Clinical leaders are up to the challenge

Graduates of the 2018 Clinical Leadership Program.

Clinicians across Western Sydney Local Health District have taken on the leadership mantle in an effort to improve organisation culture and patient care.

The 23 participants in the 2018 Clinical Leadership Program celebrated their graduation this week with a project poster expo, reflections from past graduates, and encouragement from WSLHD chief executive Graeme Loy.

Practice development and quality improvement coordinator Susan Rebolledo said the day was an opportunity for her and her colleagues to reflect on everything they’d learned throughout the program.

“It’s been a wonderful journey of discovery both professionally and personally,” Susan said.

“I think each of us have grown in our roles and also grown as a team, improving communication within our team and also among the teams we are involved with.

“What we’ve learned we’re now sharing with other teams and encouraging growth and development in other areas, because we’ve found that confidence within ourselves.”

The timing of the program was ideal for the team from Blacktown Hospital emergency department as they prepare to move to the new acute services building in a matter of weeks.

Nurse unit manager Erwin Alfonso said they had focused on making patient experience a central concern when planning for the transition to the new building.

“We were doing really well in terms of patient outcomes, but it was the human factor we weren’t doing so well and that was something we outlined as a risk,” Erwin said.

“We want the culture to be not just about treating the patient medically, but thinking about the overall experience and giving them the full care that they deserve.”

Israel Corpuz, a registered nurse in Westmead Hospital cardiothoracic intensive care unit, said the program had helped develop the perseverance needed in a high-pressure environment.

“The program benefits me but it also benefits my team and future teams, because it has taught me so many tools to utilise and work more effectively, and deliver a service that the community requires,” he said.

“One of my goals now is to motivate my team to undertake professional development themselves, and that becomes like a domino effect.”

The Clinical Leadership Program has been running within WSLHD since 2007, with about 25 to 30 graduates in each cohort.

Participants receive 360-degree feedback, leadership coaching, and insight about personality and communication styles, as well as working on their own clinical improvement project.

Senior leadership development consultant Rachel Primrose said she is aiming to create an alumni group to maximise the benefits of the program.

“It’s about forming networks and people from different areas working together to make the district a better, safer place for patients,” she said.

Applications will open in September for the next program intake. Find out more at the Learning and Development intranet page.