Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

Elective Surgery is Essential - August 2020 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

Issue link: http://magazine.outpatientsurgery.net/i/1275686

Contents of this Issue


Page 16 of 77

place where they won't worry about being identified, but don't expect to begin there. Start forums Thought exercises involv- ing staff members who work in specific departments or clinical spaces can spark bigger move- ments across larger organizations or facilities. The practice helps them self-discover and get to know each other on a deeper level, which provides insights on past perspectives and experiences that shape cur- rent beliefs and actions. Keep in mind that power differential is a real phenomenon and impedes open and honest discus- sions. It's a good idea to have staff members talk amongst themselves before meeting with facility leaders. Put them in smaller discussion groups and designate someone to record what was said and share the dialogue with the entire staff. There's a way to present the discussion's main points with decency. At the same time, the truth is important. Don't sugarcoat or doctor language and use direct quotes from staff members (even if the source does- n't want to be identified) to demonstrate the authen- ticity of the feedback. People love to talk about what goes on with oth- ers, not themselves. That's why I often pick a rele- vant external event or storyline — from the past or the headlines — for staff to learn about and discuss. Ask for their thoughts on how those involved han- dled the situation. Then ask if they think a related issue is a problem at your facility. Using an outside example that fits what's going on internally often gets the conversation started and the ideas flowing. Also consider partnering with a diversity consult- ant. Staff members might be more willing to share their true feelings with an impartial professional from outside your organization. Commit to the process Overcoming the inherent barriers to treating all people with fairness and equality demands hard work. Hoping for change is not a concrete strategy. You must fully support discussions about diversity and inclusion, and commit to receiving education and training on these important issues. Creating a more diverse workplace should become an agenda item. Treating it like other strategic priorities will help you achieve the results you need. If a more diverse workplace is a priority to you, give it time, money and people. Any important initiative needs those three things to thrive. Far-reaching impact Prejudice and bigotry are somehow worse when they occur in healthcare facilities, where patients expect to be respected and staff want to work in supportive and fair cultures. I often refer to a quote by American writer Frederick Buechner: "Humanity is like a spi- der web. If you touch it anywhere, you set the whole thing trembling. As we go through this world and act with kindness, indifference or hostility toward the people we meet, we set the great spider web atrem- ble." The lives you touch will touch other lives, who will in turn touch others. You don't know where the trembling stops or in what time or place your touch will be felt. Discussions about diversity and inclusion involve what it means to be part of humanity. The choices we make today could impact future genera- tions. Let's continue to discuss ways to make the best decisions moving forward. OSM Dr. Alexander (rumay@email.unc.edu) is a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Nursing in Chapel Hill, where she served as the associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion. 3 2 A U G U S T 2 0 2 0 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y . N E T • 1 7 Dialogue on Diversity On Nov. 20 during the closing keynote of Virtual OR Excellence, Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN, will discuss the importance of creating and sustaining brave spaces where individuals are affirmed in their full, authentic selves. For more information about the conference and to pre-register for the virtual experience, visit orexcellence.com.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers - Elective Surgery is Essential - August 2020 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine