What is Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura ?

Our six year old came in from playing on a warm summer’s day.  She seemed her normal, happy and carefree self, but when she jumped into my lap, I noticed dime sized bruises all over her legs, evenly spaced.  It looked odd to say the least, and she couldn’t say anything had happened, so we called the clinic to discuss with the on duty nurse.

“So, you have an active 6 year old with bruises on her legs; doesn’t seem like a big deal to me,” was her response.  After sharing with the nurse I didn’t think she quite understood, which she agreed – at least she couldn’t understand the worry in my voice – she asked we bring her in….

We found out she had Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HEN-awk SHURN-line PUR-pu-ruh) – a disorder that causes inflammation and bleeding in the small blood vessels in your skin, joints, intestines and kidneys.  While this is not ITP, it was our introduction to the words purpura, platelets and thrombocytopenia.

September is National ITP Awareness Month

Chronic ITP and platelet function disorders are perhaps the most common bleeding disorder. It affects both sexes and all ages and races. While we don’t know for sure, there are an estimated 120,000 persons with ITP in the United States. That’s more than 10 times the number of people with Hemophilia!

The purpose of ITP awareness month is to increase the public’s awareness and understanding of ITP and to let patients and families know that there are resources and support available to help them have the best possible outcomes. Patients and families are not alone.

What is ITP?

Platelets are relatively small, irregularly shaped components of our blood. They are required to support the integrity of our blood vessel walls and for blood to clot. Without enough platelets, a person is subject to spontaneous bleeding or bruising.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a disorder that can lead to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding. The bleeding results from unusually low levels of platelets — the cells that help blood clot.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, which is also called immune thrombocytopenia, affects children and adults. Children often develop ITP after a viral infection and usually recover fully without treatment. In adults, the disorder is often long term.

If you don’t have signs of bleeding and your platelet count isn’t too low, you may not need any treatment. In rare cases, the number of platelets may be so low that dangerous internal bleeding occurs. Treatment options are available.

Symptoms

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) may have no signs and symptoms. When they do occur, they may include:

  • Easy or excessive bruising (purpura)
  • Superficial bleeding into the skin that appears as a rash of pinpoint-sized reddish-purple spots (petechiae), usually on the lower legs
  • Bleeding from the gums or nose
  • Blood in urine or stools
  • Unusually heavy menstrual flow

Causes

In some people thrombocytopenia is caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking and destroying platelets. If the cause of this immune reaction is unknown, the condition is called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Idiopathic means “of unknown cause.”

In most children with ITP, the disorder follows a viral illness, such as the mumps or the flu. It may be that the infection triggers the immune system malfunction.

Increased breakdown of platelets

In people with ITP, antibodies produced by the immune system attach themselves to the platelets, marking the platelets for destruction. The spleen, which helps your body fight infection, recognizes the antibodies and removes the platelets from your system. The result of this case of mistaken identity is a lower number of circulating platelets than is normal.

A normal platelet count is generally between 150,000 and 450,000 platelets per microliter of circulating blood. People with ITP often have platelet counts below 20,000. Because platelets help the blood clot, as their number decreases, your risk of bleeding increases. The greatest risk is when your platelet count falls very low — below 10,000 platelets per microliter. At this point, internal bleeding may occur even without any injury.

Risk factors

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura can occur in anyone at almost any age, but these factors increase the risk:

  • Your sex. Women are two to three times more likely to develop ITP than men are.
  • Recent viral infection. Many children with ITP develop the disorder after a viral illness, such as mumps, measles or a respiratory infection.

Complications

Spontaneous bleeding can also occur in mucous membranes inside the mouth or in the gastrointestinal tract. ITP is often accompanied by fatigue and sometimes depression.

A rare complication of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura is bleeding into the brain, or disruptive bleeding into internal organs, which can be fatal.

Pregnancy

In pregnant women with ITP, the condition doesn’t usually affect the baby. But the baby’s platelet count should be tested soon after birth.

If you’re pregnant and your platelet count is very low, or you have bleeding, you have a greater risk of heavy bleeding during delivery. In such cases, you and your doctor may discuss treatment to maintain a stable platelet count, taking into account the effects on your baby.

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you or your child develop symptoms that worry you.

Bleeding that won’t stop is a medical emergency. Seek immediate help if you or your child experiences bleeding that can’t be controlled by the usual first-aid techniques, such as applying pressure to the area.

