Listen to Moments Move Us Season 2 Episode 6: Why Healthcare is the Ultimate Team Sport with Linda McHugh
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New Podcast Episode: Why Healthcare is the Ultimate Team Sport with Linda McHugh
Sunday, October 10th is Mental Health Awareness Day. Although this annual observation began 29 years ago, its significance in today’s climate could not be more apparent. This past year has pushed us beyond our manageable emotional strain, tested our ability to focus, and caused many of us to re-evaluate our tried-and-true coping mechanisms. More than ever, we understand the impact of stress and the weight of elements we cannot control.
If these feelings sound familiar, it’s important to acknowledge that you are not alone. Stress can often feel too overwhelming to manage, but there are helpful resources to guide you through processing emotions of fatigue and mental duress.
Sometimes managing stress can feel as if you are riding a rollercoaster. There are ups and downs, good days and bad. It’s important to remember that progress is not linear. It is a constant journey that will be filled with both successes and set-backs. Even if you are taking two steps forward and one step backward, you are still making progress. Take time to acknowledge and celebrate how far you have come.
Feeling low? Remember that feelings, good and bad, are part of the human experience, and not a reflection of who you are. It’s important to allow yourself to feel what you are feeling, but understand that you are so much more than your struggles and obstacles. While the goal is to address them, how you feel should never take away from how you see yourself. You are a whole person.
It can be difficult on your worst days to remember how much you matter to so many people. You are not alone in your fears, but your role in this pandemic narrative is critical. If you take a moment to think about all the people who have been benefitted from your care, you’ll be reminded of how you have, and continue to make a difference.
With the help of a recognition software like Wambi, you can experience the gratitude shared by peers, leaders, and patients every day. Need a boost of appreciation? Check out your past Wambis received and be reminded of how much people value your hard work. You can also send a note of gratitude to someone who made a difference in your day. Expressing gratitude leads people to be happier, healthier, and more optimistic.
The more effective we are at nourishing ourselves, the more we can serve others without exhaustion or resentment. Feeling mental fatigue? Try the following:
“I’ve read somewhere, ‘If you feel like you’re losing everything, remember trees lose their leaves every year, and they stand tall and wait for better days to come.” Sometimes we just need to stand still for a while and that’s okay. I find stillness is often misconstrued as unproductive but in fact, can be where the real work is done and growth begins. It’s a time of deep introspection, emotional processing, and listening to ourselves and our body, so we can do the work to be at our most abundant state of mind.
As the seasons change, the trees shed their leaves, returning to their annual barren state, only to emerge full bloom in spring once more. I find inspiration and healing within nature and often look to these gentle giants as symbolic reminders of strength and reassurance. It’s all part of our seasons and living a balanced life.
We often want to soak in all our feelings of happiness, but it’s just as important to revel in and accept our sadness rather than trying to expedite or rush through the process. Just like the trees, we must be patient with ourselves, trust the process, and a renewed sense of self will bloom.
At Wambi, one of our core company values is gratitude. We encourage team members to make gratitude a part of their meeting structures, pausing to take a few minutes of reflection to share messages received on Carepostcard.com. Gratitude doesn’t always have to be steeped in positivity but can also mean grateful for the lows and the ability to discuss and feel supported in a safe environment. While there are certainly still boundaries within a professional setting, I’m grateful for Wambi’s leadership who recognize the dimensionality of humans and natural need to experience peaks and valleys. You can be well composed, have a loving family and friends, really enjoy your job and still not be okay. And that’s okay. You can simultaneously be both grateful and sad; these emotions can, and do, co-exist.
In my field of Human Resources, I understand the importance of companies incorporating mental health awareness through implementing and championing resources like EAP programs, “walking” meetings and infuse culture programming with potential coping mechanisms such as yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation.”
Thank you to Nursing World for providing free tools and apps to support nurse mental health.
If you are suffering mentally and physically, don’t be afraid to reach out for support. Talking with individuals who might understand what you are going through can help you process your feelings, reduce your stress, and alleviate burnout. Learn how you can join a support group or call a warmline with Nursing World’s Nurses’ Guide to Mental Health Support Services.
Be kind to yourself as you navigate this journey to being your best, healthiest self. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment and recovery will look different for every person. The important thing is to develop coping mechanisms, listen to what your mind and body need, and trust that you can recover from these turbulent times. It’s okay to not be okay.
MARSHFIELD, WI — Oct. 6, 2021. Wisconsin’s Marshfield Clinic Health System and Wambi, a leader in healthcare culture transformation, announce a strategic enterprise partnership to transform Marshfield Health’s organizational culture through Wambi’s real-time patient and staff recognition platform. This cultural transformation aims to improve staff retention, increase health system engagement and recognition appreciation scores, increase staff performance awareness, and increase a sense of belonging and connectedness between patients and staff.
Marshfield Health is Wambi’s first system-wide deployment in Wisconsin. Wambi’s recognition platform supports Marshfield Health’s initiatives by elevating moments of meaningful connection to foster a positive workplace culture where care providers are appreciated and valued, and patients and their families are empowered to shape their experience. “What we’re focusing on is engagement and what we can do within our work environments in order to give individuals that break to let them know that we do care, and that we are behind them. Wambi shines a light on the small but important moments every person in our healthcare ecosystem contributes to the overall patient experience,” says Paula Pritzl, Chief Human Resources Officer. “This focus made it clear to us that Wambi was the right partner to help us amplify the voices of patients, coworkers, and leaders.”
“The Marshfield Health team shows a true dedication to achieving a culture of engagement and gratitude, which ultimately creates meaningful and sustained change,” says Rebecca Metter, CEO of Wambi. “We are proud that Wambi will play a role in bringing this vision to life.”
Health systems across the country are facing unprecedented retention challenges, with staff turnover nearly doubling in the past three years. Wambi helps improve these statistics through gratitude and recognition of the extended caregiver team—both intra-departmentally and cross-functionally. Says Metter, “Wambi is built on the power of gratitude from patients, peers, and leaders alike. We are delighted to help Marshfield Health’s workforce realize their positive and lasting impact.”
Marshfield Clinic Health System is an integrated health system whose mission is to enrich lives through accessible, affordable compassionate health care. The Health System serves Wisconsin with more than 1,400 providers comprising 170 specialties, health plan, and research and education programs. Primary operations include Marshfield Clinic, nine Marshfield Medical Center hospitals, Marshfield Children’s Hospital, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, Security Health Plan and Marshfield Clinic Health System Foundation. Learn more at marshfieldclinic.org.
Wambi’s holistic real-time recognition and culture transformation solution improves the healthcare experience for patients and staff through the power of gratitude. Gamified engagement technology delivers real-time feedback from patients and team members that recognizes and motivates optimal care. With the proven ability to increase workforce engagement, reduce clinician burnout, and drive higher patient satisfaction, Wambi improves human connection for all. Learn more at wambi.org.
View the full release at PRWeb.com.
Reports touting the benefits of mindfulness are everywhere these days. Mindfulness is said to be a cure for pretty much everything that ails us: stress, anxiety, depression, pain, sleeplessness, poor memory, difficulty focusing, compassion fatigue, impaired immune function…the list goes on. And there is a corresponding proliferation of apps designed to support us through a healing mindfulness journey. This cacophony of offerings and purported benefits can be overwhelming, and induce a fair bit of skepticism as well.
Digging into the science of mindfulness, it turns out that some of these claims are very well supported. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program has over 40 years of accumulated evidence. Well-documented results include reduced emotional reactivity, improved ability to cope with stress, and increased ability to manage pain levels. Similarly, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy has been tied to reduced rumination and worry. Most encouraging to me is the evidence that certain mindfulness practices, like lovingkindness meditation, can increase compassion – both for self and others.
Over this past, very stressful 18 months, I’ve tried several different mindfulness techniques, and have found some to be incredibly challenging, and others to be very beneficial. I’ll share a few ideas below, with the caveat that everyone is different. Some of these might work very well for you, and others might not. Also, as with anything, you should speak with your doctor before beginning a mindfulness practice, as there is evidence of negative impacts for those suffering from certain mental health conditions.
Here are four types of mindfulness techniques to try:
S = Stop. When you feel yourself getting upset, agitated, anxious, etc., pause what you’re doing for a moment.
T = Take a few deep breaths. When we’re upset, our breathing gets shallow, and our blood pressure increases. Deep breathing can slow things down, creating a sense of calm.
O= Observe your experience, thoughts, and feelings. How are your emotions showing up in your body? What story are you telling yourself? As Mark Twain once said, “I’ve been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” Our minds make up all sorts of stories, and not all of them serve us.
