This coming year, I am committing myself to what may be professional suicide. I will be revealing a lot of issues that actually make a nurse every bit as human as the rest of the world. A nurse is not just the angel that pins were designed for. A nurse actually makes mistakes, experiences times of incomplete empathy, and unknowingly engages in unsupportive relationships with each other. In a nutshell, my purpose is to agitate the nursing professionals to:
1) acknowledge the reality of a pervasive attitude of a lack of commitment to professional development;
2) a lack of engagement with practice; and
3) a lack of identification to explicit roles as a professional member of the healthcare team,
in order to jumpstart a significant change in these three areas.
I will preface that what I will be sharing does not directly reflect just my personal experience with my colleagues; actually I have been lucky enough to be practicing alongside some of the best in the profession. I will be sharing observations from years of experience in various areas of nursing (community health, critical care, education, and management), as well as discussions I have had with many insightful and thought-provoking nurse colleagues and patients throughout the years.
My fellow nurses, revealing our vulnerabilities as a culture should not be perceived as an admission of weakness; rather, it should be embraced as an opportunity to change healthcare from within the nursing profession. Also, the vulnerabilities that I will be throwing out for discussion are not secrets amongst us; we have been whispering about these “issues hidden under the rocks” to each other for many decades and we have just chosen to passive-aggressively sweep them under the rug because that has been the long-standing mindset in healthcare. Lastly, every team member (physicians, therapists, social workers, management, etc.) in healthcare have their own vulnerabilities; I just want us to acknowledge ours so that we can move forward together to elevate the status of our profession and be recognized not just for our self-sacrificing hearts but also our ingenious problem-solving minds.
Does anyone have any ideas to share about how to get more people in an organization to feel comfortable and not scared to voice out their opinions and desire for change?
Do you think that a culture change is possible?