Cardiovascular Professionals: Leading above and beyond

Correction from the original print publication: The following article is reprinted with permission from http://www.naham.org/files/public/How_to_Celebrate_and_Appreciate_Healthcare_Professionals.pdf This article was originally published by Jody Urquhart at the National Association of Healthcare Access Management. Motivational, inspirational keynote speaker Jody Urquhart, at http://www.idoinspire.com, has been a professional speaker for over 13 years. She speaks on humor and wellness. Jody wrote the book All Work & No SAY. How to Celebrate and Appreciate Cardiovascular Professionals Do you work with a group of dedicated, compassionate, overworked healthcare professionals? Do you want to appreciate them and recognize them for their hard work? Remember it’s great to celebrate people during a special time and the best celebration happens regularly. Is there a way you can celebrate people every day? Some of the programs/ideas below can be (and should be!) considered as a year-long celebration effort. Based on our interviews and research, below are some unique ways to celebrate cardiovascular healthcare professionals: Open the doors to the public. Get families and the public involved in care with a series of special events that raise the profile of the profession while enhancing your staff’s pride. The more unique the better. You could have staff serve banana splits and hire a band to play (there are a lot of local bands in most communities who would perform for very low cost for community events). Advertise the event(s) in local community papers (usually a free service). At the event, have professionals talk about their profession or do a performance or a skit. Have members of the community donate items for door prizes and drawings. Have trivia, a cake walk, magic show, root beer floats, hot air balloons, a puppet show for kids, a health fair, preventative screenings, and candlelight vigil, teach people to juggle. These ideas are just to get the thought process going. The more creative and fun, the memorable the experience for everyone! Ribbons Celebration. This is to encourage staff to appreciate all the cardiovascular service departments/ units. Each specialty within cardiovascular service unit is designated a color ribbon (i.e., invasive is red, echocardiography is green, radiology is blue, physicians are pink, etc.) and each department is given a certain number of ribbons to be distributed. The goal is to give the ribbon to another staff member in another department and appreciate them in a personalized and immediate way when they catch someone in the act of doing a good job. The person being recognized now wears the ribbon around. It acts as a visual indicator that people are appreciating and supporting each other and strengthens professional relationships between departments. I believe ALL recognitions are strengthened when they are linked to the good of the group and the organization’s overall mission, so any way you can incorporate this, the better. Another extension of the ribbon celebration is to have a supply of white ribbons. Because accomplishment is usually a group effort, the more people you can recognize the better. The purpose of the white ribbon is to recognize others who have helped in achieving a goal. Here is how it works: Let’s say a nurse receives a blue ribbon from a physician for a job well done. At the same time, the nurse is given three white ribbons to give to colleagues who have helped make that achievement possible. When recognition encourages a chain of recognition, the effect is strengthened. You are creating a culture of appreciation. Create a Fun Committee. This is a fun, volunteer committee whose job is to keep the spirit of fun alive in your facility. Working with a small budget, this committee organizes spontaneous appreciation efforts for staff. They can create regular routine rituals like a song, routine or simple certificate. Have a Laughter Club. The latest in stress reduction. This is a place where you can go to laugh your stress away. People in laughter clubs learn a systematic method to reduce stress. The technique behind laughter clubs is derived from yoga and supported by modern science. It does not involve telling jokes but laughter together, often for no other reason than to laugh. There are more than 1,000 laughter clubs around the world. You can start a laughter club in your healthcare facility by completing training by the World Laughter Tour, Inc. and become a Certified Laugh Leader. For more information about Laughter Clubs, go to www.laughterclubs.com Play Games. An example of a great game is My Greatest Pet Peeve at Work Game. In small groups, have staff members talk about their greatest pet peeves at work what really irks them. The only rule is if you offer a peeve, you have to offer a suggestion to fix it. This is a wonderful activity because it gets people talking in a constructive way and releasing negative energy. You will also end up with some valuable ideas. Use them! Make sure there is some kind of follow up. Other examples: blindfolded wheelchair races, egg toss, mini-golf, bowling alley, potluck meal, bingo. Set up a hot dog stand, give out donuts or other foods…cotton candy, apples (an apple a day keeps the doctor away!)…Things unique, surprising or different break the routine and incorporate a more fun, relaxed work environment. Just be silly. Most people need to lighten up. Now and again, try doing silly things for no reason other than to celebrate. Being a little bit silly challenges the terminally serious to lighten up. Memory Jar. With slips of colored paper, pen/pencil and a special jar, employees pay attention to anything warm, happy, fun, interesting or moving that happens to them during the week. Write it down on a slip of paper (just a few words to remind you of the memory). Fold up the slip of paper and drop it in the Memory Jar. No one can peek inside the jar until the official weekly opening. At the end of the week, everyone takes a turn pulling a memory out of the jar. The person who wrote the memory explains what it was. Each day we make memories. Celebrate the special moments in your facility. Of course, you can also order novelties, posters, buttons and other tokens for Cardiovascular Professionals Week recognition. Simply call 804-632-0078 or visit our website (www.acp-online.org) and download a packet and order form. Take the time to support cardiovascular professionals leading above and beyond! Peggy McElgunn can be contacted at peggymcelgunn@comcast.net