Communication and Leadership in Nurse Olivia Witte


  Effective communication is an essential element among nurse leader as it increases employees’ satisfaction and patient’s outcomes. This makes it imperative to develop and nurture communication skills in nursing leadership. Some of the communication skills that are essential among leaders include listening, presenting, writing, and public speaking. This assignment will explore the critical thinking exercise that explores on Nurse Olivia Witte who experiences a dilemma working in an interdisciplinary team. As a leader, Olivia Witte is in a team that desires to develop a crucial pathway for ventilator-dependent patients but this renders her to conflicts with dietary and physician personnel as well as communication issues with the home healthcare representative. The assignment will first outline the issue, the actions that Nurse Witte followed, the actions to boost effectiveness, communication with participants and leadership and management strategies. 

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Problem Outlined

Nurse Witte faces several issues within the case study. The first problem faced by the nurse is disruptive behaviors with the physician. Although the nurse identifies the health needs of the patient, the physicians feel the strategy is a “cookbook” concocted by nurses. The second problem is with the dietary personnel who although they presents the dietary protocols, they feel the nurses are in control and they do not have an active role to play. The third problem is the local home healthcare representatives who failed to run calls or attend meetings. 

Nurse Witte (or Nurse Parra depending on the edition) Actions and Communication

From the case study, it is evident that communication ineffectiveness is the major problem that has reduced any efficiencies of interdisciplinary team. Due to the many disciplines in healthcare, the industry requires a complex approach particularly when operating with multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary client care conferences. In this, Nurse Witte is faced with a role to enhance her commitment as a nurse to patients and patient care, member of an interdisciplinary group, leader of the team and as patient’s advocate. Nurse Witte should boost collaboration, respect and trust where all colleagues work for the good of the goal. Each discipline should be given a chance to communicate through logical leadership style. For example, the physicians should understand their role and their benefit in the plan. The dietary should also feel their presence in the group. 

Steps to Ensure a Clear Message 

The first step is to connect to the real world Martin et al (2009) where the health professionals start from a common goal. Together, the team should formulate the strategies as a team and not as individuals. This is followed by a collaborative approach which results to restructuring of the organization Huber (2013). Each discipline should have representatives to drive the collaboration which will empower the other health professionals. This is followed by alignment with support system to drive change which engage front-line who stipulates how to do things. Lastly is developing a culture that promotes collaboration. 

Communication with Participants

Healthcare professionals require communicating with each other at work and in the community in a collaborative, open and responsible manner (Bridges et al., 2011). This should be facilitated by an environment that attracts mutual respect of all disciplines. The issue of hierarchy in healthcare should be dealt with by providing each member an opportunity to communicate. This will facilitate the members to feel comfortable to attain constructive feedback. 

Leadership and Management Strategies

Leaders should follow a problem-oriented approach by maintaining a specific objective in mind rather jargon problems. This should be followed by definition of the best outcomes for successfully planning the process. Weller, Barrow, and Gasquoine (2011) explain it is essential for the managers to commit to the proposed plan. In addition, managers should initiate to follow a communication plan where different disciplines communicate together. Lastly, all staff should be efficiently trained on all the facets of the intervention. 


Strong communication skills enable nurses’ leaders to interact more effectively with other health professionals and patients. In the case study, Nurse Witte faces issues based on interdisciplinary communication. There are hierarchical issues between nurses and physicians and the dietary professionals surrender their protocols. This relationship illustrated lack of collaboration between the professionals. However, these issues can be avoided through effective leadership facilitated by inter-professional collaboration. The best strategy is to actively involve each discipline from the start that they will own the project and not feel it is a nurses “cookbook” concocted by nurses. 


Bridges, D., Davidson, R. A., Soule Odegard, P., Maki, I. V., & Tomkowiak, J. (2011). Interprofessional collaboration: three best practice models of interprofessional education. Medical education online16(1), 6035.

Martin, J. S., Ummenhofer, W., Manser, T., & Spirig, R. (2010). Interprofessional collaboration among nurses and physicians: making a difference in patient outcome. Swiss medical weekly140(3536).

Weller, J. M., Barrow, M., & Gasquoine, S. (2011). Interprofessional collaboration among junior doctors and nurses in the hospital setting. Medical education45(5), 478-487.Huber, D. (2013). Leadership and Nursing Care Management. 5th ed. Iowa City: Saunders.

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