The best way to find a physician to talk to you about abnormal bleeding or bruising is to search online through the large data base at HealthLynked.  We are connecting physicians and patients in new ways so they can more closely collaborate on care and wellness.

Ready to get Lynked?  Go to HealthLynked.com to get started, today, for free!

 

 

How to Safely Handle Food and Why It Matters

September is National Food Safety Education Month. It provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the steps you can take to prevent food poisoning.

Every year, an estimated 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food. Some people are more susceptible to contracting a foodborne illness (also called food poisoning) or to become seriously ill.

Why Food Safety Matters

Food safety means knowing how to avoid the spread of bacteria when you’re buying, preparing, and storing food. Food that hasn’t been prepared safely may contain bacteria like E. coli. Unsafe food can also spread foodborne illnesses like salmonellosis and Campylobacter (pronounced: kam-pye-low-BAK-tur) infection.

The good news: you can keep on top of bacteria and foodborne illness by playing it safe when buying, preparing, and storing food.

Start at the Supermarket

You have your shopping list in one hand and a squeaky shopping cart with the bad wheel in the other. Now, where should you start and how do you know which foods are safe?  Follow these tips:

  • Make sure you put refrigerated foods in your cart last. For example, meat, fish, eggs, and milk should hit your cart after cereals, produce, and chips.
  • When buying packaged meat, poultry (chicken or turkey), or fish, check the expiration date on the label (the date may be printed on the front, side, or bottom, depending on the food). Don’t buy a food if it has expired or if it will expire before you plan to use it.
  • Don’t buy or use fish or meat that has a strong or strange odor or appears discolored. Follow your nose and eyes — even if the expiration date is OK, pass on any fresh food that has a strange smell or looks unusual.
  • We applaud you bringing in your own market bags.  Still, place meats in plastic bags so any juices do not leak onto other foods in your cart or in your car.
  • Separate any raw meat, fish, or poultry from vegetables, fruit, and other foods you’ll eat uncooked.
  • Check eggs before buying them. Make sure that none of the eggs are cracked and they are all clean. Eggs should be grade A or AA.

Cart surf by these bad-news foods:

  • fruit with broken skin (bacteria can enter through the skin and contaminate the fruit)
  • unpasteurized milk, ciders, or juices (they can contain harmful bacteria)
  • pre-stuffed fresh turkeys or chickens

In the Kitchen

After a trip to the market, the first things you should put away are those that belong in the refrigerator and freezer. Keep eggs in the original carton on a shelf in the fridge – most refrigerator doors don’t keep eggs cold enough.

Ready to cook but not sure how quickly things should be used, how long they should cook, or what should be washed? Here are some important guidelines:

  • Most raw meat, poultry, or fish should be cooked or frozen within 2 days. Steaks, chops, and roasts can stay in the refrigerator 3-5 days.
  • Unopened packages of hot dogs and deli meats can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Opened packages of hot dogs should be eaten within 1 week and deli meats within 3-5 days.
  • Thaw frozen meat, poultry, and fish in the refrigerator or microwave, never at room temperature.
  • For best results, use a food thermometer when cooking meat and poultry.
  • Cook thawed meat, poultry, and fish immediately; don’t let it hang around for hours.
  • Never wash raw chicken. Washing raw meat and poultry can spread germs around the kitchen. Germs are killed during cooking when chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). So washing doesn’t help.
  • Cook roasts, steaks, chops, and other solid cuts of meat (beef, veal, pork, and lamb) until the juices run clear or until the meat has an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C). After the meat finishes cooking, let it rest for 3 minutes at room temperature before eating it.
  • Cook ground beef, veal, pork, or lamb until it’s no longer pink or until it has an internal temperature of at least 160°F (71°C). Cook ground chicken or turkey to 165°F (74°C).
  • Cook chicken and other turkey until it’s no longer pink or has an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C). Check chicken and turkey in several places — breast meat and leg meat — to be sure it’s cooked.
  • Cook fish until it is opaque and flaky when separated with a fork or until it has an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
  • Scrub all fruits and veggies with plain water to remove any pesticides, dirt, or bacterial contamination.
  • Remove the outer leaves of leafy greens, such as spinach or lettuce.
  • Don’t let eggs stay at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Make sure you cook eggs thoroughly so yokes or whites are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny.

