We have the ability to make change.

Tonight I spoke to a group of graduate nursing students at Northeastern University about how to look at daily problems as opportunities to form impactful solutions.

Too often we just accept that ‘this is just the way that it is’ and keep battling the challenges that really don’t make sense when you have a moment to stop and think about them.

So what do you do? Well let’s think about the linen cart.

Tonight I asked the group how many had experienced a situation where there was never enough linen on the cart to change the bed or bathe the patient or get a new onesie or johnny for the patient. The vast majority raised their hands.

So why is it that we all experience this but yet it remains an issue? I think part of it is that we aren’t speaking up to ask why and help to solve the problem. I think we also haven’t necessarily been trained to recognize these issues as solvable problems. Instead, we view them as individual workarounds. Yet, it wastes valuable time that could be spent caring for the patient instead of running after linen on another unit. There is no reason why this needs to continue.

The same is true with many different workarounds that nurses, health care professionals, patients and families face each day in the health care delivery process. Tonight I encouraged the group to think about what bothers them or affects their ability to provide the best care and see how it could be solved.

If we don’t start to take on some of these issues within our profession, we will continue to workaround them. We have the ability to make change, we simply need to begin and/or continue to take action.



Post originally appeared on LinkedIn on November 7th, 2017