Beverly George-Gay, MSN, AGPCNP-BC

Professional DNP E-Portfolio

Leadership and Team Simulation: Everest

When I first learned of the Everest simulation I didn’t think there was much to it to worry about. I thought it would be simply a fun activity. As I looked more closely at the introductory slides and videos I started to feel a little intimidated. This was especially true with the Simulation Tips slides. One of the tips said “you will encounter challenges that require calculations” and I immediately knew I was in trouble. I remembered how poorly I performed when calculating air consumption during scuba diving lessons many years ago that led me to decide not to dive . Another tip stated we didn’t have to stay together  but we couldn’t receive medical supplies if separated from the Physician. This brought on fears of being separated from the group, getting lost and needing medical supplies. Did I say intimidated…I think I was closer to anxiety-stricken.

I persevered and found my role. I was the photographer. Relieved that I was not the team leader, I dug deeper into my role. I wasn’t just a any ole photographer, I was an Emmy award winning photographer and had been to the summit twice before. This time, I had my own agenda and even some secrets to keep from my fellow climbers. I wasn’t sure how I felt about holding back information from my team. It didn’t seem right, but I tried it during our first run, when I ended up being rescued anyway, I decided to spill the beans. We had some technical difficulties in any case, that first time and we decided to try again another day. We all shared some secretes that day which I feel was really good for the team to progress as one unit. A team has to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses to function well.

As a team, we actually made 3 attempts to reach the summit together. On the third attempt, we knew to look out for each other and were cognizant of each other’s needs. By the time we got on a role and were close to all of us making it to the summit, we had another technical glitch and one of our team members got rescued. We believe that there may have been a miscalculation. This was extremely disappointing for all, but I could tell that some felt it more than others.

For me the take-away was to be open and share all information, keeping secretes will only hurt the team. Working out compromises among team members will help the team get through times of crisis. This reminds me of my Strength Based Leadership Assessment where Harmony was identified as my strongest theme. Harmony, particularly seeking common ground and listening to each team member’s point of view got us as far as we did. If my team wanted to go back to Everest, I would definitely go with them. Maybe I’ll try scuba diving again as well.

Diplomacy in Nursing Practice, 4th Annual Conference

Virginia Association of Doctors of Nursing Practice (VADNP)

Diplomacy in Nursing Practice, 4th Annual Conference

VADNP_2019_Conference_FINAL_AGENDA (1)

I attended the VADNP annual conference for the first time this past July 12th – 13th. It was held at Shenandoah University in their Student Center. The campus was beautifully landscaped with lots of green areas, and a pond with lots of geese. Though, not so much that any needed to be removed as what sadly occurred in Canada.

The conference was extremely inspiring and rekindled my desire to complete the DNP degree. The topics ranged from DNP project practices at universities nationally, to getting involved in global health. One of the speakers on global health mentioned the WHO would be recognizing 2020 as the Year of the Nurse. She mentioned it in a matter of fact manner, stating that we, the audience, already knew this. Ha, well, I did not, but I was excited to learn about it. I was impressed to learn how integral and valuable nursing (many of our own DNPs present at the meeting) is to global health and healthcare equity. My interest was also peaked at the opportunities to get involved in international nursing service.

Kudos for the innovative poster sessions. The conference committee selected 6 poster presenters to orally present their posters in 2 1-hour sessions, giving each presenter 20 minutes. They were all new DNP graduates who presented their scholarly projects. What a great way to disseminate the science while demonstrating the power of DNPs. The 20 minute sessions held my interest and attention…no time for daydreaming.

While I understand that the attendance was low this year, it was not disappointing to me. I was able to meet and network with DNPs in practice for several years, some new and other students from across Virginia. During the business meeting, I learned the cost of the 2018 conference at a hotel in Richmond was $22,000.00. Most of the cost was for the hotel. This is compared to the auditorium at Shenandoah University which was free. This year’s conference was a fraction of that of last years which was extremely helpful for the organization’s budget. A lesson learned.

The conference overall was well done. The drive to Winchester, Virginia was a little long, about 2 and a half hours, but I had great company. Winchester itself is a lovely little city. If you are ever out there, you much visit the James Charles Winery, a gorgeous venue; and the Old Town Winchester walk, a closed off street with a series of independent restaurants, all with outdoor seating.

Theoretical Framework Presentation

A Model for Change to Evidence-Based Practice
Mary Ann Rosswurm, June H. Larrabee

Framework Presentation A Model for Change to Evidence-Based Practice Post

Strengths Based Leadership

Based on your strengths and weaknesses identified in the leadership profile, how will you work with your DNP Project team, using your own strengths and weaknesses, to more effectively lead your team? How will you choose team members, knowing your own strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow (Rath & Conchie, 2009) is a book about identifying one’s own leadership strengths and weaknesses and being able to delegate tasks to others who encompass strengths in areas of self-identified weakness. After reading the book, I completed the CliftonStrength Assessment tool that categorizes leadership strengths into 34 themes that are organized in 4 domains: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, and Strategic Thinking.