Clean Up

Even though the kitchen might look clean, your hands, the countertops, and the utensils you use could still contain lots of bacteria that you can’t even see. To prevent the spread of bacteria while you’re preparing food:

  • Always wash your hands with warm water and soap before preparing any food.
  • Wash your hands after handling raw meat, poultry, fish, or egg products.
  • Keep raw meats and their juices away from other foods in the refrigerator and on countertops.
  • Never put cooked food on a dish that was holding raw meat, poultry, or fish.
  • If you use knives and other utensils on raw meat, poultry, or fish, you need to wash them before using them to cut or handle something else.
  • If you touch raw meat, poultry, or fish, wash your hands. Don’t wipe them on a dish towel — this can contaminate the towel with bacteria, which may be spread to someone else’s hands.
  • Use one cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and fish, and another board for everything else.
  • When you’re done preparing food, wipe down the countertops with hot soapy water or a commercial or homemade cleaning solution. Consider using paper towels to clean surfaces. Don’t forget to wash the dishes, utensils, and cutting board in hot, soapy water.
  • Wash cutting boards — which can become a breeding ground for bacteria if they aren’t cleaned carefully — separately from other dishes and utensils in hot, soapy water. Cutting boards can be sanitized with a homemade cleaning solution (1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water). After washing and disinfecting the cutting board, rinse it thoroughly with plain water and pat with paper towels or leave it to air dry.
  • Wash dirty dish towels in hot water.

Storing Leftovers Safely

Your dinner was a success and you’re lucky to have some to enjoy later. Here are some tips on handling leftovers:

  • Put leftovers in the fridge as soon as possible, within 2 hours. If you leave leftovers out for too long at room temperature, bacteria can quickly multiply, turning your delightful dish into a food poisoning disaster.
  • Store leftovers in containers with lids that can be snapped tightly shut. Bowls are OK for storing leftovers, but be sure to cover them tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep the food from drying out, and avoid storing the food deeper than two inches.
  • Eat any leftovers within 3 to 4 days or freeze them. Don’t freeze any dishes that contain uncooked fruit or veggies, hard-cooked eggs, or mayonnaise.
  • If you’re freezing leftovers, freeze them in one- or two-portion servings, so they’ll be easy to take out of the freezer, pop in the microwave, and eat.
  • Store leftovers in plastic containers, plastic bags, or aluminum foil. Don’t fill bowls all the way to the top; when food is frozen, it expands. Leave a little extra space — about ½ inch (about 13 millimeters) should do it.
  • For best quality, eat frozen leftovers within 2 months.

Do I have Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is illness caused by eating contaminated food. Infectious organisms — including bacteria, viruses and parasites — or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning.

Infectious organisms or their toxins can contaminate food at any point of processing or production. Contamination can also occur at home if food is incorrectly handled or cooked.

Food poisoning symptoms, which can start within hours of eating contaminated food, often include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Most often, food poisoning is mild and resolves without treatment. But some people need to go to the hospital.

Anyone can get sick from eating spoiled food. Some people are more likely to get sick from food illnesses.

  • Pregnant women
  • Older Adults
  • People with certain health conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and kidney disease

Some foods are riskier for these people. Talk to your doctor or other health provider about which foods are safe for you to eat.

Symptoms

Food poisoning symptoms vary with the source of contamination. Most types of food poisoning cause one or more of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Fever

Signs and symptoms may start within hours after eating the contaminated food, or they may begin days or even weeks later. Sickness caused by food poisoning generally lasts from a few hours to several days.

When to see a doctor

If you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, seek medical attention.

  • Frequent episodes of vomiting and inability to keep liquids down
  • Bloody vomit or stools
  • Diarrhea for more than three days
  • Extreme pain or severe abdominal cramping
  • An oral temperature higher than 100.4 F (38 C)
  • Signs or symptoms of dehydration — excessive thirst, dry mouth, little or no urination, severe weakness, dizziness, or lightheadedness
  • Neurological symptoms such as blurry vision, muscle weakness and tingling in the arms

4 Basic Food Safety Tips for Review

Clean

Always wash your food, hands, counters and cooking tools. 

  • Wash hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Do this before and after touching food.
  • Wash your cutting boards, dishes, forks, spoons, knives and counter tops with hot soapy water. Do this after working with each food item.
  • Scrub fruits and veggies in fresh water.
  • Clean the lids on canned goods before opening.

