The Miracle Zone

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published November 30th, 2009 

This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 1 -REMEMBER what you came here for. Reconnect with your desire to care. Remember what you want from your work: the feeling good that comes from truly caring for others.


The power to create miracles

Obstacles to our satisfaction give us the opportunity to stop and, instead of going with the automatic reaction, inject a thinking and feeling response to the situation. That heart-felt response is how we become the cause of our own satisfaction. When we rise above our reactive nature, we enter the miracle zone, where we can expect the unexpected. – Dr. Frank

“The Tao Te Ch’ing says, ‘When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.’”
Mary Manin Morrissey

 

The power to create miracles

We just entered one of the most magical times of the year. Many consider this the month of miracles. A miracle is an event or effect that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and is considered supernatural in origin. Wouldn’t it be great if we could see miracles of healing as a result of our care every day?

So what gets in our way? It’s us. Why? One of our challenges to feeling satisfaction on the job is our need for appreciation – from our managers, our patients, our patient’s families and even each other.

Why the desire for a pat on the back? Some days we are just plain needy. The problem is, it’s difficult to give when you are empty. Subconsciously, we allow our emptiness to cause us to act in ways that are unhealthy. If we were confident and self-assured, we would not have the need to be thanked or appreciated. We would not seek assurance from others.

Our unconscious need for the “Thank you,” for the “Wow,” for the “You’re so great,” causes our agenda to get in the way. If we are dependent on the approval to feel good, then we really have nothing to give. We show up as takers, wanting to take from our patients.

It is all right to like the “Thank you,” or to love the appreciation. But nothing in this world will ever give us fulfillment if we are dependent on it. If we can only be happy when we have a million dollars in the bank, then we are probably doomed to a life of sadness. If our happiness is dependent on another, we will never be satisfied by the relationship.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

So how can we get satisfaction? Let go of the kudos!

Obstacles to our satisfaction give us the opportunity to stop and, instead of going with the automatic reaction, inject a thinking and feeling response to the situation. That heart-felt response is how we become the cause of our own satisfaction. When we rise above our reactive nature, we enter the miracle zone, where we can expect the unexpected.

TAKE ACTION

Today, whenever you are feeling under-appreciated, under-paid, under-loved, or just plain needy, recognize it for what it is: an obstacle. Let go of your need for the kudos! Find a way to give care anyway. See if something miraculous happens!

Miracles and blessings,
Dr. Frank

 

A Better Tomorrow

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published November 18th, 2009 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 1 -REMEMBER what you came here for. Reconnect with your desire to care. Remember what you want from your work: the feeling good that comes from truly caring for others.


How can tomorrow be better?

There is no greater healing force in this world than a human who can truly feel (if even for a moment) the pain of another. Feeling the pain of someone else, and having the true desire to make it go away, can create miracles. – Dr. Frank

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”
-Kenji Miyazawa

The Emergency Department is a great place to work, mostly because of YOU, and the team that cares a lot!

There is one person who has been with me on the journey to develop Clear2Care. She has stood by me since the beginning—encouraging and supporting me. That person is my assistant, Cheryl Kolesar. She wholeheartedly supports Clear2Care’s singular mission: To remind the brave souls who work in chaotic emergency departments everywhere who they are and to reconnect them to their pure desire to help others when their help is needed most.

Cheryl is facing a personal crisis right now. She is currently battling a rare cancer. Although she has already undergone major surgery, this weekend she bravely cut her hair, went into the hospital, and had a power port installed. Cheryl is now receiving three days of intense chemotherapy to kill off any remaining cancer cells in her body. When that is through, she will undergo more cycles of toxic chemotherapy to rid her body of the malignant cells that threaten her life.

If there is one thing I know for certain, it is this: There is no greater healing force in this world than a human who can truly feel (if even for a moment) the pain of another. Feeling the pain of someone else, and having the true desire to make it go away, can create miracles.

As Cheryl faces a life threatening challenge this weekend, I can honestly say that I feel her pain as if it were my own. I faced the same feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, when I was diagnosed with cancer. I remember feeling totally abandoned and lost. I remember begging God for help, for healing, and for another chance at life.

Looking back at that critical point in my own life, I realize that my prayer was backwards. I wanted God to spare me from the cancer, to take it away from me, to change my reality so that I did not have to go through the surgeries, the chemo, and the long healing process. Today, I realize that my prayer would have been much more effective if I had asked God for the strength to proactively move through the process to the other side as a whole, healthy and happy individual.

