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Mentoring Miracles

This story is about Catherine Cassidy’s team game in the world (created in Landmark Education’s Team, Management and Leadership Program) to create partnership and ease among health care professionals in hospitals.

Many people remember Catherine Cassidy playing Dorothy in the skit of The Wizard of Oz that Team San Diego presented in front of 800 people in Chicago. Cassidy told me, “That was a really, really big breakthrough for me, being able to speak in front of large groups, and doing that has created that I am able to be with any conversation. Talking in front of groups has helped me with my communication and being a leader at work. I am now comfortable expressing positive things, being vulnerable and fully self- expressed, and being authentic all the time. I got that from TEAM and from being in the skit”.

Catherine is a Clinical Mentor at her place of work so her game in the world is called “Mentoring Miracles”, and her goal is a peaceful and satisfying experience in the hospital such that people are valued for who they are in the world. Catherine has been a nurse for twenty-two years and she knows there have been a lot of changes in healthcare, advances in technology, and nursing. However, the one thing that seems to be either consistent or getting worse, is that the doctors, nurses, and patients are all having a very busy and stressful experience.

Catherine is creating relatedness with the doctors, nurses, and pharmacists at her work by using all the distinctions of the communication curriculum and five aspects of accomplishment. From that, she is creating a space for people to say what it is they really want. For example, doctors want more time to spend with their families and do not want to be in the hospital for 20+ hours a day. The pharmacists are concerned with legal aspects and safety but they do not always get workability in getting medications to nurses. The nurses are very centered on getting quality and efficiency, but are so stressed out and rushing around that they are missing lunch breaks and not able to take care of themselves during a 12-hour shift.

Catherine has learned there are a lot of recurring conversations in each department, mostly centered around time. They do not have enough time and they do not have enough resources (i.e. people). Catherine explained, ”There are lots of little committees and I am working with them to get out of survive-and-fix mode and into the new model of communication where we are creating from nothing what a day would be like if they could have it how they want it. The nurses would like to be able to sit down and do their charting and not have to be rushed so they can have more time to spend with the patients. I then pass this on to the doctors and form a triad of conversation.” Because of this, Catherine has been acknowledged for being the nurse in her unit who “Most easily speaks with the doctors”.

Another goal of Catherine’s is to bring this game to other hospitals across the country. She has connected with nurses in Atlanta and Chicago thus far. The impact of Catherine’s game is on the quality and efficiency of hospital care. “If patients’ peacefulness and satisfaction are increased, this will affect the entire patient stay and they will report that to others.”

“I have been able to enroll people in my game, but I don’t have a lot of commitment to action at this point. Some people are saying, ‘This is a really good idea but I don’t really want to do anything’. They are participating by giving their ideas, but I would like them to commit to some form of action. I am forming triads that have the same values and possibility and getting them into dialogue with each other.”

Catherine concluded, ”Actually being in dialogue and really causing people to listen and take action rather than causing just a new piece of paper in the hospital is what I’m committed to. The benefit is people are enrolled, being moved and inspired by what is of interest to them.”

Written by Marrimar Covarrubias and edited by Micole Noble.

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