Separate (Keep Apart)

Keep raw foods to themselves. Germs can spread from one food to another.

  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs away from other foods.
  • Do this in your shopping cart, bags, and fridge.
  • Do not reuse marinades used on raw foods unless you bring them to a boil first.
  • Use a special cutting board or plate for raw foods only.

Cook

Foods need to get hot and stay hot. Heat kills germs.

  • Cook to safe temperatures:
    • Beef, Pork, Lamb 145 °F
    • Fish 145 °F
    • Ground Beef, Pork, Lamb 160 °F
    • Turkey, Chicken, Duck 165 °F
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure that food is done. You can’t always tell by looking.

Chill

Put food in the fridge right away. 

  • 2-Hour Rule: Put foods in the fridge or freezer within 2 hours after cooking or buying from the store. Do this within 1 hour if it is 90 degrees or hotter outside.
  • Never thaw food by simply taking it out of the fridge.
  • Thaw food:
    • In the fridge
    • Under cold water
    • In the microwave
  • Marinate foods in the fridge.

Think you have a food illness?

Call your doctor and get medical care right away if you think you have a food illness. Save the food package, can or carton. Then report the problem. Call USDA at 1-888-674-6854 if you think the illness was caused by meat, poultry or eggs. Call FDA at 1-866-300-4374 for all other foods.

Call your local health department if you think you got sick from food you ate in a restaurant or another food seller.

Feeling a little less than well?  Something you ate?  Find a physician in the first of its kind social ecosystem designed to connect medical providers with their patients to more closely collaborate on wellness.

Ready to get Lynked?  Go to HealthLynked.com to sign up for Free and begin safely taking charge of your health today!

 

Adapted from:

kidshealth.org

cdc.gov

foodsafetyfocus.com

 

 

13 [HealthCare] Leadership Lessons from the Lady with the Lamp

“What nursing has to do is put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon them,” said Florence Nightingale.  The mother of modern nursing was born May 12, 1820 in Florence, Italy, and passed on this day, August 13, 1910 in London England.   As the founder of the science, her philosophy of managing the patient changed the face of nursing forever.

Today, the 108th anniversary of her death, marks a wonderful time to reflect upon the life and work of the woman who more than anyone else can also be properly credited with building the framework for modern healthcare leadership. In her groundbreaking work in Crimea, the “Lady with the Lamp” crafted guidelines for hospital administration and the use of statistics which still serve as the basis for clinical leadership today.

In a very real sense, her innovative approaches make Nightingale the architect of the modern hospital. With the exception of high-tech medicine evolution over the past half century, virtually every department in today’s hospitals and every clinician office can trace the roots of their standards back to those first introduced by Florence Nightingale.

History

In 1853, the Crimean War broke out….The British Empire was at war with the Russian Empire for control of the Ottoman Empire.  During this time of open conflict, no fewer than 18,000 soldiers were admitted into military hospitals across the war zone.  The English were in an uproar about the neglect of their soldiers, who not only lacked sufficient medical attention due to under-staffing, the conditions in these hospitals were appalling, inhumane and unsanitary.

In late 1854, Florence Nightingale was a highly regarded superintendent living in London when she received an urgent letter from the Secretary of War, Sidney Herbert.  He requested she organize a corps of skilled nurses to tend their sick in Crimea.

Nightingale rose to the call, assembling a team of 34 nurses.  Though they we’re made aware of the horrid conditions, not one was truly prepared for the reality of what they faced upon arriving in Scutari – the base hospital in Constantinople.

The hospital was built on a large cesspool which contaminated the water and the hospital itself.   Patients were lying in their own feces on stretchers strewn throughout the hallways.  Rodents and bugs scurried over them.  More soldiers were dying from controllable infectious disease, like typhoid and cholera, than from their injuries.

The no nonsense Nightingale quickly set to work.  She and her team procured scrub brushes and cleaned every surface within Scutari.  She then spent every waking moment caring for the sick, and, at night, moved through the halls carrying a lantern ministering to patient after patient.  The soldiers who were inspired, comforted and healed by her compassion took to calling her the “lady with the lamp”.  To others, she became me known as “The Angel of Crimea”.

Her work reduced the hospital’s deaths by two-thirds.  In addition to vast improvements in cleanliness, Nightingale also created many patient programs that significantly contributed to a healthy, healing environment – both physically and psychologically – using the application of statistics.