No doubt, I am a changed man because of my journey through illness. The journey was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to endure. But looking back, I would not change a thing. I see there were blessings delivered through the curses. … Today, I am a better version of myself—a happier, more humble, more grateful version of the man I was.

While Cheryl may not be in the emergency room, her life is still in a state of emergency. I know she is in intense pain right now. There is only one thing that I can do, and that is pray that God will provide her with the strength to be full of hope. I can meditate for Cheryl to have the endurance to triumph and embrace whatever lesson this disease is here to show her. And I can envision the day when she will once again feel whole and alive.

I would like to ask: Can you feel her pain? Even though you don’t know her, can you care for her and for those that are going through a similar process? I would like to ask you to please make an effort to connect to her, and others like her, and send them your healing energy. Thank you.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

TAKE ACTION

Today, appreciate your life. See your blessings. Realize how lucky you are. Any one of us can have our lives threatened by an illness.

I would like to invite you to try something powerful. Stop and practice TRUECARE by putting the needs of another, someone you don’t even know, in front of your own. Take a moment, and in whatever way you experience your world view, please pray and/or meditate for Cheryl or someone like her.

Just wish the best for them. Ask your higher power to help them, to comfort them, to lead them through their personal despair and to give them the strength they will need to face the challenges that come their way. Envision them as a healthy individual so that they can face a future that is bright.

See how powerful your prayer can be when there is no personal agenda attached, when you want nothing in return. Just desire the best for another person. No doubt, many blessings will show up in your own life as well.

Thank you with all my heart,
Dr. Frank

 

Got Satisfaction?

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published October 12th, 2011 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 1 – REMEMBER what you came here for. Reconnect with your desire to care. Remember what you want from your work: the feeling good that comes from truly caring for others.


Got Satisfaction?

To create satisfaction for ourselves every day, we just have to stop for just a second and refocus and remember we have the power.  By consciously injecting our care, we transform ordinary days into extraordinary ones. - Dr. Frank

To create satisfaction for ourselves every day, we just have to stop for just a second and refocus and remember we have the power.  By consciously injecting our care, we transform ordinary days into extraordinary ones. – Dr. Frank

Over the years, I have asked you what you would need to feel satisfaction at work…  If I distill all your answers, it is clear to me that you simply want to feel your care makes a difference.
 
In order for us to feel satisfied at work, we must care.  If we spend our whole day robotically getting the patient’s history or just concerning ourselves with the diagnosis, the chart, the prescriptions, the IV’s, the meds, the crutches or the splint, we will never be able to draw satisfaction. The physical tasks we busy ourselves with do not contain care.  Care is not the diagnosis, the prescription, the admission or the discharge paperwork.
 
To give the care that makes a difference we have to put all of our distractions aside and show up fully present at our patient’s bedside.  We have to make a personal connection, let them know that we understand their situation and empathize with them.  We have to stay in that connection with them until they “get” that we feel how much their situation disturbs, affects, or frightens them.  We need to let them know that we want the best for them and that we will do everything in our power to make them feel better.  This is the kind of care that our patients need and that we need.
 
There is nothing more satisfying than dispensing the milk of human kindness, understanding, empathy and compassion.  We generate these intangibles with our hearts and our minds.  The result is a blend of emotional energy and positive thoughts that make all the difference for our patients.  With this energy, we step out of the ordinary world of physical matter and into the extraordinary quantum world where we can create personal satisfaction through our effort to care for another.
 
We do this conscious act of rising above the purely physical reality and stepping into the quantum world so that at the end of the day we will know that we cared, that we made a difference for both ourselves and another, and that what we do matters.  To create satisfaction for ourselves every day, we just have to stop for just a second and refocus and remember we have the power.  By consciously injecting our care, we transform ordinary days into extraordinary ones.
 

TAKE ACTION

Today and every day, whenever you are feeling frustrated or overburdened – stop, breathe and ask yourself: What do I really want?  What really matters to me?  I came to this profession, this hospital and to this particular patient’s bedside because I want to care.  Caring makes me feel good. 

When we remind ourselves of this, we can make the connection and generate the emotional and thoughtful energy that will help our patients feel our care.  This will certainly change everything.  We will finally have our satisfaction.  Go ahead, be someone’s hero today.  What could feel better than that?
 
All the best!
Dr. Frank

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

The Value of Care

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published September 7th, 2011 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 1 -REMEMBER what you came here for. Reconnect with your desire to care. Remember what you want from your work: the feeling good that comes from truly caring for others.


By injecting the intangibles (care, concern, connection) into the tangible, you add intangible value to whatever it is you are doing. Your success, fulfillment and enjoyment of life lies in adding value to all those you encounter along the way. – Dr. Frank

The value of care

How can you add value to your life?

Do you ever feel like you just exist instead of really living? Do you wonder where the value is in what you’re doing?  Do you ever consider why you spend 12 grueling hours in the hospital, working so hard, only to find yourself in the exact same place tomorrow

There is a difference between working at a job and being engaged in your career. It’s the same difference between having a house and living in a home. What makes a house a home? It is our love, care, concern and our connection to the people who live there. It’s not the physical stuff that makes us feel good inside – the giant flat-screen TV, the high-speed internet connection, the expensive furniture, or the car parked in your garage. It’s the intangibles of our relationship with others that make the difference. It’s smile that rises when you see your partner, the love you put into the food you cook for your guests and the care you inject into helping your child with his/her homework. These are the intangibles where we find all the real value life has to offer, like connection, purpose and pleasure.

Creating value at work

The same is true at the hospital. You can be successful at triaging a patient, but still feel unfulfilled and stressed. “All the rooms are full, have a seat in the lobby, and once we get the people who have come before you into the back, you will be next.” How can you add value to that process so you can feel good about what you’re doing? By injecting the intangible of care. We do this by paying attention, not only to the patient’s complaint, their vital signs or the form we are filling out, but to the patient in front of us.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

When we inject real concern and care into the process, we add value to our experience (and the experience of our patient) by connecting with the hurting human in front of us, empathizing with their situation, feeling their fears, and reassuring them. This is how we let them know that we want the best for them and that we will get them what they need in the most efficient and compassionate way possible. We can do all of this even when it’s busy and chaotic.

Injecting these intangibles into our interactions is what will makes us feel better. Doing so helps us to connect, create meaning and find purpose and greater significance with what we are already doing.

TAKE ACTION

Try it. You will feel a sense of accomplishment. You will feel energized and engaged. You will change y(our) world. You will create satisfaction on both sides of the stethoscope.

Life is what we make it. By injecting the intangibles (care, concern, connection) into the tangible, you add intangible value to whatever it is you are doing. Your success, fulfillment and enjoyment of life lies in adding value to all those you encounter along the way. 

Remember, the people you meet may not remember what you did or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

Best ever,

 

Regaining Control

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published August 18, 2011 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 1 -REMEMBER what you came here for. Reconnect with your desire to care. Remember what you want from your work: the feeling good that comes from truly caring for others.


Forgiveness is a powerful technology that can put us back in the driver’s seat. Forgiveness shifts us from being the effect back to being the cause. When we forgive, we are in control. – Dr. Frank

Regaining control

“Well, I’ve hung on to every bit of rubbish there is to hang on to in life and I’ve thrown all the good bits away. Now can you tell me why I do that?”
-Judy Garland in I Could Go On Singing

It’s mid-August and the dog days of summer are on us – those steamy hot afternoons when even the most loving of God’s creatures can snap. Irritation levels are at an all-time high. We seem to focus on what’s wrong with everyone and everything around us. And it’s no surprise that as the thermometer rises, so do the number of challenges in the Emergency Department.

Dealing with angry, disgruntled, demanding patients – not to mention those in pain or crisis – can cause us to feel like victims. They can leave us feeling frustrated, exhausted, or even abused. There is a reason why we feel this way.

When someone pushes my buttons and I become upset, that person becomes the cause of my dissatisfaction. I become the effect of their action. There is a shift in the balance of energy and, as a result, I feel powerless because I have given away my control. In this state, I am at their mercy.  If I continue this way, I will soon become overwhelmed and want to run whenever I see another person because, on an energetic level, I am worried that they will take even more of my energy and I will soon be left with nothing.

So how do I regain control in my life? The answer is quite simple. Forgiveness.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

Forgiveness is a powerful technology that can put us back in the driver’s seat. Forgiveness shifts us from being the effect back back to being the cause. When we forgive, we are in complete control.

