Healthcare Blog

Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Nurses! Get Inspired & Connected on Planet Improv

Posted by capcityspeakers on December 22, 2016

by Beth Boynton, RN, MS

Things are cooking in the Medical Improv world.  Recent workshops at Rutgers Medical School and Bay State College and the first train-the-trainer book,  Medical Improv:  A New Way to Improve Communication Skills & 15 Activities You Can Teach STATis scheduled to be published early in 2017.

If you’d like spice up your holiday party,  try this super fun activity with your team described on Medline post: De-Stress and Improve Communication with Medical Improv!

Also, I’m VERY happy to announce five Medical Improv programs through Capitol City Speakers Bureau!  This one was designed for “Nurses’ Week, but if your team needs a boost sooner, please contact Capitol City at 1-800-397-3193.

Get Inspired and Connected on Planet Improv!

An Out of this untitled-design-40World Experience for Nurses Only! It is no secret that nurses face relentless high-stakes high-stress work with little time to come together for pure fun. On Planet Improv, nurse colleagues are guaranteed to have a great time together while building positive relationships. Join Medical Improv Practitioner Beth Boynton, RN, MS as she facilitates a variety of easy-to-do and playful activities that will leave nurses feeling engaged, connected, and inspired about their work. Whether staff actively participate or watch, this interactive workshop is always a one-of-a-kind and memorable experience!

(P.S. If you want to offer a similar workshop for ALL healthcare professionals I’m pretty sure Capitol City Speakers Bureau will be happy to help and so will I!)


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Paying It Forward

Posted by capcityspeakers on December 1, 2016

by Chad Hymas


Most of us know what the above title means. And I’m hoping that we have all had the opportunity to do this. It is so simple to do that I think it would happen more often if we just thought about it.

I have a friend that works at a restaurant and he told me that every week, a widower comes in for dinner and, while there, he’ll look around for a family (usually a large family having dinner) and when he goes to pay his bill, he’ll ask the hostess if $75.00 will cover their bill. When she says yes, he leaves her enough to cover the tab and the tip. After he leaves, and has been gone for several minutes, she goes over and tells the family what had happened – that their bill has been taken care of. They are completely surprised!   And so very grateful.

He also left enough money for them to have dessert or take a couple of pies home!! They look around trying to find this person, but she told them he had left quite a while ago. All he asked is that they enjoy their dinner and that if they ever have a chance to help someone (in other words, pay it forward), they do.

I actually see this all the time – I see people at a grocery store tell the cashier as she gives her a hundred bill, to have that go for the groceries for the woman behind her, who has a few kids with her and a lot of groceries.

I see lot of this kind of generosity at the airport; especially people wanting to buy a cup of coffee or dinner for servicemen who have just been deployed. I had the opportunity to do this a few weeks ago and posted it on Facebook:

It never fails. I always run into these selfless people as I travel, especially through Atlanta. And it usually goes something like this:

ME: Sir/Gentlemen, I simply want to thank you for the freedom you grant me. May I shake your hand and buy you lunch/dinner?

SOLDIER: [Before speaking to me, they USUALLY ALWAYS drop to one knee, my level. I never ask them to. They just do it. Talk about respect. I’m not saying I deserve it, nor request it. I’m simply saying it is truly my honor to meet them and show my gratitude; and, as if it is ingrained in their DNA, they passionately demonstrate this type of love by flipping the scenario and treat me as though it is an honor for them to serve, meet and protect me. They don’t even know who I am! Names have not yet been exchanged. But I know who they are. They are heroes! Can you imagine what kind of a country we would have if we were all like this? Had this kind of selflessness towards others? This kind of compassion and unconditional love? This desire to serve and sacrifice?]

“Sir, it is our pleasure to serve you. We are fine. You don’t need to buy us dinner.”

ME: Please, I insist. I would love to break bread with you.

SOLDIER: “Ok sir, but know that this is not necessary.”