13 Leadership Lessons from the Lady with the Lamp

Follow Your North Star

Born into wealth, Florence could easily have settled into a life of Victorian ease at her family’s country mansion; instead, she chose a path of arduous commitment to caring for others. Nightingale found something more than just a job to do – she was on a mission.  She did not inquire about pay and benefits before leading her team of young nurses off to the Crimea, where they endured working conditions that would be beyond intolerable in today’s world.

Her devotion to her calling changed the work of healthcare forever while ensuring she never experienced burnout.  Her legacy reminds us caring for the sick is more than just a business – it’s a mission, and that being a caregiver is more than just a job – it should be a calling. The first duty of healthcare leadership is inspiring this commitment, beginning with our own examples.

Many of the problems in today’s healthcare system stem from the fact too many clinics and hospitals focus more on their business plans rather than on their missions, and far too many healthcare professionals have jobs rather than a calling. Nightingale might encourage a re-commitment to the things that really matter – those passions that hopefully attracted our idealistic younger selves into healthcare in the first place.  Create a compelling mission for your team, and lead others with that mission front of mind at all times.

PERSIST RELENTLESSLY

Nightingale was courageous and unstoppable. She did not allow opposition from the British aristocracy or the antiquated views of military leaders to prevent her from doing her work. When she ran into a wall, she found a way around or over, even to the extent of going directly to the English public for funding support and to the Queen for political backing.

With a never ceasing, never ending single minded focus to Exceed Expectations, it is always important to remain resolute and thrive, even when facing challenges or obstacles.  If the mission is compelling enough and routinely rallied around, you Will ensure your ongoing efforts lead to ultimate success.

Build a Culture of Discipline

Less well-known than Nightingale’s contributions to hospital and nursing practice was her pioneering work in the field of medical statistics. Her painstaking efforts to chart infection and death rates among soldiers at Scutari gave weight to her demands for improved sanitary conditions first at military hospitals, and later in civilian institutions. She demonstrated that if you want to be effective, it’s not enough to know that you’re right – you must be able to demonstrate that you’re right with the facts.

Be Truly Present

Long before Daniel Goleman coined the phrase “social radar” in his book Emotional Intelligence, Nightingale appreciated that awareness and empathy are central to quality patient care (and to effective leadership). In Notes on Nursing, she wrote: “The most important practical lesson that can be given to nurses is to teach them what to observe – how to observe… If you cannot get the habit of observation one way or another you had better give up being a nurse, for it is not your calling, however kind and anxious you may be.”

In today’s fast-paced healthcare environment, it’s important that caregivers  and healthcare leaders stop for a moment for a quick mental reminder to really be in the moment with patients and team members, and not mentally off onto the next chore.   It is critical leaders apply the “social radar” principle when interacting with everyone.

Set the Stage

Nightingale’s environmental theory was “the act of utilizing the environment of the patient to assist in recovery”.  This involves the nurse’s initiative to configure the environmental settings appropriate for the gradual restoration of a patient’s health and acknowledges external factors associated with the patient’s surroundings affect life and biological and physiologic processes and development.

Just as important is creating a work environment for your staff that encourages peak performance.  Without doubt, the greatest influence in life is our environment – it affects our moods, our ability to perform, our effectiveness, our health, our peace of mind, our sense of wellbeing, and our beliefs.  Our environment impacts everything.

It is critical leaders create an environment where the teams they guide are challenged, supported and more energized than ever before.  Build a workplace that reinforces the mindset of peak performance, which empowers the team to drive the results you want, and routinely encourages everyone to take the necessary steps to create remarkable success.  Take the initiative to set the stage and configure physical and psychological environments that unleash greatness.

Maintain Mutual Respect

Nightingale cared passionately about the nurses under her wing and the soldiers under her care. As one example, she was adamant, in her hospital, triage would be performed on the basis of the patient’s medical condition and not his rank in the military, social standing, or religion – a precept that was quite radical in Victorian England. Many of the specific techniques in her ground-breaking work Notes on Nursing are now outdated, but her absolute commitment to patient dignity and a spirit of mutual respect in the workplace remains essential.

Choose your Attitude

Nightingale would have agreed with the statement, “Attitude is everything”. She had an intuitive understanding that emotions are contagious, and would never have tolerated the gossip, complaining, and other forms of toxic emotional negativity prevalent in many work environments today. Toxic negativity is the emotional and spiritual equivalent of cigarette smoke, and, in its own way, just as harmful.

To promote a more positive and productive workplace culture, we must raise our attitudinal expectations and lower our tolerance for deviation from those expectations. Even in the horrendous circumstances that prevailed at Scutari, Nightingale insisted people be treated with dignity.  One thing is certain: she would never have tolerated, much less condoned, the gossip and the complaining hallways and in the “Coffee-Clutch” today. In one of the many letters she delivered to newly graduated nurses from the Nightingale School of Nursing, Florence wrote:

“Prying into one another’s concerns, acting behind another’s back, backbiting, misrepresentation, bad temper, bad thoughts, murmuring, complaining. Do we ever think of how we bear the responsibility for all the harm that we cause in this way?”

Guide with Encouragement

In her quiet and dignified manner, Nightingale was a cheerleader devoted to encouraging qualified young women to enter her profession – even though the work was hard and the pay was low. One suspects she would have had harsh words for doctors and nurses of our era who are telling the next generation to stay out of healthcare because they themselves are working too hard, not making enough money, and not having enough fun.

Aspire to Improve Passionately

Nightingale never rested on her laurels; instead, she continuously raised the bar. After proving a more professional approach to nursing care would improve clinical outcomes, she helped found the first visiting nurses association, chartered the first modern school of professional nursing, created a blueprint for the modern hospital, and used her writings to create professional standards for hospital management.

She remained active until the end of her life at the age of 90. Her commitment to never-ending improvement shines like a lamp across more than a century, inspiring us to work our way through the challenges of today and never lose sight of the better world we need to create for tomorrow.

Create and Model Loyalty

 Nightingale was a team-builder who cared passionately about the nurses under her wing and the soldiers under her care. She was a demanding leader, but also showed uncompromising commitment to the people she led.

Upon her return to England from Scutari she personally endeavored to make sure that every nurse who had served with her there would find employment upon their return home. Her legendary loyalty to the soldiers she served was reflected in the fact that when she was buried, her coffin was escorted by octogenarian veterans of the Crimean War honoring their debt to the lady with the lamp.

Introduce Humor

 

Nightingale’s contemporaries reported she had a wonderful sense of humor and was often able to defuse tense situations with the light touch of laughter.   She might reflect, if she could laugh in the hell-on-earth environment of the Scutari Barrack Hospital, then no matter what the world throws at us, we can’t forget the restorative and healing power of laughter.

Maintain Open Collaboration

 We are constantly hearing about the “healthcare crisis”, and we are likely to be hearing those two words in sound bites for decades to come.  What would Nightingale tell us about dealing with this perennial drain on our wellbeing?  Sara Rutledge, a nurse who’s a character in Joe Tye’s book The Florence Prescription: From Accountability to Ownership, put it this way: “We need to see opportunities where others see barriers. We need to be cheerleaders when others are moaning doom-and-gloom. We need to face problems with contrarian toughness because it’s in how we solve those problems that we differentiate ourselves from everyone else.”

Difficulty is the common thread woven into every great achievement.  To encourage innovation and accountability, foster open collaboration and even embrace contrarian opinions.  We will always achieve far more working together.  When we are fully transparent with one another, facilitate a culture of trust and mutual respect and make room for and learn from opposing ideas, we will grow.  Together, we must support the mission and growth of the team at all times.

Display and Encourage Initiative

 Nightingale attributed her success to the fact she “never gave or took any excuse.” When told there was no money to repair a burned-out wing of the Scutari Barrack Hospital that was scheduled to receive hundreds of new casualties, she hired a Turkish work crew and before anyone could stop her, had the wing refurbished. The acid test of an “empowering” workplace is whether people – regardless of job title – can take the initiative to do the right thing for patients and coworkers without seeking permission or worrying about recrimination.

A concluding thought

Equip, enable, empower and encourage your people.  They will take care of the patients and customers, and that will take care of the results.  In this way, we can create a better healthcare world, confidently confront the challenges we face with courage and determination, and ensure we are making wellness a priority for all.

And here is another cool way to make wellness a priority.  Go to HealthLynked.com and signup for free, today!  There, you will be able to connect and collaborate more closely on the efficient exchange of health information.

 

 

 

Adapted from the following works:

100 Day Challenge, by Gary Ryan Blair

10 Leadership Lessons from Florence Nightingale, by Joe Tyre