When I choose to not take it personally and forgive their behavior, I am letting go of being a victim to it. This is how I become the cause of my well being because I am taking the action to control my reaction to the situation. The beauty of this tool is that it works both ways. Asking others – especially those who have wounded us – for forgiveness is the ultimate in taking back our power.

TAKE ACTION

This week, when you feel like your buttons are being pushed, stop, don’t react, don’t allow yourself to be the effect, reclaim your power by reaching into your tool belt and pulling out the sword of forgiveness. Be the cause of your own ultimate satisfaction by forgiving them, then caring for them.

All the best,
Dr. Frank

No Ordinary Human

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published July 27th, 2011 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 1 -REMEMBER what you came here for. Reconnect with your desire to care. Remember what you want from your work: the feeling good that comes from truly caring for others.


SOS CLASSIC (1)

When you engage your desire, it gives you great power. Today and every day, act on your desire to care. This is how we make all the difference in the world.

No ordinary human

I know your secret, you are finally exposed, outed!  You are no ordinary human.

It’s incredibly busy in the Emergency Department these days, and the dawg days of summer have yet to arrive. Our work place is already overrun with people who have succumbed to chaos, calamity or tragedy. Our patients and their families are in pain, distressed, demanding, angry and frightened. They feel entitled to immediate attention because their situation is the worst. “What’s taking so long? This is ridiculous! You call this a hospital? You call yourself a nurse?”

People are frustrated with us from the moment they walk in the door. Some scream at us, some throw up on us and others actually spit on us. When they don’t get what they want right away, they demand to talk to our supervisor. Others take notes and ask us to spell our name for them so they can contact administration. No matter how much we do, it never seems to be enough. Why?

Because our desire to care just isn’t enough.

When it’s busy and chaotic, it’s difficult to feel good about our work, especially when no one is satisfied with our effort to care. Many of us are asking ourselves, “Why are we here? Why do we choose to do this for a living? Why did I become a medic, a nurse, a physician’s assistant, a nurse practitioner or doctor?”

Simply asking this question can provide us almost instant relief because the answer is obvious, we came here to care and to make things better for others. We came here to save the day. We came here because we have a simple and pure desire to make a difference. When we remember why we came here, it becomes easier to see that all those people who are treating us poorly, whose behaviors are so toxic, are really in need of our care. These are the hurting humans we came here to care about. They each present us with an opportunity to get more from life.

I saw you

Yesterday, when I arrived at the hospital, I saw you. You were stepping outside the ordinary, and taking extraordinary steps to walk the extra mile for a patient who was not appreciative of your efforts. I could see how he felt entitled to have special treatment, and treated you with disrespect and disdain. Still, you were steadfast in your resolve to handle the situation, to make it better no matter what the cost.

Your patient and his family were deaf, and although none of them were badly injured, they were upset and frustrated. Their car was totaled in an accident on the interstate. They were visiting from out of town, on a trip to Disney World in Florida. They needed a rental car. They needed a hotel. They did not know where to go. It was after-hours on the weekend. They did not have a laptop or internet access. They did not know where their car was, or how to retrieve their luggage. They were too emotional to think clearly, and because they were deaf, they could not make the necessary calls to secure a rental car or a hotel. They could not call their insurance company. They had no friends or family to help them.

It was the end of your shift. You had already “clocked out.” But I saw you take the time to kindly sit with this patient, get the number for the insurance company, find the police station responsible for handling the accident, track down the tow company, and make the calls that would allow them to retrieve their luggage. I watched as you called more than one company to find them the best price on a rental car, and then a hotel that could accommodate them, that was close by and in a safe part of town. All the while, they were nervous, frustrated, demanding, unhappy, impatient, unsatisfied and ungrateful.

Finally, when you realized that there were too many of them to fit in your car, I watched you print a Google map, highlight the route with a marker, print the information from the impound yard, the hotel and the rental car agency, and put each of them in separate envelopes. Then I watched you drive the dad to the rental car lot, go to the counter to help him, wait until he had secured the car, and then have him follow you back to the hospital to retrieve his family. I saw the smile on your face when the dad asked you your name, just before you drove away from our ambulance bay.

Hardwired to care

No, you are not a social worker or a travel agent. None of this was part of your job. You are just an ordinary human, who has a degree; you call yourself a medic, a nurse or a doctor. Yet, when you were tired, hungry and anxious to head home to your family, you stepped out of the ordinary, and walked the extra mile, putting the needs of your patients above your own. Your care made a difference. It saved the day. While it could be a day or two before his arrival in Florida, having the vacation of a lifetime, this was no ordinary day for you or them.