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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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10 Keys to Lifelong Happiness

Posted by capcityspeakers on May 12, 2016

by Chad Hymas

I recently came across a terrific blog post claiming “The 15 Things To Give Up To Be Happy.”  Although I agreed with most of them, some of them I didn’t.  I don’t believe that those same 15 things will work for everyone.  Nor do I believe that the 10 that I will share with you will work for everyone either.

I get asked on a daily basis how I am so happy despite my circumstances.  How did I remain positive through all the changes that were taking place that surrounded my accident?  Let me answer you this, I am happy in spite of my circumstances.  Because of the things that I have learned on this journey, mostly the last 11 years of my life, that I would have never experienced otherwise.  These experiences have shaped my life and made me who I have become today.  There were times right after my accident that I am not proud of and I wish to not even recollect, but throughout that time and more recent times, these are the things that I have found truly work for me.

1. Know Yourself.  How many times have we heard “no one will love you until you learn to love yourself” or “nobody knows you the way you do”?

So get to know the right-now-real you, both the good and the bad, and own it. Write down your qualities, characteristics, values, strengths, and weaknesses. What makes you happy? What drives you crazy?

The good news is that if you don’t like certain aspects of yourself right now, you have it in your control to change that. But to change something you first have to know what you’re working with. So do some serious soul-searching and figure that out!

2. Learn to say “NO!” At the end of the day, it’s about how you say “no”, rather than the fact you’re saying no, that affects the outcome. After all, you have your own priorities and needs, just like everyone has his/her own needs. Saying no is about respecting and valuing your time and space. Say no is your prerogative.

3. Accept What Is.  One of the greatest sources of misery in my experience, is refusing to accept what is. How often do waste your time with questions such as: What if I had done that differently? What if yesterday had turned out differently? Stop turning your back on reality.

If you’re happy, accept that you’re happy. You don’t try to justify that feeling. If you’re upset, accept that you’re upset, don’t pretend you’re not. If you made a mistake embrace your imperfection, don’t beat yourself up.

As you begin to accept what is, you will find that your experiences are exactly what you need at that moment. Sure, life won’t always go according to plan, but at the end you will survive, one experience stronger.

4. Visit a quiet place. Libraries, museums, gardens, and places of worship provide islands of peace and calm in today’s frantic world. Find a quiet place near your house and make it your secret getaway.

5. Find What Makes You Tick.  Some people may not care to admit this, but I honestly believe that we each have something that makes us tick.

While it’s true some people just discover what they love, many of us have to do some searching. Not knowing what makes you happy, is the surest way to remain stuck in a miserable state.

Finding what you enjoy to do is fairly easy. If you enjoy a certain activity (assuming it’s legal of course) continue doing it. I realize that is overly simplistic, but you get the idea.

Don’t worry about what your family or friends think, but rather focus on what brings you joy. I’m not suggesting you be selfish or hurtful in your pursuits, but it’s important you take care of yourself so you can give your fullest to the world.

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Three Powerful Ways to Prevent Stress

Posted by capcityspeakers on March 17, 2016

by Colette Carlson

three-ways-stress-lessDo you feel exhausted before the day is even half over? Stress drains us of our energy, weakens our focus, our immune system, and our brilliance. Research shows prevention is still the number one way to reduce stress beating out even exercise and meditation. Stop the stress from happening in the first place to start feeling more energized. Here’s three ways:

Stop Saying One More Thing – The conversation is almost over and you say one more thing. The long-winded coworker hears your last sentence as an invite to keep going instead of as a conversation close. One more quick question launches into a much longer discussion as the clock ticks and your other priorities are not completed. You finish the break room banter with one last funny phrase and now the exchange lasts several more minutes. Connect with your colleagues, build relationships, and make your point heard. However, be aware of the impact of saying one more thing. Is your message well-timed and well-received when your one last comment or concern expands the scope and length of a meeting or detours the topic? Be conscious of the impact of saying one more thing on your energy, productivity, and reputation.

