These days, it feels the whole nation is watching the long-term care communities with an array of emotions: judgement, compassion, sympathy, and sometimes outrage. Living and working under this microscope can weigh heavily on the entire long-term care community. Stress levels begin to run high and relationships among care-partners can become strained. When the outside world makes us feel unworthy of honor and respect, we begin to pass that sentiment on to our teammates and our capacity to build strong relationships begins to diminish.
We must look within ourselves and:
- Believe we matter
- Know our value
- Understand our WHY
- Believe we can feel good about the work we do
- Handle these challenging situations with dignity
- Make authentic connections
We all possess important values that we bring to work every day.
What values do you bring to the community?
- Energy: enthusiastic, lighthearted, being present, eager to learn new ways
- Connection: respectful, listens, engaging, pursues relationships
- Kindness: nurturing, gentle, patient, compassionate
- Forgiveness: apologizes sincerely, realizes own flaws, gives 2nd chances, see’s others points of view
- Caring: able to bring comfort, values independence of others, focuses on others’ needs
- Flexibility: open-minded, willing to think a new way, remains calm in adverse situations, proactive
We must pull from these values to remind us of our strengths and be able to lean into the strengths’ of our co-workers.
Many of us struggle with our WHY, especially during challenging times. Practice creating your WHY statement by listing two of your strengths, naming who you serve and describing your impact. Here is an example:
My WHY statement script is: I will bring empathy and patience to the elders, families and my co-workers in order to support and hear them.
Practice it, believe it and understand how much you matter not only during this time of a pandemic, but every day.
About the Author
Leslie Pedtke, LNHA is the owner and creator of Dignity Quotient, a long-term care consulting company. She speaks nationally on topics related to transforming cultures, leadership and person-directed communities. With over 25 years of long-term care experience, Leslie is a a licensed nursing home administrator and owner of Trenton Village Assisted Living and Memory Care. She is the author of What Living As A Resident Can Teach Long-Term Care Staff (Health Professions Press).
Read the book!
In this book, learn about the innovative Through the Looking Glass program, that puts staff in the shoes of the resident. Staff experience first-hand the challenges residents face by simulating a diagnosis and living alongside residents. The lessons learned create more empathetic and compassionate caregivers, improve care practices, and enhance well-being for both staff and residents. Learn how to set up this program in your organization and how it will help you eliminate personal body alarms, decrease falls, reduce use of psychotropic medications, increase staff retention and satisfaction, and be a more proactive community.