Don’t Run: A DON Clinical Revolution Reflection

Recently in November, SHC hosted our first-ever Clinical Revolution, bringing in all of our DONs across the 10 states that we serve. They are beautiful, inclined to think of others with the passion of their hands and the truth of their skill-sets.

In long-term care, we serve the sickest and most vulnerable, and even abandoned in some cases. Our DONs face cruel sickness on a daily basis…angry family members, stakeholders who are broken, fighting it out on a daily basis, taking care of beloved residents while coping with personal issues that sometimes seem like a tumultuous mountain that grows out of the earth – and they can’t keep up.

Our DONs came with fatigue, and maybe even some hopelessness. Our CEO Joe and other greats leaders, like Kathy O., listened with compassion, dissected their survey results, discussed new tools and clinical offerings, that it was, and would be, worth the wait.

God spoke too.

‘I see you,’ He said. ‘I hear you. I know your pains, and your soulful thoughts that only I can hear.’

He said to trust Him, to let go of the past hurts, regrets, mistakes and to let go and be all that was capable within.

“Don’t run,’ He said. ‘I appointed you for such a time as this. You are called.’

Nursing, after all, is a vocation; service to a population who helped build cities and communities, teach and raise us, farm the soil and fight in distant lands.

What if…

What if the power of the spiritual could heal when nothing else could?

What if we could defy pain through compassionate listening and tender music?

What if we could pray over pressure sores and the power to “heal thy wound” is real?

What if we could prescribe the spiritual of scripture and sew it into torment, or the physicality of what hurts?

What if we could stop a fall or prevent a negative act from happening because we encourage a patient to simply use her walker, because she is beautiful doing it and she just needs a little help?

What if.

What if the power of the spiritual and clinical together could reduce hospital readmits because the patient is just scared? And the qualified team of nurses can handle their physical ails, it was just a frightening moment…

What if we could comfort an angry family member, not because they are really mad at the care we give, but simply because they feel helpless to hope their loved one gets better?

What if.

And together that morning, we started to renew, restore, believe. Because a revolution takes a vision and the belief wrapped around it in the possible. Because risk is only failure when there is no risk at all.

So we let go, and we didn’t run, realizing we didn’t have to. A mosaic of peoples, skills, cultures, traditions, beliefs, fitting into the puzzle of a perfect mission, an army linked arm-in-arm on the front line of the care battlefield. Each one a fortress. Each one serving a pivotal role. Each one skilled. Purposeful and fulfilled, not because every day was absolutely easy, but because each day was powerful in the journey of the destiny of a real revolution.

I say we run toward the revolution of the possible now, for we are the future of what the world can only imagine. We are the intervention of hope, the innovation of true change, of really healing, of pioneering our way and shoveling toward figuring it out together.

Maybe turnover is related to fear of failure and not distress of the position. Maybe turnover can be overtaken and combated by simply believing that a new future for our people is worth the fight of a good revolution, and because we have the right tools, weaponry, armor. A new world awakens.

Imagine we control the regulatory world around us. When an adverse event happens, we can begin the “four step process.” Now.

What if.

That’s the song of a revolution: controlling our world, not waiting for it to sword our gut with the skewer of the sting so that we can’t fight anymore because the fight has left us.

That is our calling. Together, we are the future of what is possible now.

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