Those of us who have been in the healthcare field for more than a minute cannot deny that the system is broken. Our health care organizations and professionals are excellent and compassionate but at risk of being set up for failure by the larger broken system (or, more accurately, non-system) that exists across our nation.
I can’t help but believe that the entire nursing profession is going through collective survivor’s syndrome right now as we watch a colleague facing prison time for a medication error.
Many of us in the field of Healthcare Quality have worked so hard to encouraging speaking up when things go wrong in healthcare. But I believe this verdict is not just tragic for the individual nurse involved, but could possibly cripple much of the forward motion we’ve made in building transparent cultures of patient safety within hospitals over the past decade.
In my industry, Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety, there are many programs that teach team training. And that’s a good thing. In this and many other industries such as air transportation and manufacturing, the high reliability produced by great teamwork does much more than create successful popular businesses. It can literally save lives.
My idea of a high functioning team is one in which miscommunication rarely occurs and when it does it is quickly clarified so all members are working from the “same playbook” and “dancing to the same beat” once again. This correlates well with the research coming out of the Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality arenas which aggregate data from adverse patient care incidents across the country. The most commonly identified causitive factor of adverse events in healthcare is breakdown in communication, a.k.a poor teamwork.
However, I sometimes wonder if we spend too much time teaching complicated methodologies on what it takes to be a winning team. I saw this simple acronym come across my LinkedIn feed today (unsure of original source of the quote) that summed up great teams in one little square on my cell phone screen.
When all of the stir began among my colleagues across the nation after the comments from the ladies of The View, I posted some thoughts as a picture on aprior blog post. However, since then – a community of nurses has come together to support each other and our great profession. One example is a Facebook group called “Show Me Your Stethoscope” with over 800,000 nurses dialoguing with each other there. The type of posts range from infamous MEMEs, to New Grad Nurses celebrating passing boards, to straight up comedy (that probably only nurses would get), to beautiful personal photos.
One photo that caught my eye was posted in the ” Show Me Your Stethoscope” group by Tami Sturdivant Jones. It is an old photograph of her Great Aunt praying in a chapel in Brussels, Belgium while serving as a nurse in World War II. Even though my original post with the generic clipart stethoscope seemed to speak to the hearts of many nurses, I believe this beautiful photograph better depicts the heartbeat of the Nursing Profession: We have a calling, not just a job. This photograph is truly priceless. Thank you, Tami, for sharing it with us.
Well…. I actually had something else in mind for my first blog post. But because I’m a nurse who started wearing a stethoscope around my neck when I became a CNA at age 16, I can’t resist chiming in with my own “view” about all the hub-bub that’s been going on in the nursing world since the ladies of The View gave their feedback on Miss Colorado’s Monologue during the recent Miss America pageant. And it actually does go along with what I was planing to write about: having a purpose…. having a calling. So I’ll simply state my view with these few words: