No Matter Our Role, We Can All Be Caregivers

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Recently I led a workshop for the admitting, billing, and collections managers, and staff at Loma Linda University Medical Center.  The focus of the program was centered on improving collections and enhancing customer service.  Just before we ended the workshop, George, an admitting manager, shared that what he took from the program was the idea that “no matter what particular role you have, we could all be caregivers, to patients and to one another.”

So that got me thinking, “what if we all thought of ourselves as caregivers? What would that mean and how would that impact the way we interact with patients or co-workers? And finally, what support would I need in order to ‘be a caregiver in the face of all the demands and challenges I have at work and in my life?’

Normally, we think of the doctors and nurses as the primary caregivers in healthcare. Some of us may even remember a time when roles in healthcare seemed much defined; doctors, in white lab coats with stethoscopes around the neck, compassionate nurses adorned with hats, ever ready to assist with care, whatever the need.

Of course, so much has changed in the world of healthcare since this time. There are so many new roles required to manage patient care and the ‘business of healthcare; administration and management, billing and collections departments, technical support, privacy officers, and so on.

“It seems the more complex the management of healthcare has become the more we feel disconnected with the  point of it – to be well!”

After having worked with so many healthcare providers and support staff over the years I am well aware of the tremendous pressure there is to handle overwhelming patient loads and the stress that comes as a result. Of course, the feeling of overwhelm and exhaustion along without the necessary support would make any of us sick over time. So, if we are not well ourselves, how can we imbue healthy, positive healthy energy to our patients and co-workers?

Redefining Our Roles and The need for ‘self-care’

It seems clear then that in order to fulfill the promise of healthcare – health and well being for all of us- we must think of ourselves as having a significant part in the process. No matter what our role, we must first make sure that we are practicing ‘self care’ in order to truly  be a caregiver, to promote the positive energy, compassion, and vitality needed for  deep healing.

Collectively however, we (Americans) are not healthy. More than one-third of us (over 72 million people) are obese or overweight.  We suffer from, depression, attention deficit disorder, and autism in large numbers.  We feel overworked, over tired and over stressed. We are, in fact, very sick.  We need to heal and we need support.

What support do you need?

In the face of all the challenges we have at work, in the  complex world of healthcare, we can each begin or continue the practices needed for being well, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As we are able to model this level of self care, we will naturally inspire others to do the same. After all, our patients and co-workers are counting on it!

What about you? Are you ready to commit yourself to being well in every aspect of your life?  If so, take a look at some areas to get started:

  • Take care of your body! What about some form of regular exercise? What about forming a walking group in the morning or after lunch, for example?
  • Eat whole foods, cut out excess sugar, processed foods, and fat. Your life depends on it.
  • Practice breathing! You can very easily slow your heart rate and reduce stress by taking long slow deep breaths. This feels very calming -try it now. Allow yourself to connect to a feeling of well being.
  • Commit to some form of mediation, yoga or simply some ‘alone time’.
  • Read; books and articles that inspire you, manage the negative energy that comes from the newspapers and television.  Write letters or cards to people you appreciate.
  • Connect with people; pick up the phone, put down the blackberry and have real, meaningful conversations.  Practice forgiveness and let go of hurts from the past.

For more information or support through personal coaching or consulting please contact Jerry directly: (866) 778.7886

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