Developing Grassroots Leadership Skills in PT Practitioners in the Inpatient Environment
Theory/Body: The current dynamic health care environment in the inpatient setting provides unique opportunities and challenges for Physical Therapy clinicians when interacting with patients, families, and fellow health care providers within the interdisciplinary team. Professional development, leadership skills and effective communication strategies are essential for all health care providers regardless of discipline, years of experience, or role in the organization. An investment in mentoring and fostering in these important skills can help to lay the foundation for grassroots leaders and build the Physical Therapy leaders of tomorrow. It is vital that Physical Therapy practitioners are nurtured in non-clinical skills that will complement clinical skills utilized in daily practice. This will empower them to serve as positive change agents that will help further develop the distinct value and impact that only Physical Therapy brings to patients, organizations, and the community. As health care continues to evolve, it is critical that we develop strong and confident leaders that can help to advocate for and promote Physical Therapy. With the drive for value and efficiency in the clinical setting, sending clinicians to outside courses for leadership training can be cost prohibitive and impact daily operations. There is significant benefit and responsibility for leadership teams to focus on developing grassroots leaders at the department level to aid in succession planning for the betterment of the organization. This valuable investment can foster an inherent culture that promotes servant leadership, effective communication, and authentic leadership. This poster presentation will provide useful information and examples on how a large hospital rehabilitation team developed a culture of professional development focused on developing therapists into grassroot leaders. This presentation will outline how a need to develop professional behaviors was identified and opportunities were created. The poster will outline how a return on investment was realized that allowed frontline therapists to positively impact communication, service recovery, employee engagement, and promote value of therapy services. Practical tools, strategies, and tips for overcoming barriers will be shared to guide others in the identification of opportunities and implementation of a similar culture in their own department. In our presentation, we will detail value opportunities to create and implement professional development and training sessions in the inpatient setting. Various methods will be displayed that can be utilized to enhance the leadership potential of therapists based on their role, goals and identified needs. We will be able to discuss our continued efforts and plans to continue to build on the culture of our department in order to empower our therapists to effectively provide high quality, world class care while being well-rounded professionals. By commitment to the development of Physical Therapists as grassroots leaders we can enable them to serve as positive change agents and continue to evolve as the needed leaders of tomorrow in the inpatient clinical setting.