It had nothing to do with your training, your ability to start an I.V. or give medicine. It had to do with only one thing, your pure, uncorrupted desire to care. You did not get paid for your efforts, you did not get a thank you, and there were no accolades. But one thing is for certain, when you finally did get home to your family, you felt great, you were satisfied. That dad, and his entire family, will always remember you and your name. Giving care is not just what you do. Giving care, connecting to others, empathizing with them, feeling the pain of others as your own, and then pouring on the compassion and doing whatever it takes to make things better is who you are. Activating your desire to care, taking responsibility for making the situation better, gives you heroic power. You are a hero.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

You and all heroes all have one thing in common: You are hard-wired to care. Giving care makes you feel good, and it makes those you care for feel good as well. You may look ordinary, but because you act on your desire to care, you become larger than ordinary people. You actualize your desire by taking responsibility for the situation and asking how can I make it better?

You inspire me to do better. That is why I love working with you, even though we choose to work in the incredibly challenging environment we call the Emergency Department. It is here where we find a way to care for the angry, the entitled and the ungrateful – no matter what!

TAKE ACTION

Inspire me! Next time you’re finding it difficult at work, remind yourself why you are here, then show me how Diana Prince transforms into Wonder Woman and Clark Kent becomes Superman! Save our day Peter Parker! Show me how your care gets you the very best life has to offer!

When we engage our desire, it gives us great power. Today and every day, act on your desire to care. This is how we make all the difference in the world.

Do your best always,

Dr. Frank

 

 

Get More Satisfaction

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Originally published July 21st, 2011 – This Shot of Satisfaction relates to Step 1 -REMEMBER what you came here for. Reconnect with your desire to care. Remember what you want from your work: the feeling good that comes from truly caring for others.


How can we move beyond our resentment of being blamed for a broken system, when we are already working so hard? The answer is simple but not easy: We will have to take 100% responsibility for our own satisfaction and find a way to deliver that satisfaction for our patients.

Can’t Get No, Satisfaction

As of July 1, 2011, the government will pay hospitals and health care providers based on our performance. This means Medicare and Medicaid payments will be based on hitting certain targets in our Core Measures and on our patient satisfaction surveys. As health care providers and institutions of health care, we are being asked to deliver more technical excellence and satisfaction to our patients.

Everyone wants to change for the better. The government is now forcing this change upon us. Yet these bureaucrats who are demanding change are not telling us how to deliver this satisfying care. For those of us who deliver care, it’s difficult not to feel resentful when the government demands, “Improve… or else!”

The situation reminds me of my dad demanding that I bring home a better report card, but not showing me how to make it happen. It felt bad when Dad said, “You’re not good enough.” It feels bad when the federal government says, “You are not caring enough.”

Taking responsibility for our satisfaction

So how can we move beyond our resentment of being blamed for a broken system, when we are already working so hard? The answer is simple but not easy: We will have to take 100% responsibility for our own satisfaction and find a way to deliver that satisfaction for our patients. There is no customer service guru or hospital administrator with a PhD in Economics who can help us. No one else is at the bedside of hurting humans when care is delivered. We are the only ones at the bedside, and we are the only ones who can hope to solve the problem.

We are all inherently resistant to change. But change is inevitable. Whether or not we want to accept it, things will only change when we change. So in order to succeed, we will need to transform ourselves into new people who think, speak and act differently. We will have to find a way to transform ourselves into even better people.

Whenever we want more from life and from our job, we have to leave our ordinary day, our ordinary ways and our ordinary thinking and step into the path of our own personal transformation. The first step on our journey starts with our desire for something better, our desire to feel good as a result of caring for others. We need to believe that there is a better way and that we can take that first step out of the ordinary and onto an extraordinary new path.

If we chose our careers to care for others and make a difference, then taking 100% responsibility for our own satisfaction in life and at work is the key our success. In order to succeed, the way we think will be more important than what we can see with our eyes, touch with our hands, prove to be true or what is logical or right. To get the “more” that we need, we will have to chase after it, invest in it, think about it, focus our sights directly on it and find a way to speak it and do it. 

It’s in our own best interest to change

To succeed in this new paradigm, we will need to focus directly on how we deliver our care. Care is not tangible. Care is the special ingredient in Mom’s chicken soup that gives it healing powers. Care is an energetic process that happens at the bedside when we connect with our patient, empathize with them, feel the pain they are experiencing as our own and activate our compassion for them.