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Living Life With A Purpose

Posted by capcityspeakers on February 11, 2016

by Chad Hymas

If we are going to succeed in life, we must realize and acknowledge our hopes and dreams. These will then motivate our actions.  A gifted author, Mary Anne Radmacher, wrote a poem which has helped inspire my life.

“Life Begins When You Do”
Walk to the edge
Listen hard – Laugh – Play with abandon
Practice wellness – Continue to learn
Choose with no regret
Appreciate your friends
Lead or follow a leader
Do what you love
Live as if this is all there is

There are certain times when the decisions we make will impact the rest of our lives.  Most of us have dreams.  Some of us might even have that infamous ‘bucket list’.  But how much time do we really have to make sure they will actually happen in this lifetime?

Time is a most precious gift.  I believe to give time is more rewarding than to receive it.
Several months after my accident, my good friend, Lee Johnson, offered me an opportunity to come to work for him at his business, Broken Arrow.  He knew me before the accident.   He realized the ‘Chad’ he had known was slowly disappearing before his very eyes.

So much time at home – just sitting – was not good for me or my loving wife.  This new routine was affecting her as well.  At least getting me out of the house on a daily basis would give her time to resume her job of running the household as she had done before the accident.
However, what we didn’t expect was that this gift of time would also give me back my sense of independence.

Simple tasks such as making phone calls and arranging work with clients reminded me that, although my body was paralyzed, my mind was not.  Flashbacks of running my landscaping business came flooding back.  I began to reinvent myself again as a functioning part of the business world.  The transformation seemed to happen overnight.   I began to feel good about myself again.

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Finding Your Center

Posted by capcityspeakers on November 30, 2015

by Chad Hymas

On April 3, 2001, Chad was involved in a serious accident leaving him a quadriplegic. Chad’s dreams were not paralyzed that day.


Each day of my rehabilitation, I gained confidence and ability. Having lost all strength in my stomach muscles, I found it nearly impossible to maintain my balance
if I leaned to one side or the other. Sitting on a mat with my legs straight in front of me, I would attempt to raise my hands, first one inch, then two.

Raising one arm ever so slightly was enough to topple me sideways. I hadn’t the strength to sit back up again on my own. I soon realized that my center was my trunk,
my chest. If I maintained balance there, I could incrementally work at raising my arms. Soon, understanding this concept, I could raise both arms shoulder level.

Interestingly enough, the chest is where the heart is. For me, it became a balance point. In life, it is the pivot point for us all.

When we get off course in our lives, and we lean too far to one side, we lose our center. We lose our ability to be solid in our decision-making. It’s a tricky
predicament in which to find ourselves; once leaning slightly, now falling, fast and hard. I found it is more difficult to get up after a fall like that, than it is to avoid it

As the months and years have passed, my ability to stay centered and stay balanced has increased. Now I can lift my arms, turn myself to look at things, lean down on
my knees to gesture, or move items on my lap. The key is knowing my center. As long as I remember this, I can pivot my movements, and balance and leverage my
weight. I can accomplish the things I set out to do.

Similarly, we must find our own personal center. In our busy lives, when we feel pushed and pulled in so many different directions, we must have a sense of center. Every
question of action, every dilemma of circumstance, every request for our attention, must be assessed from that point.

As leaders we look for individuals who are consistent, and who have an intentioned sense of balance. Centeredness is a priceless quality. Recognizing what is at a
person’s core, especially what is at your own core, is invaluable.

There is value in being centered, in being solid, and in knowing your personal boundaries. If you don’t know what is at your core, find out. Wrap your life around
a moral compass that gives you direction for your true north.

Your heart is your center. The more centered you are, the wider you can spread your wings. Strengthen those muscles!

