AORN Blog - The Periop Life

Cultivating a Culture of Trust

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October 28, 2020

Establishing a healthy workplace culture is critical to the overall success of your facility and ensures staff members are focused on providing safe patient care, according to Vangie Dennis, MSN, RN, CNOR, CMLSO, with Atlanta Medical Center in Atlanta, GA, Lee Ann Liska, FACHE, with LL Health Resources, LLC in Estero, FL and Andrea Dyer, MSN, BSN with Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, FL.

The trio of respected healthcare leaders will share their strategies for creat­ing a cohesive and resilient team filled with providers who never allow the toxicity of OR bullying to get in the way of achieving excellent outcomes.

Dennis, Dyer, and Liska discuss below the keys to cultivating a culture of trust and some of the details they plan to share in their upcoming Virtual OR Excellence workshop.

What are the keys to a healthy workplace culture?

Andrea Dyer: I think it comes down to three basic things: Be kind, be brave, and be you. Remind your staff that they should be genuine and support each other in the OR. Whenever they’re headed off course, remind them to refocus on the basics.

Lee Ann Liska: It starts with adequate staffing levels, so staff members can take much needed time off and enjoy predictable workdays. Staff also need supportive leaders who aren’t afraid to help in a crisis. Finally, staff need to work in a transparent culture where they feel safe reporting issues and speaking up when things aren’t the way they should be.

What message do you want to emphasize during the workshop?

Vangie Dennis: That we all have choices in our profession in how we build close-knit, supportive teams. I want attendees to remember this message long after our workshop is over. To do this, I put myself in their shoes, taking into consideration their experiences and their individual journeys.

Andrea Dyer: I’m excited about giving attendees the tools they need to demand respect for themselves and their colleagues. I hope in some small way we empower those who feel as if they don’t have a voice.

Bullying is one of the focal points of your workshop. Why?

Vangie Dennis: There’s a hidden culture of nurse bullying and it’s a serious issue that can compromise not only the mental health and physical well-being of the person being bullied, but also the safety of patients. Most nurses won’t speak openly about bullying for fear of negative personal and professional ramifications. It’s time to stop bullying and turn that energy into building each other up instead of knocking each other down.

What methods will you use to address these important topics?

Vangie Dennis: I engage my audience to be part of the discussion. To make a real and lasting connection, you must relate to them on a personal level. I love to teach and share my personal experience and connect with my peers.

Lee Ann Liska: I was on a panel once with other CEOs. The audience loved when we joked and interacted in ways that weren’t what they were used to seeing. There will be a similar fun repartee among the three of us during this workshop. It’ll be fun and I’m looking forward to it.

This article originally appeared in Outpatient Surgery Magazine. This version has been edited specifically for The Periop Life.

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Learn more about how to create healthy work environment and a culture of trust in your OR. Register for Virtual OR Excellence 2020 today. Complimentary pass included with AORN membership and Outpatient Surgery Magazine subscriptions.