This call to action from our federal government is our personal call to transform ourselves from health care workers who are primarily concerned with physical goods and services, to health care heroes who have their sights focused squarely on the one ingredient that we can’t touch: the intangible known as True Care. This is our opportunity.

The truth is that it is in our own best interest to refocus our care. It’s why we came here in the first place. It is in our best interest to let go of being right and start feeling right. It is in our best interest to clear our judgments or misconceptions of others and activate our tolerance and compassion. It is in our own best interest to reconnect with our pure, simple and uncorrupted desire to care, make a difference, change our world and save the day. It is in our best interest to choose to become the modern day heroes of health care, the ones our patients will remember as extraordinary, larger-than-life people who made a difference for them because of our care.

Get your copy of "Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care" at amazon.com

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

Adding and delivering True Care, along with the goods and services we already provide, will generate real and lasting satisfaction, quantum levels of satisfaction on both sides of the stethoscope.  Adding True Care into our daily experience of life and work is the missing ingredient that will give us the “more” from life that is demanded of us today.

TAKE ACTION

Heroes all have one thing in common. They are all regular people who reached their full potential. They were once ordinary, but through extreme pressure, they were transformed like coal into diamonds. Heroes must all go through a process to realize their special powers. Taking personal responsibility for change can and will transform your experience of this life in miraculous ways.

Today is the day that everything changes for us. Today is the day that something happens and if we choose to, we can begin the heroic work that will allow us to reach our full human potential. To achieve it, we all must begin doing the work of self-transformation that will allow us to be extraordinary people who deliver extraordinary care.

What could possibly be more satisfying than that?

Do Your Best Always,

In the Way of Happiness

SOS CLASSIC - In the way of happiness

Do what you do, with the knowledge that you, and only you, can create your satisfying day. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. Focus on your own actions. — SOS Classics are reprints of Shot’s of Satisfaction that Dr. Frank Gabrin shared as he wrote his works Back from Burnout, Care 101 and Booster Shots. Each shot contains a glimpse of Dr. Franks personal journey back from burnout.

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Step 1 – REMEMBER what you came here for. Reconnect with your desire to care. Remember what you want from your work: the feeling good that comes from truly caring for others.

 

Originally published May 25th, 2011

In the way of our happiness

Seriously, we all just wanna be happy, but it seems someone always gets in our way!

Have you ever been supremely irritated at work because one of your co-workers was dogging the workload, skating by, or even hiding? The other day, I worked with who I thought was the laziest excuse for a doctor I have come across in my entire career. The ER was extremely busy and, every time I looked up at the tracking board, I could see that I was caring for roughly 20 patients and he was caring for but two.

I felt victimized. I had to work 10 times harder for the same pay as this lazy guy. I thought he was arrogant, selfish and he took advantage of people, especially me. I had every right to be angry. I was full of righteous indignation.

The problem is never the problem

I resisted the urge to lash out at him or trash talk about him to the staff. But my boiling resentment was preventing me from having a fulfilling day at work. I was in a horrible quantum space. I had to do something. I was allowing my thoughts of him to create negative internal emotions.

I made it through the shift and I did my job satisfactorily, but my experience could have been so much better if I had been able to let go of my resentment. As I was leaving work that morning, I was full of venom, anger and bitterness. I caught a glimpse of the schedule – damn it! – I would have to work with him again the next day.

As I made my way home, I began to realize that the “awful” doctor was not the problem. In the quantum world of satisfaction, the problem is never the problem. The problem was my reaction to the situation. So what was inside me that prevented me from lifting myself out of my reactive thoughts? How could I escape the clutches of my own beast within?

I felt like I was justified in my righteous indignation of this doctor and his laziness. But what good was being right if it still made me miserable? I tried to let go and dig a little deeper. I realized that I expected more from that doctor and because he did not deliver more to me, I stood in judgment of him.

Recognizing the cause

The problem with that thinking is when we judge others, it is really a reflection of our own insecurity. Although it was extremely difficult to admit, if I judged him as bad, I could see myself as good. There are 2 obvious problems with this approach. First, when I make him the bad guy, I become a victim of his behavior – I become an effect. If I hope to be happy at work and in life, I must always be the cause.

