Power Dynamics in Nursing Essay

Power can manifest itself in multiple ways with one of the most common methods often seen in organizations where a clear delineation in job roles is necessary to carry out specific tasks. One of the observed types of power that will be detailed in this paper is the power wielded by a head nurse as she communicates and interacts with her subordinate nurses.

Multiple Observations of power
Based on the position of a head nurse in a hospital, this type of power can be defined as legitimate power since it originates from the head nurses position within the hierarchy of the hospital. It should be noted though that this particular example can be described as having multiple types of power associated with it since aside from legitimate power the head nurse also had referent power. The basis behind this association was due to the fact that this type of power often comes as a direct result of people knowing and trusting the individual in question. Within the hospital setting, this can be seen when the respected and trusted the head nurse since she guided and cared for them and helps them to handle an assortment of situations. Do note that aside from this, leadership power in the form of expert power was noted wherein due to the skills and experience that the head nurse had over years of hospital work, the various subordinate nurses often went to her for assistance or guidance in order to help them within their various tasks.

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Assessing the Impact of Gender
When examining how the head nurse talked and interacted with the various subordinate nurses, it was evident that her gender as a female nurse did result in some issues with some of the when it came to receiving orders and implementing them. While there was no outright disrespect, it was evident that there was some form of conflict that was just beneath the surface. One of the possible reasons behind this could be the fact that the male nurses did not like receiving orders from an older female (Choiniere, MacDonnell & Shamonda, 2010; McMurry, 2011).

Developing a more
When looking at the situation of the head nurse, one possible strategy that could be implemented to create an effective power base would be to create a form of task delegation. This means getting subordinate nurses to assist the head nurse in various tasks and giving them a certain degree of authority to care out particular actions (Burgess & Purkis, 2010). By doing so, this helps to create a leadership structure which results in more efficient and effective methods of operations within the hospital.

Colleague Response
Probing Question:

In response to the suggestion involving organizational change:

From your perspective, do you think such a situation would have been resolved if the the female nurse more?

In reference to issues involving male nurses bullying female nurses:

How would the hospital observe such changes? Insight

Based on the information given by my colleagues, I have come to the conclusion that the internal culture of a hospital has a lot to do with how bullying is created and handled (Murray, 2009).

Alternative Perspective
One way in which the problem could be resolved would be through the implementation of an anonymous complaint system that helps the hospital track cases of bullying (Johnson, 2011).

Based on what has been presented in this paper, it can be seen that power can manifest itself as a way to command the attention of subordinate nurses, dictate their actions and have them act in a fashion according the medical standards that are needed. Power in this instance acts as a means of ensuring proper medical treatment is provided which is an absolute necessity in the medical profession.


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