Nurses Are the Superheroes of Health Care Guest Post by Suneel Dhand, MD


Being a nurse is one of the most important jobs in any society. It is also one of the most respected. Public opinion polls consistently rank nurses as the most trusted profession — usually ranking well above physicians. And it’s for good reason. Patients in hospital may forget who their doctor is, but they will rarely forget their nurse. The doctor may be in and out of the room in ten minutes or so, but the nurse is the one who will be right there by their patient’s side throughout their recovery.

Nurses work tirelessly for their patients and are their biggest advocates. They run around all day in and out of patient rooms, multitask to an unbelievable agree, constantly talk to patients and relatives, administer all the medications on time, and invariably pick up on any problems that the doctor hasn’t. Every doctor will have a story to tell about how a nurse has saved their patient, even if they don’t acknowledge it as much as they should.

Unfortunately, however, the sad reality is that for such a heroic profession, nursing seems to constantly be facing more than its fair share of administrative battles. It’s a very sad situation if hospital administration is ever perceived to not value their nurses. It’s also unacceptable for doctors to ever disrespect nurses, which frequently happens on a daily basis up and down the country.

Nurses are the foot soldiers of all patient care. Before the foundations of modern nursing were laid by Florence Nightingale in the 19th century, nursing care was often provided by people who practiced organized religious activities, including nurses and monks — which is a profound thing to reflect on (the fact that nursing was equated with religion and good work). That changed after Nightingale’s pioneering work helped established nursing as a more organized profession. The expansion of modern medicine over the last several decades has also allowed nurses to increasingly diversify and specialize. Today there are an estimated 3 million nurses in the United States and 500,000 in the United Kingdom, representing about 1 in every 100 people in each country.

The challenges faced by today’s nurses are surprisingly similar across the Western

world. Here are 3 of the biggest:

1. Workload. It goes without saying that in no other profession does the workload need to be controlled and restricted more than with nurses and their patients (much more so than with doctors). Nurses cannot be expected to be competently taking care of excessive numbers of patients. These safe patient care ratios need to be agreed between nurse unions and administrators, and then strictly implemented.

2. Job duties. Nurses must be supported by the other professions around them and not be expected to do anything beyond the scope of their job. Examples include restraining, transporting, and even walking or feeding patients when there’s lots of other clinical work that needs to be done. Care assistants, transporters, sitters, physical therapists and hospital security—they must be present in adequate numbers to do what they need to do and free up nurses.

3. Pay. How much nurses should be compensated has been an issue for a long time, and is frequently debated in the media when nurse unions may threaten to strike. It’s a terrific shame that nurses should ever feel the need to strike, but at the same time they should be valued appropriately for the difficult job they do. Paying an hourly rate which is lower than other jobs which require only a high school education, or offering pay rises of only a few cents an hour — when nurses have debt to pay off and a family to support — is not an acceptable situation.

With the ever-changing health care landscape, the job of nurses is set to continue to evolve and expand. We need to attract the best and brightest students into the profession while keeping compassion at its core. The above three issues are widespread, and while there is no magic pill, there should be constant recognition of the vital work that nurses do. The medical world needs to support our nurses and treat them as what they are: the absolute heroes of frontline health care.

Suneel Dhand is an internal medicine physician and author of Thomas Jefferson: Lessons from a Secret Buddha and High Percentage Wellness Steps: Natural, Proven, Everyday Steps to Improve Your Health & Well-being.  He blogs at his self-titled site, Suneel Dhand.


The Delicate Balance: Flow with Life


feather and stone balance

Inspired by the ancient book of wisdom; The Tao Te Ching: Verse Two

When the world knows beauty as beauty, ugliness arises.  When it knows good as good, evil arises. Thus being and non-being produce each other. Difficult and easy bring about each other. Long and short reveal each other, high and low support each other. Music and voice harmonize each other, front and back follow each other

Therefore the sages: Manage the work of detached actions. Conduct the teaching of no words they work with myriad things but do not control. They create but do not possess, they act but do not presume. They succeed but do not dwell on success .It is because they do not dwell on success that it never goes away

Lao Tzu


Through the words contained in verse two, Lao Tzu instructs that in our efforts to explain what cannot be explained, the human experience can be a journey along a continuum of emotions. He shares that we feel joy because we have experienced sadness.