Second, when I stand in judgment of another, I project my thoughts and opinions on them, even when I know nothing about them, what their understanding of life may be, what baggage they carry with them. I know that judging them just so that I can feel better about me never works. My judgment only creates a distance between me and others and dooms me to an unpleasant reality.

It was from this perspective that I asked myself, “Who is the worst doctor:  him or me?”  The answer was me! I know better, I have tools, I have perspective. But I’d stubbornly refused to use my tools or follow my own roadmap to happiness.

I thought to myself, “I am so sick of this!” I am so tired of playing this game with the beast within, hurting myself, blocking my own joy with these stupid attachments and baggage. I am so sick and tired of being the effect. I desperately want to be the cause, but as long as I play this game, I am doomed to be stuck in the mud.

Taking charge

That was all it took for me to step out of the game.  I wasn’t playing with my personal beast within any longer. Forget it. No more expectations from others. No more waiting for that doctor to change for me to feel good. I realized that he was just doing what he does. There is nothing wrong with him and nothing right with me. I cannot change my environment. I can never control someone else’s behavior. As long as my happiness depends on someone else, it will always elude me.

The only thing I have the power to change is me.

I believe that if we do not have what we want, we simply have not worked hard enough to create it. We came to health care because we have a simple corruptible desire to care for others and make them feel better. Because of this, if we want to feel happy and satisfied, we have no choice but to give our care. Caring is in our DNA. Care giving is what ignites our passion. Care giving is what makes us feel alive. Remembering this hard won lesson set me free.

Armed with my new quantum thoughts and emotions, I prepared myself to go back to work. I was free of my resentment, my judgment, my anger and my self-righteousness. I was prepared to go in there and do more, because I wanted to do more, because I know for me the only way I can have more is to work harder, to work smarter, and play a new game where I win each and every time.

Creating a new reality

I walked into the department with these new realizations, excited to create a new and satisfying experience for myself. To my surprise, that doctor, the “bad guy,” the one I’d stood in judgment of the night before, wasn’t there. Instead, there was a man who looked just like him, wearing his lab coat and name badge. It was him, but to me, he seemed totally transformed. He was seeing a lot of patients, he was reaching out to me, and it was clear that he was even trying to befriend me.

This shift was busier than the last one, but things just seemed to flow. Even the rest of the staff seemed more energetic. We experienced a day of flawless teamwork. The charge nurse who normally blames my ADD for the fact that there are so many patients in the department was working hard, expediting things, supporting her nurses and techs in a way I’d never seen before. The staff seemed genuinely happy to be working and – better yet – happy to be working with each other. The space between us was gone. We were one.

As the hours passed, I wondered, “Am I dreaming?” But I knew I wasn’t. This is our power as health care heroes. We all have the superhuman ability to change the world and save the day when we look within and take charge.

At the end of the shift, that “awful” doctor and I smiled at each other, shook hands, and left as friends. By closing the gap I’d felt between us and eliminating that negative space, everything transformed and we were able to create a unity that powered us to create miracles.

TAKE ACTION

Today look for where your judgments or expectations of others are affecting your happiness and let them go.

Do what you do, with the knowledge that you, and only you, can create your satisfying day. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. Focus on your own actions. Recognize that if you want more happiness, joy, fulfillment and satisfaction, its up to you to do more and be more. Then work to remove the negative gap that your judgements have created between you and others by taking responsibility for lifting those you work, live, and struggle with to higher ground.

This is how we can create a new reality where we are all Clear to Care!

All the best,

Signature

Frank D. Gabrin, D.O

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

 

 

Instant Happiness

SOS CLASSIC Creating Instant Happiness

When you give your energy away in the process of caring for another, you will feel better about everything. — SOS Classics are reprints of Shot’s of Satisfaction that Dr. Frank Gabrin shared as he wrote his works Back from Burnout, Care 101 and Booster Shots. Each shot contains a glimpse of Dr. Franks personal journey back from burnout. Find out more at clear2care.com.

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Step 1 – REMEMBER what you came here for. Reconnect with your desire to care. Remember what you want from your work: the feeling good that comes from truly caring for others.

Originally published March 16th, 2011 (edited)

What have I done for you lately?

Happiness, like satisfaction, is an internal state of being. We’ve never seen, heard, tasted, smelled or touched happiness, but we’ve surely experienced the feeling of it.

