Throughout my time on the STP I have been a keen contributor to healthcare science week within our trust. This included the coordination and leading of the ECHO station in the previous year (SCC110:6,3). The coordination role tested my ability to delegate tasks to other members of staff to ensure everything was set up correctly and completed. Effective communication was a key aspect of this. Although being a good communicator was highlighted on both MSF’s people felt that I could be more assertive (MSF: 1,2). This was one of the reasons that I undertook this role to improve. Reflecting on my final MSF there were fewer comments on assertiveness however it was still present. This demonstrates that there has been improvement but there is still more work to be done. I plan on volunteering for more projects like this to continue to develop my leadership skills.
I have also had the opportunity to go into schools to give presentations on the profession alongside teaching cardiac anatomy. This included teaching a class alongside a cardiac dissection. This required close supervision of the students and effective leadership of the situation as all groups had scalpels and without firm leadership, injuries can happen. When I first gave the presentation, I was incredibly nervous however, as I continued, I found my feet and felt much more comfortable in presenting. I also was concerned about leading a dissection with school children, however, with strong communication the lesson was a success (SCC110:6,3). Further to this, I was approached by my university to do a podcast for their students about the job role and the STP course. Due to the success of this, I have been invited to present at the university to highlight my career path.
In the clinical setting, I believe one of the areas that leadership can be demonstrated well is in the cath labs. It is imperative to have clear and effective communication within the cath labs (SPS120c2:8). A clear example of this is during an arrest situation. I have dealt with multiple cardiac arrests during my time on the STP. Informing the team of the rhythm and the course of action that should be taken is vital to ensuring patient care. This is also a skill that I believe I have developed as I became more confident in the cath labs leading up to my independent sign off in the labs. Reflecting during my first arrest I felt helpless as I did not know what to do or where to stand to not be in the way and didn’t have the skill to help. I now can handle an arrest situation confidently and independently while delegating jobs to other members of the team (SCC110:8).
As part of my role within the department currently, I have the responsibility of reviewing and singing ECGs for GP patients. This can be challenging at times and can require the taking of patient history to correlate any symptoms with the ECG. It also is vital to stay within my scope of practice and if I am ever unsure, I do not hesitate to get a second opinion from another colleague as patient safety is always the most important element. It’s also my responsibility to create accurate TTE reports for patients adhering to national guidelines and reference values (SPS121:20).
I believe that I possess key aspects of being an effective leader in the future such as good communication skills. There is undoubtedly room to progress and develop my leadership and my style of leadership. It is, for this reason, I plan on continuing to volunteer to teach students and once I have gained my full BSE accreditation, I would like to teach TTE to students. Finally, I plan to enrol on a leadership course to further develop my leadership style to continue to strive to enhance and improve.