The completeness that comes with knowing that you belong to someone can only be truly embraced when you have known the void of being alone. Our belief systems define our experiences as good or bad, bitter or sweet, beautiful or ugly and so on. It is in this struggle to get a handle on something; to find an explanation for why things are the way they are that is the basis for dissatisfaction with one’s life.

However, Lao Tzu goes on to write that there is an alternative to the dualistic battle that we create for ourselves. The option lies in the insight that the Universe is ever changing and that our assignment is not to rage against the tide of change but to flow with it. In reality, all is as it should be even if it is not obvious or easily understood. Caregivers can find accepting this a challenge. We set up a dualistic continuum of our very own, fixed versus broken. After all, isn’t it our job to fix things? Fixing things, turning negatives into positives is what we do best, right? Here is where we can get ourselves into trouble if we are not continuously in touch with our true motivation for caring and how being a caregiver can serve us.

It can really feel good to be needed by someone and to be able to meet that someone’s needs. It feeds our compassionate nature. It can give us a sense of purpose and competency. The caring can very subtly start to become about us. When things work out, that is, the desired outcome is the outcome achieved; we can delude ourselves into thinking that we have control or at least a strong influence over those results. It can be a bit addicting so we begin to give more, care more. Before we realize it, caring becomes a socially acceptable substitute for doing one’s own work, walking one’s path and addressing all our personal life lessons along the way.

Some of the dangers signs we tend to ignore include the inability to put our needs such as pursuing our own interests first. We deny the need for help when a lifeline is offered. We can find it challenging, even irritating to seek or accept assistance from any resource for a respite citing any number of plausible reasons. We tend to allow our compassionate nature or work ethic to be used against us. Finding ourselves in the role of the go-to-person on a constant base is not always a complement. The added stress can deplete us of valuable energy and lead to resentment.

The common denominator for all of these behaviors is our tendency to make judgments and the need for control. It seems almost cruel to assign such labels to a person’s commitment to service. However, it is necessary to shed some light on this dark side of a one’s good nature. Caring too much enables us to write and tell our story in the context of another’s rather than let the meaning of our own life, scary as it may be, unfold. When we think we’ve been successful in fixing something, that feeling fills in some of the places in our personality where we are wanting and vulnerable.

Caring too much has a paradoxical effect on our life. You would think it would build relationships but in reality, it ultimately causes us to become increasing isolated from others. Our propensity for judging begins to alienate us from friends and colleagues. The increasing need for control causes individuals to push back and the frustration that this drives can become the foundation of mistrust and anger.

So where does the answer lie? It should be no surprise to discover that in all struggles with duality, the answer lies in the middle. The middle way gives us perspective and feedback. This is a great start to creating balance. The challenge is to blend compassion for others into your life and not allow that wonderful capacity to dominate and impede your ability to live your life fully.

Develop a personal spiritual practice that offers you quiet time. Not just free time to fill up with doing other things; but real quiet time that allows you to strengthen your ability to slowly access your intuitive knowledge and higher-self. The support and guidance you can gain will begin to transmute your need to cling to the duality of your emotions into an ability to peacefully coexist in the world without the need for judgment or conflict.

Your ego will slowly let go of the need for the allusion of having control and relax into the reality that all is well and all are safe. The answer truly is in the silence. Taking the time to put your own oxygen on first lets you come to know and embrace this truth. Moving away from the habit of defining your life in dualistic terms lets you step closer to understanding that developing a trilistic relationship between yourself, your life lessons, and that god-like nature inside each one of us provides us with the inner fortitude and skills to walk our own path, feel compassion for another and flow with life












9 Authentic Leadership Lessons Guest Post by Bill George

Bill George is worth listening to if you have an interest in building a trust culture, and growing your market cap. He should know. During his tenure as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of medical device firm Medtronic, (NYSE MDT) market cap increased from $1 billion to $60 billion. PBS named Bill George as one of the top 25 CEO’s over the past 25 years.

