Healthcare Blog

Posts Tagged ‘nursing’

Don’t Just Sit There Listening –Solicit Input

Posted by capcityspeakers on March 7, 2017

by Suzanne Gordon

Soliciting Not Just Listening                                                questions

Want to be a better physician or nurse leader? Enhance patient safety? Effectively lead teams? One of the current consultant prescriptions is the recommendation that leaders spend more time listening than talking. Whether in the larger management literature or in the articles and books that specifically target health care, listening is portrayed as a key to leadership. Employees want their voices to be heard,” one management guru opined in a Forbes article entitled “6 ways Effective Listening Can Make You a Better Leader,” and to “know that they (their leaders) have their interests at heart because they really listen.”

To emphasize this point psychiatrist Mark Goulston titled his bestselling book Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone. Listening 1.1 has, in fact, advanced to listening 2.1 wherein one is exhorted not to “just listen” – i.e. passively and unresponsively — but to engage in “active listening.”

I am all for listening. Of course people have to listen to each other rather than silence, ignore, dismiss, or denigrate one another. When it comes to the implementation of genuine teamwork and patient safety within the hierarchical environment of health care, I don’t think listening is enough. As Amy Edmondson has written in her book Teaming, “Research shows that hierarchy, by its very nature, dramatically reduces speaking up by those lower in the pecking order. We are hard-wired, then socialized, to be acutely sensitive to power, and to work to avoid being seen as deficient in any way by those in power.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Speaker Blogs, Suzanne Gordon | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

3 must-do strategies for executive leaders to permanently improve employee engagement

Posted by capcityspeakers on January 17, 2017

by Vicki Hess

Every executive leader in healthcare has a vested interest in improving employee engagement – whether he or she acknowledges it or not.

Unfortunately, many senior leaders think HR should manage engagement or they are looking for a magic formula when it comes to sustained improvement. Of course one doesn’t exist.

First, the problem. Here’s what I typically hear in my conversations with hospitals and health systems across the country. Employee engagement survey results come in and senior leaders talk about how important engagement is with their manager group. They share their desire for front line leaders to create department level action plans to transform engagement.

The action plans are created and quite often recorded in online monitoring systems for “accountability”. Most leaders – at all levels – understand that engagement is a key lever for productivity, creativity, safety and patient satisfaction so these actions make sense. Too often, the actions center around what the organization and leader need to do to impact engagement and they leave off the personal responsibility of the employees – but that’s another article.

For a month or two, there’s a focus on improving engagement. Then a new priority comes along and the front line leader’s attention is drawn to a new concern. The front line leader’s “one-up” manager stops asking about engagement. It moves to the back burner and all of the sudden it’s 9 months later and time for a new survey and whole cycle starts again.

If you want to stop this vicious cycle, try these 3 strategies.

Have an Engagement Champion at the executive level
Ideally, everyone on the senior leadership team would feel completely committed to engagement, but I know that’s not always going to happen. To quote Peter Drucker, “Whenever anything is being accomplished, it is being done, I have learned, by a monomaniac with a mission.” This doesn’t mean that some leaders can let engagement slide off their dashboards; it does mean that you need a champion. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Speaker Blogs, Vicki Hess | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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!)

Posted in Beth Boynton, R.N., MS, Speaker Blogs | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Patient Experience is Digital Too

Posted by capcityspeakers on December 12, 2016

by Kristin Baird

When we think of the patient experience, we often think of the many touchpoints during a face-to-face interaction. In today’s world, digital encounters are an important part of the overall experience as well.

This past week, my husband had a battery of tests in follow-up to a physical exam. He was a bit anxious about having the tests, and then having to wait for the results. He was both impressed and relieved to have prompt results delivered to his smartphone through the online portal. He could see the results and where he fell within the normal ranges. But what impressed him the most was that his physician also sent a personal note with a summary of her impressions and next steps – all in layman’s terms. Within 10 minutes of her note, he received a text from Walgreens that his new prescription was ready for pick up.

In this example, the digital experience included imparting information (test results) as well as reassurance and next steps provided through the personal email.

Rewind the clock a few years, and he’d still be waiting for the results that would be delivered via phone call or office visit. The waiting and wondering was stressful for patients and the follow up was often overwhelming for the providers and their staffs.

We are fortunate to be living in a world where we can use our smart phones for everything from ordering pizza to scheduling rides and appointments. In healthcare, smartphones have become the lifeline to information and engagement. My concern is that in some organizations, anything digital is technology that sits within the IT silo, rather than cross pollinating with the patient experience goals and strategies. Let’s make sure we’re talking to each other internally. We have great opportunities to continue making the patient experience more seamless, efficient and enjoyable.

