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On April 13th, 2020, I received notice from our medical director that many of us would immediately begin working from home. The clinic was following Government orders which kept only essential workers on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. That week was a whirlwind as many of us were carrying out computers, monitors, desk chairs, phones, notebooks and piles of forms and paperwork. Within a few days, many of my coworkers and I were all set up and were officially remote workers. Initially, I was overwhelmed with the logistics of trying to do my job from home. Not only because I also had to figure out how to be productive while also juggling two young ...
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Sink or Swim?

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While the world has seemingly halted due to COVID-19, our lives continue along the path that we have each chosen to walk. We are all living virtually and that is taking some getting used to (AND I HAVE BEEN A WORK FROM HOME PROFESSIONAL FOR OVER 10 YEARS!). Each day I get asked how am I going to “pivot” our business to a virtual platform. To be honest I am at a loss as to how to take what do into the virtual world and still have the same impact. Maybe that is because I am a relational person. I am good in a board room, at a table, standing at a podium and living behind a screen day in and day out is tougher than I thought. When I read about people ...
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The Cost of Caring

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The Cost of Caring I have been a nurse for 36 years and I’ve never seen anything like Covid-19. My colleagues in healthcare are working more hours, with little to no rest, and often not going home to their family to decrease the spread of the virus. This tireless work will take its toll over time. Figley (1982) described this “cost of caring" for others in emotional and physical pain - Compassion Fatigue. Compassion Fatigue is a combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual depletion associated with the trauma-related work we do where people or animals are in significant emotional pain and/or physical distress Professionals especially vulnerable ...
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It was 1:13am in the morning, when I was jolted awake by a bright blinking vision in my head - a neon sign rhythmically flashing ‘The Year of the Nurse’ . Over and over again, it seemed the universe was beckoning me to explore and discover its meaning . Sitting up, I began contemplating this notion of the year of the nurse. I was, of course, familiar with the 2020 campaign honoring the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale on the 200 th anniversary of her birthdate. Yet, I had a sense that the depth of this significance was somehow connected to the impact the Covid-19 outbreak was having within the world, and the vital role nurses were playing ...
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Communication has always been an issue in almost every facet of our daily lives, especially in the hospital setting...and today with the internet and social media, there are even more forms of communication. I remember when I first became a nursing director for our Level IV NICU back in 1989. There was no internet, emails, etc. In order to schedule a meeting, I either had to pick up the phone and call the other person or persons and see if they were available at the desired time...or my secretary had to do it. This could take a whole day depending on how many people were needed at the meeting. Now, you simply proxy schedules... and in a matter of minutes, ...
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What day is it? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, as I’ve been working from home since St Patrick’s day. I started a new job in January, with the Patient and Family Engagement (PFE) Team from Children’s Mercy Kansas City and it’s been a whirlwind adventure. In January, the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, prompting a massive parade route that ran immediately adjacent to the hospital. In February, The Joint Commission survey team arrived for their four-day visit. And March, well… we all know that story. Children’s Mercy Kansas City is beyond lucky to have Jodi Coombs as part of our executive leadership team, who has been tasked with ...
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