Mr. George is a bestselling author of two books, ‘Authentic Leadership‘ and ‘True North‘, is a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School, and writes about authentic leadership at hisblog. He developed a leadership template that all leaders can follow, which is simply to be yourself, be authentic, and find your True North, that one thing you have been gifted to do to make a change in the world. In this interview conducted by Wharton management professor Michael Useem, Mr. George outlines timeless and proven practices which helped him to succeed in leadership during his own career.

These tips and truths about being authentic in leadership can serve you well as you develop lasting relationships and build value in your organization. I’ve distilled this interview down to nine key points which provides a holistic template for outstanding authentic leadership.

1. Clean out the unethical behavior This needs to be done swiftly, and so that others will notice. Everyone needs to understand that unethical behavior cannot be tolerated. Period. This of course needs to be modeled by you as a leader, and in turn you need to hold those in your company accountable to this basic standard of leadership.

2. Remove the Perks If you are going to make a difference, you need to be serious and do some things that will not only be different in some places, but also help to define who you are. Begin doing some of these things immediately and you will get some attention and positive responses. Stop the company parking spots reserved for executives. Give the best view office over to the lunch or breakroom. Set up your desk in the factory, or close to it. This is not about you, it is about the organization, and treating all stakeholders with respect.

3. Preach the Mission and Vision. Live the Core Values Travel to all operations and preach the mission and vision. Be collaborative when establishing your core values, but once you have them, don’t ever deviate from them. Stay focused on the mission, and drive hard for the vision. Give awards, celebrate victories.

4. Be Authentic Authenticity is a reflection of how truthful and real we are in our relationships with others, and in understanding ourselves. Being authentic means you will be honest, vulnerable, real, and maybe a little intimate when sharing who you are as a person, or how you would like others to be when in relationship with you. At a deep level, most people want to be in authentic relationships. Without authenticity, relationships will be slow to develop, if at all. And without authentic relationships, trust does not grow. Without trust, leaders will not have influence, and without influence, they will not build value throughout their organizations. A recent postdescribes a leader that did not build trust, did not have much influence, and as a result destroyed a great deal of market cap. If you don’t feel you are being the authentic you, and don’t have a North Star yet. How can you develop that authenticity? Don’t lose sight on what you are called to do. Be yourself, and don’t try to imitate others. Say what is on your mind, with truth and grace operating at the same time. Respect the human element. You need to come in as who you are. Be the real person you were made to be. Follow your true north. Don’t ‘emulate other great leaders. Jack Welch was unique, as is Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jeff Immelt, and every other leader out there. Get away from the great man (or great woman) theory of leadership. Just be yourself.

5. Identify and Leverage your Crucibles Crucibles are those events or seasons in one’s life that are challenging. We all have them, or soon will. First you need to accept yourself. Know yourself, have self awareness. Have compassion for your difficult times, but learn from them. Have Crucibles. Have difficult times. This is the marrow of life. It’s what is necessary before you can gain a high level of wisdom and leadership ability. Once you accept who you are, it is very freeing. You can’t be a leader until you deal with all of your issues, confront them, and deal with them. Helping other people walk through that process in a mentoring relationship is exciting.

6. Find your True North What are you here to do? How can each of us make a difference in the world? You will get pulled off this, but your compass will guide you back. Review your own life story, spend time in meditation. What is the greatest crucible in your life, what are your beliefs? Once those are firmly set in your mind, you can contemplate the purpose of your leadership. Ask yourself…What are the things I am most motivated by? Your intrinsic motivations. Not money, fame, power. You can identify and be aware of your weaknesses in this process, but please don’t spend a lifetime working on your weaknesses. Focus on what are your strengths.

