Healthcare Blog

Archive for July, 2016

Encouraging all members of a medical team to speak up

Posted by capcityspeakers on July 21, 2016

by Suzanne Gordon

The oval, mahogany table dominates the center of the large conference room. A number of chairs circle the table and dot the perimeter of the room. Every week, a group of high level hospital administrators, physician leaders, and leaders of other professional and occupational disciplines—physical therapy, social work, clinical directors of nursing, housekeeping, etc—gather in this room to discuss hospital function. They call themselves a “team” and the gathering a “team meeting.”

Nothing indicates that places at the table are reserved for particular participants. But today, as happens every week, when physicians and hospital administrators enter the room, they immediately occupy the chairs at the table. As nursing and other professional and occupational “leaders” enter the room, they sit around the perimeter, even if seats at the table are empty. The discussion is largely conducted by, and includes mostly, people sitting at the table. Occasionally, someone chips in from the outfield, as it were, but not too often and certainly not with much vigor.

I have been invited to this hospital to consult about teamwork, patient safety, and “professionalism” particularly among the nursing staff. The hospital has sent people to do TeamSTEPPS, a healthcare team training developed by the Department of Defense and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. It has hired consultants to teach people the principles of high reliability organizations (HROs). It is concerned about the fact that non-physician personnel do not speak out about patient safety and, as the Chief Nursing Officer puts it, do not behave in a “professional manner” when at work. Maybe, she muses, nurses would speak up more if they all wore a standard uniform instead of scrubs adorned with flowers or smiley faces. Come and observe us function, and tell us what you think, is my mandate from the executive team.

After the meeting is over, I ask nursing clinical directors and “leaders” in social work and other disciplines, why they do not take a seat at the table when one is empty. They all say they same thing. Read the rest of this entry »

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3 Reasons Why You Must Take a Break

Posted by capcityspeakers on July 14, 2016

by Colette Carlson

keynote-inspirational-motivational-speaker-colette-carlson-shares-3-reasons-you-must-take-breaks-vacationAh…vacations… a necessary part of life for sanity and balance. Yet, research shows that stressed Americans aren’t taking the breaks they have earned despite noting the benefits of downtime. Ninety percent say time off helps them relax and recharge, but forty percent won’t go to avoid a “mountain of work” upon return.  Others may physically leave the office, but end up on a work-cation, constantly checking in rather than checking out.  With only seven weeks remaining before Labor Day, here are three compelling reasons why you must take a break.

1. Breaks now are better than breakdowns later. Be honest. If you just muttered “I don’t have time for a break,” when do you have time to get sick? After all, self-care costs you much less downtime and money than healthcare. True story: An overwhelmed meeting planner no-showed for our conference call. Turns out she had a heart-attack at her desk and luckily survived. Why wait for a catastrophe before putting some much needed and deserved space between you and the office?

2. Breaks create breakthroughs!  One in five small business owners thought up their idea while on vacation because time away from work provides the rare opportunity to think deeply and ignite your creative juices. Such was the case for Instagram’s Kevin Systrom who came up with the idea while walking on a beach in Mexico. Rather than sit at your screen and force yourself to find a needed solution, get off the grid and let the solution find you.

3. Breaks create connection. Should money limit a full-blown vacation, you can still opt for a staycation. Rather than disconnect from the world and binge on comfort foods and Netflix, choose to re-connect with pleasurable activities and people. Taking a walk in nature provides a host of health benefits, and even gardening or putzing around the house allows your mind to quietly wander, bringing you back to self. Spending time with people you enjoy, who make you laugh, or even randomly connecting with a stranger at Starbucks, fills our basic psychological need to feel closely connected to others. If life limits even a staycation, give yourself a break with a stillcation. Sit silently for ten minutes and focus on your breathing. If your mind wanders, simply bring your awareness back to your breath.

Give yourself a break today! Yes, the piles and emails will grow in your absence, but so will your clarity, concentration and productivity as a result.

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Bratwurst, Bad Weather, & Bruises

Posted by capcityspeakers on July 8, 2016

by Vicki Hess

Remember those papers you wrote as kid entitled “What I learned on my summer vacation?” I just got back from a cycling vacation and I’d like to share what I learned and how it might help you at work.

1. Bratwurst
I’m a pretty healthy eater and wouldn’t typically eat anything close to a bratwurst – especially when it’s prepared by a street vendor and I don’t know the contents or origins of the sausage. But, I learned that sometimes the “locals” really do know what’s best and that bratwurst is really good!
Lesson Learned… Maybe the folks in other departments that are serving you their “bratwurst” really do know something you don’t know. Maybe the local knowledge gives them different insights and perspectives that you don’t have. What if you trusted their judgement and tried something new?

2. Bad WeatherGermany Rainbow
I cycled 168 miles in 6 days throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. What a glorious way to see the countryside and observe local customs. One challenge was that It rained 5 of the 6 days. UGH! My husband and I could have ridden in the van and hung out in museums but that wasn’t the trip we had in mind so we got up every day and put on our right rain gear and started peddling. Of course it became a joke with our fellow cyclists. We are all better riders now and we still had lots of laughs.
So it was fitting that right after our good bye dinner in Konstanz, Germany we stepped outside to survey the skies. Lo and behold, we saw the most beautiful double rainbow over the city. What a fabulous reward for all the rain!

Lesson Learned… Work can be challenging. Unexpected obstacles arise and you just have to keep “peddling” to move forward. It’s not what you planned, it’s not what you would have chosen – it’s what’s in front of you right now. The bad weather brings the team closer and helps you learn – if you let it. Now you can go look for that rainbow.

Read the rest of this entry »

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