The Relationship Building domain is one of the four domains of leadership strength that integrates abilities to create teams and hold teams together.  I was intrigued but not surprised to find that three of my top CliftonStrength themes, Harmony, Adaptability and Empathy, were grounded in the Relationship Building domain. Harmony was my strongest theme. People strong in the Harmony theme strive to find areas of agreement and consensus, thus, reducing friction and conflict. I always thought an aversion to conflict as a weakness but from the perspective of the Harmony theme, it is an opportunity to seek common ground, hear each person’s point of view, develop conflict resolution skills and find solutions through consensus. As a DNP, this strength will serve me well as I am now and will become more involved in groups and teams within institutions, professional organizations and local government.

So what are the Adaptability and Empathy themes?

  • Those who lead with the Adaptability are able to “go with the flow” reduce team stress by creating a freedom from team anxiety and reducing team members frustrations.
  • Leaders with a strong Empathy theme are sensitive to the feelings of team members and recognize and celebrate their achievements.

My remaining strengths fell under the Executing domain and include the Consistency and Restorative themes.  Leaders with strength in the Executing domain will work tirelessly to implement the project, make it a reality and get the job done.  Being project oriented will help me as a leader to follow through with meeting deadlines and time-frames set forth by the team while being considerate of my team members.

So what are the Consistency and Restorative themes?

  • Leaders strong in the Consistency theme strive to treat everyone on “equal footing” by setting up clear rules and having a strong appreciation for fairness and equity.
  • Restorative leaders are adept at dealing with problems and reinstating order to get the job done.

I recognize that there are 2 additional domains that were not a addressed in my profile, Influencing and Strategic Thinking which can be considered my weaknesses. While my strengths may lie at holding the team together and focusing on getting the job done, I would need Influencers and Strategic Thinkers on my DNP project team to address my weak areas and build a strong team. An Influencer is needed to sell the team’s ideas, while obtaining buy-in from stakeholders and a Strategic Thinker, to analyze information and stretch the teams thinking forward into the future for sustainability of the project.

Reference

Rath, T. &  Conchie, B. (2009). Strengths based leadership: Great leaders, teams, and why people follow. New York: Gallup Press.

 

Exemplar on Quality and Safety

In the US, 6 in 10 adults have a chronic disease and 4 in 10 have two or more. Hypertension is one chronic disease that affects ~75 million adults, 1 in 3. The under-management of hypertension poses significant quality and safety concerns. It is known that traditional healthcare delivery methods, primarily through family physicians inadequately address the challenges of hypertension management. There is lack of access to healthcare services in underserved urban areas which results in higher rates of negative outcomes.

In Chesterfield County, VA, where I live, there are no free clinics, therefore, no access for the uninsured hypertensive patient to receive ongoing care. It is my thought that implementing policies that support APRN-led community-based clinics for long-term management of hypertension in urban areas can potentially reduce health disparities, disease risk factors and costs. Which I believe will improve the quality and safety of patients in underserved communities.

DNP Essentials II, V, VII

References

Allen, J. K., Dennison Himmelfarb, C. R., Szanton, S. L., & Frick, K. D. (2014). Cost-effectiveness of Nurse Practitioner/Community Health Worker Care to Reduce Cardiovascular Health Disparities. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing29(4), 308–314. https://doi-org.proxy.library.vcu.edu/10.1097/JCN.0b013e3182945243

Shennen Smith, E. (2018). Implementation of a Community-Based Outreach Hypertension Program in an Urban Beauty Salon. Implementation Of A Community-Based Outreach Hypertension Program In An Urban Beauty Salon, 1. Retrieved from http://proxy.library.vcu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,url,cookie,uid&db=ccm&AN=131799050&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Emswiller Symposium

This Saturday, Feb. 2nd, I attended the 7th annual Emswiller Interprofessional Symposium.  There were a number of excellent presentations. The theme this year was “Collaborating for the Community: The Role of Interprofessional Practice in Addressing Current Healthcare Issues”.

The Keynote speaker offered a dynamic presentation on the topic of healthcare inequity. He is the Director of Health Equity Research and Policy at the Association of American Medical Colleges.  It’s interesting that he is a PhD. in public health and not an MD. He describes health inequities in phases. The detecting phase, is well studied and known. We know that there are health inequities for a multitude of reasons. The solution phase, which is how we do something about the inequities, he describes as a “very new science”. It will take explicit policies and interprofessional practice changes to address the healthcare policies in the US. It was a very enlightening presentation, I knew it would be a good day.

There were multiple breakout session throughout the day and posters to view on a wide range of topics from the community setting to the operating room. Of course I was torn between two breakouts sessions several times.  I wanted to go to both.

All in all an excellent conference.

Ode to my friend Jeff Petraco

Wish you were here! I miss our study sessions, dinners and holiday time spent together. For 3 years we were inseparable (evenings, weekends, holidays) we even vacationed together with my family. I am grateful to have spent this time with you. You were truly inspiring and motivating to me. I will never forget you.

At the Emswiller Interperfessional Symposium yesterday, February 2, 2019, that I’m sure we would have attended together, others missed you as well, as there was a touching memoriam and moment of silence dedicated to you.

Rest in peace my friend, my brother!

Hello world!

I am thrilled to begin my journey in the DNP program. I just completed my second Masters Degree in May of this year (2018) and chose to continue my commitment to life long learning here at VCU. This is my blog, I look forward to hearing from you.

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