7. Use your boards Draw out those who are quiet. Those are board members that don’t say much but know a lot. Engage them. How does a CEO relate to the board? How does the Non-executive Chairman get the most out of their members. What is the strategic guidance? You just need to have the dialogue and get it right. Use the quiet ones on the board, get everyone engaged. You can’t do this with the whole management team in the room.

8. Learn to follow your passion What would you tell young people? What are your passions, what excites you? How do you want to make a difference in the world? What will you or have you done to make a difference? You need to be true to what you believe. Follow your own passions. Did you use your greatest gifts that your creator gave you to solve problems, and make a difference in the world?

9. Have a mentor who can teach you, and have a student who can learn from you Mr. George believes in seeking mentors who can help you think through the difficult choices you make as a leader. One of his own mentors was Warren Bennis, who shaped his thinking and behavior as a leader. He also believes your wisdom should be shared with others. He now teaches at Harvard Business School, sharing wisdom gained from his years as a successful leader.


How to Live with Integrity with 4 Simple Habit Guest Post by Carthage

Successful people live with integrity. They say what they do and they do what they say. They are trusted by those whom they interact with and they build healthy relationships with consummate ease. These relationships then help them to achieve bigger and better things.

When you live with integrity, you influence, inspire and motivate others; not just with your words but with your actions too. Others see the positive example that you are and attempt to emulate you. When you choose to live with integrity you will experience a number of benefits, including:

  • You become more valuable both as a person and as an achiever. People see your importance and the value you add.
  • You get better opportunities. You become seen as somebody who gets things done. People are more willing to trust you and want to include you in the bigger projects.
  • As the respect and value you command increases, you are better able to pick and choose the projects you wish to work on.
  • The positive relationships which you build, lead to more people being willing to work with you. This allows you to get more done.
  • You get bigger and better rewards both in terms of personal fulfilment and pay and remuneration.

How to live with integrity

The following are 4 of the most critical steps to help you live with integrity. If you turn these 4 steps into daily habits you soon begin to see some of the benefits which I have listed above.

1. Make better choices

You make thousands of decisions every day, some big but many small ones. The bigger decisions often get your full attention, allowing you to make a higher quality of decision. Do the small decisions get your full attention too? Usually not, but when you regularly make the wrong decision, it starts to add up to some big problems.

To ensure that you make better decisions on a daily basis, you need to have aclear vision for your life; a clear sense of purpose, and effective goals which will help you to realise your vision and fulfil your purpose. Life is not a set and forget process; you need to consistently remind yourself of your values, purpose and goals. When you do this, they are at the forefront of your mind, allowing you to make smarter decisions which are consistent with the person that you are and the life which you are trying to create.

 2. Develop positive habits

Many of the bad decisions you make on a daily basis will be down to force of habit. Over the years, you will have done things in a certain way until they have become second nature to you. When the situation arises, you don’t think about it, you just resort to habit. Maybe you are always late for appointments, or you consistently work late. In some cases your bad habits might not appear to be a problem for you, but they are usually a problem for others. If you want to live with integrity, you need to replace the bad habits with positive habits.

To develop positive habits, you first need to identify your bad habits. Take a few moments to list all of the bad habits of which you are aware. I would also suggest asking some trusted friends, or family, to help you identify any bad habits whcih you may have missed. Once you feel you have a completed list, go through each habit and write down the long term effects of sticking with this habit. Then, identify a positive habit which you are going to implement in its place and make a plan for how you are going to implement that new habit.

 3. Keep your agreements

Every day you make agreements, both with yourself and with others. At the time of making agreements, you will generally intend on keeping that agreement but in a busy life that often proves to be easier said than done. It may not seem like a big thing when you fail to keep an agreement but every time you break an agreement, you erode a little of the trust between you and the other person. To live with integrity, requires that you keep your word so that you can build trusting and healthy relationships.

Keeping your agreements requires an effective personal productivity system whereby you capture all of your commitments so that you can then process them and act on them. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when it comes to commitments is relying on your memory to keep track of your agreements. Instead of memory, you need a reliable system to record your commitments and the actions you need to take. That way, you don’t need to remember every single commitment; you just need to remember to check your system on a regular basis.