Einstein taught us that everything in this universe is either energy or matter. Matter is tangible and energy is intangible. Happiness is an intangible or energetic phenomenon. Therefore, looking to the tangible (a new car, a degree, a bigger house or new clothes) will never help us find real happiness.

How can we experience consistent happiness in our daily lives?

Positive emotional states – such as happiness and satisfaction – occur when energy is flowing through our system. Negative emotional states – such as sadness and depression – occur when we stop the flow of energy through our system. It would make sense then that in order to feel joy, fulfillment, happiness or satisfaction, we have to let energy pass through us. So how do we let the energy keep moving? By sharing it.

This is the paradox. In order to create a non-stop flow of happiness for ourselves, we have to constantly give it away. Meaning our focus needs to shift to others around us. Seems crazy right? If I want to feel good, I need to focus on you? Really?

Yes! Consider that the inverse is also true: When we focus inward on what we feel we aren’t getting, we stop the energy from flowing through us and we feel bad. Fatigue, frustration, resentment, depression, all stem from stopping the energy flow through us, because our focus is on ourselves.

The cure for any negative emotion is to focus our energy on another. When we are feeling down, all we need to do is look up and around us for an opportunity to share our energy. By making it all about others with true care, we release the negative pressure we are experiencing. This is how we instantly feel better and the flow of energy is restored.

TAKE ACTION

Any time you feel down, remember that you have the ability to create instant happiness! Turn your focus away from yourself and onto someone else. Stop thinking: “Hey, what about me?” See the person in front of you and ask: “How can I care for them now?”

Turn on the flow. When you give your energy away in the process of caring for another, you will feel better about everything. I promise.

All the best,

Signature

Frank D. Gabrin, D.O

Get your copy of “Back from Burnout: Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care” at amazon.com

 

SOS Classic – Thoughts Create Things

SOS Classics are reprints of Shot’s of Satisfaction that Dr. Frank Gabrin shared as he wrote his works Back from Burnout, Care 101 and Booster Shots. Each shot contains a glimpse of Dr. Frank’s personal journey back from burnout.

Originally published January 26th, 2011 (edited)

Shot of Satisfaction Classic

Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on your journey to a fulfilling life of caregiving.

Step 1 – REMEMBER what you came here for. Reconnect with your desire to care. Remember what you want from your work: the feeling good that comes from truly caring for others.

 

Thoughts create things

Many of us are familiar with the concept that thoughts create things.  Our thoughts give birth to the words and actions that shape our realities. Think it today, watch it manifest tomorrow. If we live by this theory, then it becomes very important to which thoughts we choose to pay attention.

So I gotta ask: “How many of your thoughts are serving you today?”

Choose your thoughts

Just by asking this question, you can begin to see what your thoughts are creating for you. If they aren’t serving you, then you can choose to change them. A quick trick I use to weed out the messages that bombard my brain every day is to ask myself: “If today were my last day on earth, would I really be concerned with this?”

As you and I show up to our life at the hospital, all around us are patients and co-workers, family members and friends looking for our help, care and concern. We want to make a difference for them, but too often, unknowingly, our thoughts are getting in the way. We may be thinking about the argument we had with a loved one the night before, the bills we need to pay, the errands we need to run, or how annoying our family member, friend or last patient was. Any thought that is not helping us is keeping us from fully giving the care and concern we came to give. This is our daily challenge.

If our head is mixed up in drama, we cannot be present to help anyone.  Even worse, as we continue to dwell on our negative thoughts, we give them life and project them into our day creating a reality that is filled with – guess what? – more drama!  But, if we focus on truly being in the moment; we can choose thoughts that help us to show up for the hurting person standing in front of us. This is how we project a new reality filled with more care, more love and more satisfaction for ourselves and those around us.

TAKE ACTION

Pay attention to your thoughts throughout your day.  Ask yourself: “Does this thought serve me?”  If your thoughts aren’t about making a difference for yourself or others, pick a new thought!  Be in the moment and inject the positivity you want to manifest for yourself, your patients, co-workers, loved ones and indeed, the whole world.

Go ahead, make your day!

Signature

Frank D. Gabrin, D.O

Back from Burnout:  Seven Steps to Healing from Compassion Fatigue and Rediscovering (Y)our Heart of Care

Get your copy today at amazon.com
Get your copy today at amazon.com

 

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Each Shot of Satisfaction is related to one of the seven steps back from burnout in the process of REFLECT. My hope is that, by sharing with you how I apply these steps in my daily life, it will help you on … Continue reading