Posted in Kristin Baird, Speaker Blogs | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Masterpiece Of A Moment

Posted by capcityspeakers on November 23, 2016

by Kathy Brown

We need to live One day at a time and make it a masterpiece. If you never want to be lonely, build bridges instead of walls. Being lonely takes its toll on your overall health both mentally and physically. Relationships help us multiply our joys and cut our sorrows in half when shared.

Our moments are all we have as we are not promised a tomorrow. Live fully in each moment making something better because you were fully present “in it.” Nobody can help everybody but everybody can help somebody.

Remember that great people are ordinary people with an extraordinary amount of commitment. They persevere when times get tough. Difficulties come not to obstruct but to instruct. Learn the lesson and move on.

Friends are God’s way of taking care of us. Nurture your relationships with those people who encourage, uplift, and inspire you to reach your full potential! Your moments become memories which can last a lifetime and then live on in those left to enjoy them.

Posted in Kathy Brown, Speaker Blogs | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I Am, Therefore I Teach

Posted by capcityspeakers on October 26, 2016

By Donna Cardillo, RN

azalea-1294743_1920It is often said that everyone who comes into our lives is sent to teach us something, even the most difficult people. But I believe that people are also sent into our lives so that they might learn from us, be inspired, or gain hope when they had none. Yes, there are times when we are purposefully in that role, but there are many times that we teach, inspire, and restore hope unknowingly by our actions. It could be the way you speak to someone, something you share about yourself, extending a small kindness, or the way you conduct yourself in various situations. If you consider that you have an opportunity to improve, even in some small way, the life of everyone that you encounter, your daily existence will have more meaning and purpose.

Posted in Donna Cardillo, Speaker Blogs | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Falling Together: How to Find Balance, Joy, and Meaningful Change When Your Life Seems to be Falling Apart

Posted by capcityspeakers on September 22, 2016

donna-cardillo-bookDonna Cardillo’s Latest Book Now Available!

There are times in life that shake us to our very foundations. We wish for things to get better, fast. But the truth is that moments of “falling apart” are also our most powerful catalysts for growth and change. In Falling Together, Donna Cardillo, a registered nurse, Dr. Oz blogger, and beloved public speaker, reflects on the overwhelming challenges that fall into every life, and the renewal that comes when we are able to meet them with courage.

A funny, big-hearted self-help memoir that takes on issues like divorce, caregiving, and burnout―and many women’s biggest enemies of all, fear, insecurity, and self-doubt―Falling Together shows how to turn the challenges that threaten to knock us to the ground into the building blocks we need to become more successful, more joyful, and ultimately, more alive.

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local bookseller.

For more information about Donna Cardillo, RN, CSP, or to book her for your next event, go to:  Donna Cardillo

Posted in Donna Cardillo, Speaker Blogs | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

Posted in Speaker Blogs, Suzanne Gordon | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

Posted in Speaker Blogs, Vicki Hess | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Patients Just Don’t Get It (Or Maybe It’s You That Doesn’t Get It)

Posted by capcityspeakers on June 30, 2016

by Kristin Baird

Just the other day, I heard a story from a nursing unit manager that really annoyed me. The manager was asked to follow up on a patient complaint where the patient stated he was disappointed that the entire time he was in the hospital, he never had a bath. Having been an inpatient for four days following a total hip replacement, it seemed like a reasonable expectation to have a bath (or four for that matter), so his complaint seemed justifiable.  The problem was, the manager shifted the blame onto the patient. The first words out of her mouth were, “These patients just don’t get it. We give them a bath-in-a-bag every day.”

There is so much about this single comment that bugs me, but let’s just start with, “They just don’t get it.” The tone implies the patient is wrong and you, the care provider, are right. This type of thinking places you and the patient, in two separate camps; the right and the wrong. One or the other. Secondly, it implies that the patient should know better; again, a condescending posture for the sender.

Whenever I hear the phrase, “They just don’t get it,” I can’t help but think that it’s the sender that doesn’t get it. The comment comes from a posture of superiority and arrogance rather than one of collaboration. What if the nurse manager received the complaint in a spirit of ownership and collaboration? Her response would have been something like, “It sounds like we didn’t do a good job of explaining the bath-in-a-bag. I’ll work on this with my team.”

The other part of this comment that bugs me is the idea that the patient should “get it.” When a patient enters a hospital, it is a foreign land with a foreign language, strange sounds, sights, and smells. This is YOUR world, not theirs. Don’t expect them to just “get it.” It’s up to the caregivers to welcome patients into this strange world, and explain things. The word “bath” in the common vernacular implies a tub filled with water. A bed bath implies a basin of water and a wash cloth. It’s only in today’s healthcare world that a plastic packet filled with moistened paper towels constitutes a bath. So when the patient doesn’t “get it,” simply reposition the lens with which you see the world. Look through the patient’s eyes, then help him understand.

Posted in Kristin Baird, Speaker Blogs | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »