Take a Minute and Ask Yourself:
How Psychologically Safe Do You Feel in Your Job?
Comfortable enough to talk about things that matter to you in your job? Can you talk about:
- Your thoughts about being mindful about caring at a nurses’ staff meeting ?
- …… at an interdisciplinary staff meeting?
- … …at a routine leadership meeting with your team or peers?
- …… at a routine meeting with physician peers?
Comfortable enough to talk about mistakes you have made in your job? Can you talk about:
- Your mistakes and lessons learned at a nurses’ staff meeting ?
- … … at an interdisciplinary staff meeting?
- … … at a routine leadership meeting with your team or peers?
- … … at a routine meeting with physician peers?
Take a Minute and Acknowledge This:
Creating a Just Culture is one of the most fundamental imperatives nurse leaders are responsible for (ANA Code of Ethics).
There is an excellent article in August’s Nursing Management, on Psychological Safety and the healthcare team. Research shows that many nurses and others on the healthcare team do not feel psychologically safe or empowered to voice thoughts, questions or concerns. The result is dis-engagement among nurses and the rest of the team, and poorer patient care.
It made me realize once again, that reaching a level of a Just Culture takes nurse leader mind health and wellness.
Depending on your answers to the questions above or to other similar questions …
You now have a better sense of how safe and comfortable you feel in your current job.
It starts with you.
The nurse leader’s job is to balance the complexities of nursing care, medical practice, technology and business with our sense of humanity in everyday work settings.
Nurses need to see this balance in action in everyday work settings.
There were many “not feeling safe” red flags for me along the way. But I realize now that most were self-imposed self-protection (yes, redundant..but I want to make the point that this came from me). I was stuck in assumptions about what was acceptable or realistic to talk about – as an automatic response to what I experienced in my work culture.
This is when I started talking about what was important to me – nurses’ human responses in caring.
Creating psychological safety within a healthcare team takes mindfulness and self-awareness. There is no way around it!
Model openness and fallibility
Here are 3 steps (and a bonus step) the article suggests to model Self:
- Acknowledge your own mistakes, questions and concerns during team meetings
- Practice self-reflection techniques (such as journaling) to consider leadership skills that need improvement
- Talk about workplace culture comfort levels with staff, peers and others. Help others gain self-awareness about their thoughts and feelings about their psychological safety.
- Listen…. and hear yourself in their responses. Hmmm
image courtesy of amaury-salas @unsplash.com