Learning Objective 1: gain insight in the process of establishing a collaborative project in adding knowledge to the field of self leadership in professionalism
Learning Objective 2: understand the experiences of members in a research project on their journey in a collaborative project in professionalism
Methods: : The concept of self-leadership in professionalism was identified as a key problem in health services in the Metropolitan area of the Western Cape Province in South Africa and abroad. The participants in the programme were nine lecturers in different positions and nursing specialities in a University in the Western Cape. An international research collaborator from the United States was already conducting research in the area of professionalism. An initial workshop was undertaken to clarify roles in and objectives of the programme to work together in productive and meaningful ways in a mixed method paradigm. A qualitative approach was followed and the participants wrote their narratives on their experiences in leading themselves in the initial phase of the research project. Open coding was conducted to analyse the data.
Results: The findings indicated a process of uncertainty to confidence in becoming acquainted with the contextual realities of the project, making the best of the opportunity to collaborate with other stakeholders in a new initiative and building a sense of togetherness while growing as a researcher.
Conclusion: Professionalism is critical because a lack thereof fosters errors and adverse events and decrease patient satisfaction. Leaders should create and maintain a culture of safety and quality throughout the hospital. It therefore seems that an important link exists between self-leadership, organizational culture and the culture of professionalism of nurses. The outcome of the study is a scientific trustworthy strategy for the Western Cape maternal and child health services that is a crucial focus area of the Department of Health.