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Alida Stapelberg: Caring for the Patients and Staff in Healthcare

Alida Stapelberg | Burjeel Farha
Alida Stapelberg | Burjeel Farha

Patient care often involves more than just the medical aspect of nursing. As patients experience stress about their conditions such as—injuries, procedures, recovery, or surgeries, it is important that nurses address not only their physical ailments but also their emotional needs. Alida Stapelberg, the Director of Nursing, leads her team of nurses at Burjeel Farha, intending to foster a collaborative relationship with patients. She is dedicated to improving not only the care that the team provides to clients, but also improving the conditions and treatment of the staff. Alida embraces the dynamic field of healthcare that she works in and is excited to see future advancements in the field.

In an interview with Insights Care, Alida Stapelberg shares her journey within the healthcare sector that has led to the position that she is in today.

Following are the highlights of the interview:

Please brief us about yourself and tell us your source of inspiration for venturing into the healthcare niche.

For my parents, there has never been any doubt that I would be venturing into the Healthcare field. However, I also have an artistic side, so when the time came to decide which career I want to pursue, I struggled. What made me make the final decision was a remark my father made during a conversation discussing my uncertainty:

“As a Nurse, you won’t ever be without work.”  That was it. It made me realize this is a profession where there will never be enough Nurses. I wanted to contribute to this workforce by being the best I can be.

Please brief our audience about your organization.

I am fortunate to be a part of an exceptionally Dynamic Healthcare Management Team. We are a group of people who has the same goal: improving not only the care we provide to clients, but also improving the conditions and treatment of our staff. We embrace the dynamic field of healthcare that we work in and enjoy seeing the advancements in our field.

Kindly elaborate upon your journey as the guiding light of your organization, and how you have positioned it as a reliable name in the healthcare sector.

The company I am part of has been positioned in UAE for a number of years already and established itself as a Trusted Healthcare Provider a long time ago already. I am relatively new to the organization, yet I do believe that I still have much to offer. There is a lot of excitement when I think about the group I am affiliated with at the moment.

As you focus on services and excellence, can you elaborate upon the various services provided under your leadership?

I am extremely passionate about people and love to see the staff (not just nurses) grow and develop into the best they can be. I value them and firmly believe as leaders that we need to focus on their happiness as well as their professional development. In my experience, when you do this, your staff tends to “pop open” and “flower” with their full potential.

From an early point in their employment under me, I instill confidence in them by showing them they are valued and appreciated. Mistakes will be made; however, I see that as an opportunity where a process can be reviewed and – most probably – be improved. I don’t hesitate to delegate tasks and am ready when they need clarification or guidance. The staff gets positive feedback, lots of smiles and encouragement from me.

Although the title is “Director”, I enjoy spending time with staff and being present in their work environments. I still jump in and help with Nursing care also. I am still a Nurse, aren’t I?

When difficult conversations are held and critique is given, I emphasize the benefits of receiving this information and changing it into something amazing. It doesn’t change my support for them. At the end of the day, my reward is when staff becomes excellent at what they do and/or move on to the next part of their Professional career.

As the representation of women in the healthcare niche has increased, is the sector focusing on the needs of women more than ever before?

Absolutely. When you look around and have conversations, you can see how services are changing as the healthcare field is realizing how important it is to provide more appropriate care in specific areas.

Nursing and Healthcare are still getting more and more specialized. In UAE specifically, we have even seen changes in legislation regarding Maternity leave, Paternity leave, and options for Health Care for women.

Having a broad experience in the healthcare field, what is your opinion on the integration of technological advancements in the healthcare sector, especially when it comes to catering to the dynamic needs of the healthcare sector? 

Technology is amazing. Looking back to when I started in CTICU and what tech we had then, compared to what we have now…there has been a huge improvement that allows us to provide a better quality of care and more life-saving measures.

Equipment is becoming more advanced and user-friendly by the day. Look at resuscitative equipment, robot-assisted laparoscopic surgeries, and the investigative tests we now have available to predict and assist in determining if a client would have cancer or a condition during pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia. These are only a few to name.

Being an innovative leader, what advice would you like to give budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the healthcare niche?

A few things:

  1. Remind yourself that you will never get to a point where you know it all. Be humble and keep learning.
  2. Embrace change with everything you have, as change is the way we grow and develop.
  3. Be ready to look back in ten years and think “How did we ever work without this?” But also, be ready to look forward and think: “How can we do this better?”
  4. The old saying: “Don’t just think outside the box…imagine there is no box!”
  5. Don’t ever forget you work with people. Inspire them, help them, and support them. There is a saying: “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”

How to envision scaling your organization’s services and operations in 2022 and beyond?

Every year provides us with a chance to improve. Just because something is working doesn’t mean we cannot adapt it to work even better. I believe processes should be reviewed and renewed appropriately, at regular intervals.

Adding to that: we also have the chance to improve the well-being of each and every staff member by supporting them, valuing them, and listening to them. Even when we cannot change much, by just listening and giving them a voice, you give back to them. I believe the people who know the best how to bring in and change a process are the ones “working on the floor.”

Please give us a few testimonials from your clients and awards or recognition that accurately highlight your achievements in the healthcare niche.

Not only does Alida possess robust technical skills, but she also is a nurse leader that leads by example. Her level of dedication, care, and support to her team is extremely commendable. Working with her throughout my tenure at G42, Alida comes with my highest recommendation for a nursing leadership role. It has indeed been a pleasure working with her.

– Inas Al Khatib

(APM Chartered Project Professional)

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