Until next time… Believe


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Five Great Things about Screwing Up

Posted by capcityspeakers on October 28, 2015

by Colette Carlson

colette-carlson-5-great-things-about-screwing-upWhat was your latest, greatest mistake? Was it when you attached the wrong client proposal, or maybe your idea for that leads campaign that went over budget and ended in record-low quarterly sales…? Or maybe you can’t even talk about it because it’s too embarrassing!

Understandable, but think about this for a moment: isn’t the shame you feel over your error, whatever it was, worse than simply admitting you were wrong and moving on? Shame causes us to try and hide our slip-ups, but keeping them locked in our heads actually feeds their power. The resulting anxiety drags us down by forcing us to cover up or overcompensate. Fear increases because, as most of us know, a cover up nearly always comes back to bite us…and usually at the most inopportune time possible.In truth, every mistake – big, small, or in-between – is actually a precious gift (even if its wrapping is revolting). Changing your attitude toward failure can help you face it and grow stronger as a result.

  • Making mistakes is a sign that we’re taking risks. People who don’t take risks trade learning and progress for safety. Feel good about trying and failing rather than doing nothing. In fact, sit down and create your own personal resume of flops. Be as detailed and thorough as possible. Now, think about what each item on your tally of turkeys taught you, or how something positive came from it. You may find that some of those on-the-job mishaps actually furthered your career.
  • The pain from making a mistake – dire consequences, embarrassment, whatever – is life’s built-in success training. Actually, the worse the fallout, the easier it will be to not repeat the blunder. This forges a path to the attitudes and behaviors that do work!
  • When you make a mistake and own it, you take the pressure off yourself to be “perfect.” Perfection is an illusion anyway. Black-and-white standards are impractical, angst-provoking, and make daily life into something like walking a tightrope. Living in the gray areas is genuine and a huge relief.
  • Mistakes show us the importance of humility and honesty, but only if we consciously take responsibility for them. If we do not, it’s possible that the character defect underlying the mistake will lead to a pattern of making similar gaffes. Those who avoid owning their flaws by habitually covering up or lying to others are also being dishonest with themselves. Untruthfulness catches up to us because it takes more and more effort to live with deceit. By the way, this often causes people to take on self-destructive habits to help distract them from reality and guilt.
  • Not only does owning mistakes provide a model of humbleness and integrity; it helps you judge your coworkers and friends less harshly when they mess up. This is an opportunity to develop empathy, as you grow to understand that mistakes are a direct hit to our ego and therefore difficult to handle – not only for you, but for everyone!

Hopefully, you’ll learn to take a kinder view of your “wrong” choices or miscalculations. But if all else fails and you’re spiraling into obsessive self-flagellation over something you did, remember this much at least: “A mistake a day keeps perfectionism at bay.”

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Leading the Patient Experience Takes Good Communication

Posted by capcityspeakers on September 17, 2015

by Kristin Baird

A few days ago I was talking with a group of leaders from the same organization. I had asked a question about their service recovery tracking tool. Everyone except one person said that they didn’t have one. The single individual who said that they had a tool was the one who had launched it. He told his colleagues, “I sent out a memo.”

This happens all the time. Someone sends out an email and thinks that they have communicated. Well, they did send a memo. The problem is that we are all so bombarded with emails that we often skim past the ones that don’t rise to the top of our priority list.

The value of cascading communication and face-to-face conversation cannot be over stated, especially if you are trying to transform culture and engage people at all levels. If something has the potential for improving the patient experience, let everyone know, but try to use a variety of communication methods and don’t expect that one message will achieve all your communication goals.

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Keep the Connection

Posted by capcityspeakers on September 10, 2015

by Donna Cardillo

nurse patient

One of the most important things you can do as a professional nurse is to be “present” in your work by staying focused on and fully aware that you are charged with caring for a fellow human being. That individual has a life and existence outside of the healthcare setting. And yet it is so easy to lose that perspective when you get caught up in performing tasks, following a routine, and trying to stick to a schedule. At the end of the day, it is the personal connection—or lack of it—that matters most to the nurse and the patient.

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