 4. Raise others up

If you want to build a healthy relationship with another person, the best place to start is by finding some way in which you can help them. It could be something as simple as taking a few minutes to listen to their needs. It seems counterintuitive as you probably focus on what you need to get done. But, when you have helped somebody, they see that you have value to offer and you can be trusted. With one quick action you will have taken giant strides towards creating a healthy, new relationship.

To live with integrity is to live as your best self. Each relationship must be seen as bidirectional. By helping others, you help them to feel good about themselves, and you are also helping yourself by creating a healthy new relationship.

When you live with integrity, you live your best life. You respect yourself by living in a manner which is consistent with your values, purpose and goals. These factors guide each decision that you make, thus allowing you to achieve more. You know that you can never truly succeed on your own so you offer the same level of respect to others. You focus on building healthy, supportive relationships which are based on mutual trust and respect. There will be moments when it seems like living with integrity is the most difficult thing but in reality, when you practice the 4 steps, above, the easiest thing you can do is to live with integrity. You will have a great deal of clarity in your life, allowing you make clear, effective decisions and ensuring the important stuff gets done. When you live with integrity, the benefits and the possibilities are endless.


Welcome to Nursing Success TV: The Online Program Dedicated to Celebrating the Profession of Nursing


The online program dedicated to celebrating the profession of Nursing: Inform, Inspire, Engage

The Delicate Balance: Appreciating Each Moment

feather and stone balance

Inspired by the ancient book of wisdom; The Tao Te Ching: Verse Nine

Holding a cup and overfilling it
Cannot be as good as stopping short
Pounding a blade and sharpening it cannot be kept for long Gold and jade fill up the room, no one is able to protect them
Wealth and position bring arrogance and leave disasters upon oneself When achievement is completed, fame is attained
Withdraw oneself, this is the Tao of Heaven

Lao Tzu

This ninth verse of the Tao challenges us to explore why we tend to pursue excess. We chase contentment like a phantom in a dream. We never quite wrap our arms around it. We torture ourselves with relentless thoughts such as you can never be too rich or too thin. Where is the finish line? Why is it so hard to appreciate the here and now?

More is just that, more. More does not equate to happiness. In fact, Lao Tzu suggests that excess is often burdensome. He counsels that a cup is easier to hold if it not filled to the brim. He cautions that over attachment to possessions can doom you to a life lived in fear of losing them. He echoes the teaching of the bible that great pride comes before the fall. The enlightened soul understands that the greatest experience is in the moment we are living right now. Everything else is an illusion created by our egos.

This is not to suggest that we should never set goals or strive to be our best. It is a gentle reminder to appreciate each and every moment of your life as you journey. Being mindful changes your perspective from happiness as being contingent upon attaining possessions and status to happiness as always being in your life with the occasional bonus of very satisfying moments showing up along the way.

Caregivers tend to wait to be happy until something is fixed. If we were to slow down and settle upon the fact that things are always changing and nothing stays the same (fixed) for long; we might enjoy a good laugh at ourselves for our very human, compassion driven silliness. Find your contentment in the now. Even if the only sense of joy you can touch is your own ability to be open and available to another human being when they are most in need.

10 Ways to Embrace Changes In Your Personal and Professional Life Guest Post by Andrew Walton


For many individuals, accepting change in their personal and professional lives is oftentimes a difficult proposition. Yet change is inevitable; it is the only thing that is constant in our world. Whether it is in your personal life or your professional life, you can anticipate changes that you will have to adjust to.

However, accepting change is not a popular idea and we typically oppose or resist it. People are reluctant to step out of their comfort zones because they get attached to old habits and their lifestyles. This makes it difficult to achieve our goals.

Why are People so afraid of Change?