P = Proceed with something that will support you in the moment. You might need a break or something to eat. Or maybe a hug or conversation with a friend would be most helpful. Once we understand our experience and get the support we need, we can move forward with grace.
Exploring these and other mindfulness techniques may help you find a quick solution, or it may be a longer journey that allows you to get to know yourself better. I’ll admit that at the beginning of the pandemic I was skeptical about mindfulness because of the press and hype. Fortunately, through both research and personal trial and error, I’m now convinced that there is a mindfulness practice for everyone, and the benefits truly are transforming.
As our Product Evangelist, Mel brings over 13 years of experience to support the growth and development of Wambi’s sales team as they seek to help healthcare organizations create cultures of appreciation and kindness. She is committed to helping both her team and Wambi’s clients achieve their business objectives while living Wambi’s values of compassion, imagination, gratitude, fearlessness, and joy. Mel’s sales experience spans healthcare, technology, legal, and academic content solutions. She has been a consistent top performer and is most proud of her work fostering innovation, evolution, and team cohesiveness in each role. Mel grew up in West Michigan, where she still lives and enjoys running through the beautiful, wooded dunes. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. When she’s not exercising or spending time with her family, you can find her indulging in her love of learning about anything and everything.
As healthcare staff retention continues to be a challenge, leaders are prioritizing engagement now more than ever. When thinking about engagement, our focus is not only on building relationships between people, but also, on connecting individuals with their purpose. A Japanese concept called Ikigai means “that which gives your life worth, meaning, or purpose.” For healthcare workers, engaging with their Ikigai and being connected to why they chose the healthcare industry is vital.
During Wambi’s Humans at Work in Healthcare panel discussion, leaders across the country shared how engagement is playing a critical role in their hospital systems. Paula Pritzl, Chief Human Resources Officer at Marshfield Health Clinic System shared, “Our [focus] is engagement and having our managers and our leaders engaged with our workforce. We want them to know that we care.”
A common theme amongst all panelists explored ways they are helping team members reconnect with their why, which rings true to Ikigai:
Each panelist shared the importance of connecting with their team members in a genuine and authentic way, which often requires leaders to show vulnerability. When speaking about being vulnerable, Zane Zumbahlen Chief Human Resources and Talent Officer at Cancer Treatment Centers of America shared, “If we’re not doing it as leaders, our team members certainly aren’t going to do it, or the leaders that we support won’t do it; so I take it upon myself to try to lean into that and [connect] more often because I’ve got to create the space and the aperture for others to really authentically feel.” Showing vulnerability provides opportunities to have honest and meaningful conversations.
With the stress and uncertainty team members in healthcare experience daily, it is important to acknowledge how they are feeling. According to Ophelia Byers, Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer at New York-Presbyterian, this starts by “Asking more questions and asking better questions.” Byers makes a point to have intentional conversations with her team members and encourages leaders to embrace the reality their staff are facing and respond thoughtfully. Be understanding that not everyone will want to share.
With so many responsibilities during work and outside of work, it is important to remind team members to be present with their patients and to focus on the now. “Take the beauty in what we do and make sure everyone resonates with what we do every day,” shares Zumbahlen.
Throughout the panel, the common theme of powerful moments reminded each of the healthcare leaders why they do what they do. Reflecting on the moments that make a difference in people’s lives and sharing those stories with others is powerful.
“An experience is a matter of creating emotion and feelings and each interaction we have with our care givers is an opportunity to create an experience,” shares Sebastien Girard, Chief People Officer at Centura Health.
These moments and experiences will not only make a difference in the lives of those receiving the care but also those providing it. “These are the things that matter: how do we open up our heart, how do we connect in a real way, how do we use those moments to fuel us and to fight and combat fatigue?” shared Zumbahlen.
At Wambi, we believe Moments Move Us. Our healthcare recognition platform provides opportunities to improve hospital culture and reduce nurse burnout by fostering a sense of belonging. We focus on moments of connection and provide team members and leaders opportunities to share appreciation and gratitude, which serves as a reminder as to why the work they do is vitally important.
The more emphasis the healthcare industry places on emotional health and well-being, the more you’ll see a thriving, inspired workplace with strong organizational performance and team effectiveness. Request a demo today to see how Wambi’s culture transformation solution supports your patient care and employee engagement strategy.