In the medical model, there is a tendency to control things based on evidence, education, and experience. There is good reason for this. IN SOME AREAS! Treatments, pharmaceuticals, checklists and surgical equipment, protocols for interventions based on research makes sense. When we control things that make a difference in outcomes, we should, right? But is an intellectual approach to changing behavior the best way to go for challenges we face in communication, collaboration, or leadership? Promoting desired outcomes in the realm of interactive human behaviors requires experiential learning.
What do positive emergent behaviors look like in healthcare?
The social worker who reminds the unit coordinator that computer system is going to be down during the evening shift.
The nurse who tells her peers she does not want to talk about another nurse behind her back.
The nurse leader who negotiates budget allocations for delegation skill training for nursing staff and a part-time nurse assistant during the busiest times.
The surgeon who tells the OR team she expects each of them to watch for and report problems.
The housekeeper who shares her insight with the clinical team that a post-op patient’s fear of falling was the reason she was afraid to walk with the physical therapist.
The nurse assistant who went in and held a patient’s hand in the middle of the night when she sensed the patient was anxious.
These behaviors emerge in the context of relationships and arise out of emotional intelligence, communication skills, and collaborative practices. They are key for safe care, optimal patient experience, rewarding careers, and cost-effective delivery of care.
How do we promote emergent behaviors that lead to safe care, positive workplaces and rewarding careers?
Leadership has both the power and responsibility, (with ownership from all stakeholders), to set the stage so that that emergent behavior is healthy, respectful, and safe. Staff need structure that includes resources, protocols, training, clear expectations, and when necessary disciplinary action. This is the more intellectual part. It is also crucial to provide ongoing behavioral processes that include role-modeling, coaching, giving and receiving feedback, celebrating successes, and forgiveness. This is the experiential part.
One very effective and fun way to teach and practice “soft skills” that help with communication, collaboration, and leadership is Medical Improv.
Like basketball practice, Medical Improv activities elevate each player’s ability to communicate, collaborate, and lead. So when the game starts, individuals and teams are performing at their best. Unpredictable and fluid, the human interactive aspects of healthcare interventions can emerge in the moment with a dynamic that has already been established.
Are you curious to learn more about this dynamic and fun way to develop key skills for your staff, self, or organization? Join our team of experts who all want to share their enthusiasm and ideas for making healthcare, safer, kinder, and more rewarding to work in. “Medical Improv: Exploring Learning Experiences for Promoting Safe Care, Patient Experience, & Rewarding Careers” is a 100 min Youtube sponsored by The Infusion Group™, with Judy White, SPHR, GPHR and co-facilitated by Integrative Health Specialist, Stephanie Frederick, M.Ed, RN. I believe this promises to be one of the most ‘out-of-the-box’ and hopeful messages for the future of healthcare you’ve seen yet!