Even though you may want to control your own destiny, making changes in your life may be so intimidating that you will end up settling for less or doing nothing at all. There are 6 reasons why so many people are afraid of change including:

Agonizing over certain decisions because you feel isolated:
-Clinging to those perks, possessions, and statuses that you have acquired along the way
-Doubting yourself and feeling that you are not up to the challenge of making changes
-Fear of the unknown and being reluctant to take any chances
-Focusing too much on the external world around you instead of yourself
-Overlooking the fact that there are always options available

It’s important to remember that you never have to settle for what transpires when making changes in your personal and professional life. When you have enough confidence to act in the face of your fears about change, it gives you a sense of control. Ultimately, it will provide you with a purpose in life.

10 Benefits of Change

Conversely, the person who is willing to gamble and embrace change has a greater chance of achieving success in their personal and professional lives. Whether it is in your personal life or in your professional life, there are 10 benefits of change to be aware of:

1) Flexibility – frequent change enables us to adapt to new environments, new people, and new situations.

2) Improvements – without change, nothing improves by itself. Therefore, there would be no improvements in our finances, homes, and incomes without change.

3) Life values – when you are open to change, you see things in your life differently and have an easier time of re-evaluating your life. Sometimes, this enables you to reinforce your life values.

4) New beginnings – change is about closing one chapter in your life and opening another. New beginnings arise and life becomes more exciting.

5) Opportunities – when you adapt to change in the workplace or make changes in your personal life, you will find that different opportunities present themselves. In many cases, change provides you with choices that bring about fulfillment and happiness.

6) Personal growth – every time change occurs, you have an opportunity to grow and learn. You discover insights into your life and certain aspects of it.

7) Progress – certain aspects of our personal and professional lives develop and improve as change has a way of triggering progress.

8) Routine – without change, your life would be routine. It would be dull, predictable, and very uninteresting without it.

9) Snowball effect – when we attempt to make big, immediate changes we oftentimes give up because we feel like we just can’t do this. It is during times like this that making smaller changes can become very important. Making these smaller changes can result in the bigger, desired change or goal.

10) Strength – unfortunately, change sometimes leads us to unpleasant times in our lives. When you overcome these difficult periods, you grow stronger as a result.

Additional Benefits

In addition to the above, change accommodates personal and professional growth and helps us to address specific problems at home and at work while staying up to date on market trends and technological advancements. Although change may seem inconvenient at the time, it has a way of bringing about benefits in a company setting such as bringing attention to it. Some changes enable companies to attract higher caliber job candidates such as changing their pay and benefit structure.

10 Tips for dealing with Change

1) Be flexible – you improve your chances of succeeding by being flexible and adapting to change. Take a look at what is required of you in these new circumstances after changes have been implemented in your professional life.

2) Communication is imperative – this is especially true when you are facing change. Effective communication has a positive impact while the lack of it has negative consequences.

3) Continue with your work as usual – corporate reorganizations are never any fun. It’s easy to have a bad attitude when changes are implemented in the workplace since you don’t know if the work you are doing will continue being important.

4) Envision the big picture – realize that the goals of making change are usually beneficial. The sooner you see the big picture, the better off you will be.

5) Maintain your network of contacts – whether external or internal, your network of contacts can be invaluable. They can be a sounding board and share their experiences regarding change.

6) Perform self-assessments – when planning for the future, many companies will analyze the opportunities, strengths, threats, and weaknesses in order to determine what they need to improve on. Self-assessments also help individuals determine their strengths and weaknesses while showing you where you need to improve.

7) Realize that change is inevitable and is the only aspect of our lives that is constant – as we grow older, we experience change in our personal lives. Why should it be any different in our careers and professional lives?

8) Recognize the stages of change – these include shock, denial, guilt, anger, and moving on. In some way, the stages of change resemble the stages of grief over the death of a loved one.

9) Stay alert for subtle clues in your surroundings – try to listen in on the rumor mill at work. Are there meetings occurring that you are not invited to? Is your boss acting distant towards you? Realize that change is desirable but also recognize when it is happening in your surroundings.

10) Stay positive – keeping a positive attitude during change will enable you to handle the uncertainties that come with it.