Leading in extraordinary times

Suzanne Demspsey

Few of us could have believed that when we welcomed in 2020 we would soon face a pandemic that is affecting millions of lives and is dramatically changing the way work, we live and in all too many cases how we die. While every profession is facing unprecedented challenges, it is perhaps the medical profession that is under the most pressure.

Pressure that raises our interest in such leaders and poses the question – How do we lead in these extraordinary times? To answer this and discuss leading through adversity, I’m delighted to welcome Suzanne Dempsey, the Deputy CEO and the Director of Nursing at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin. The Mater Hospital is at the epicentre of Ireland’s battle against Covid 19.


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2:45 Career history

4:25 Pediatric vs non-pediatric hospitals

5:35 Children’s Health Ireland

8:35 Digitally-led hospitals

11:05 A typical day in a COVID hospital

15:50 New challenges

18:05 Life and death decisions

19:15 Leading in crisis

21:40 Keeping a team focused and motivated

24:20 The collapse of child care for front-line workers

25:35 Patient care

27:10 Post-COVID care

30:05 Preparing for a second wave

33:35 Necessary changes for the future

36:50 COVID and non-COVID patients

38:18 Practical patient issues

40:40 Workforce management

43:35 Advice to staff and nurses

45:10 Burnout

49:15 Suzanne’s own self-care

50:32 The future of nursing

52:45 Advice for future nurses

53:55 Final words