It's time to address climate change...in healthcare
“We are all products of our environment; every person we meet, every new experience or adventure, every book we read, touches and changes us, making us the unique being we are.” ― C.J. Heck.
We are innately social creatures impacted by our social environment and organizations boil down to relationships. Perhaps the chronic stress of broken relationships, disconnection from our social world, and alienation from our core values is the problem in healthcare.
Now think for a moment: What is it about the social disconnections that make it hard for you to stay connected to a sense of joy in your daily life and clinical environment?
· Do you struggle with heart-sink patient interactions getting under your skin?
· Did you spend two hours listening to frustrated employee complaints about your organization’s leave policy?
· Did you practice mindfulness for 20-minutes, only to find yourself feeling disconnected from your team?
Ok let’s be real, these are things that I struggle with and think about daily.
Maybe, it’s not you. Or me. Maybe it’s our system. It’s time for climate change.
Creating climate change in our healthcare organizations is daunting, overwhelming, and may even feel impossible. But I believe that we can take simple actions to begin to mend the fabric of our social connections in healthcare communities. This starts by recognizing and embracing our interconnections. Then coming together with shared values and a shared commitment to prioritizing the health and well-being of every member of the community, including ourselves.
We are only as well as the individual or team that is struggling the most.
In this episode of Menders, I talk with Dr. Steve Hunt, an environmental and occupational medicine physician, about the impacts of chronic stressors and how we can create climate change in our own sphere of influence by tending to and mending our relationships with the people who cross our paths and fill our lives every day.
Listen to find out:
· Why it is critical to maintain (or create) daily connections with a supportive community.
· Why we need to go beyond good intentions and commit to healthy processes when creating a cultural transformation.
· How engaging with the cultural values of people who are “other” to us can help us to see our own cultural values and shortcomings more clearly.
Here are some of my favorite quotable moments from this episode:
“We are probably hard-wired … to run away from acute stressors, fight or flight but we are probably not hard-wired to have this drip drip drip of chronic stressors that are hard to get your arms around, hard to even notice.”
- Steve Hunt
“Sometimes we can fix the problem and it’s easy, sometimes we can fix it with a lot of work and investment. And, sometimes we truly cannot fix the problem, … but when our employees feel valued as whole people they have what they need, the sustenance, to stay in the system.”
- Me! (Nicola De Paul)
This episode will inspire you to reflect on your commitment to create change and will challenge you to move into healing through connection with others.
It’s time to question the basic assumptions of our toxic healthcare system.
Listen to Menders, episode 17, and then let me know what you think! I would love to hear your thoughts 😊
p.s., This episode brought me back to an earlier conversation with Anita Verna Crofts, who challenged us to amplify underrepresented narratives and listen in a radical way. Our diversity strengthens us and helps us reconnect to our most life-honoring values. Transforming our toxic healthcare system is going to take a serious realignment with the values that matter to us most. Make sure that you go back and listen to Menders episode 6 if you missed it!