground for seed or taking the time to build your own leadership model on a solid foundation of principles that can stand the test of time and weather the storms of the economy and marketplace (Melrose as cited by Spears, 1998, p. 281.) This statement assists in proving that point. If you do not care for yourself, physically, emotionally or spiritually, there is no way you can develop yourself, your career or your leadership style.

“Take care of yourself before you attempt to care for others” is the operational definition I wish to explore. The main tenant of this philosophy asserts that if you are well cared for, you are then able to care for others. Mental health leads to better emotional caring for patients, stronger relationship building, clearer thought processes and increased logical and critical thinking and problem-solving. Physical health helps maintain the daily care and body mechanics that is required of the bedside nurse for his/her patients. Essentially, nutrition keeps the body working at full capacity. Proper rest and relaxation also gives the bedside nurse, the nurse as a leader and the individual time to devote his/her own interests and to escape from the stress that envelopes healthcare.

Nursing professionals' stress increases daily. According to Drury (2004,) job satisfaction has been positively linked with job performance. Nursing professionals spend time tending to others and tend to neglect the needs of self and family. This results in unhealthy meals due to lack of time to eat, decreased rest due to longer shifts and unhealthy physiological stress on the body (i.e.: holding one's bladder.) Emotionally, nurses suffer from missed birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, school functions. The guilt of missed events leads to decreased job satisfaction, decreased job performance, ...
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