Yeehaaaw! It’s time for the 4th Annual Cowtown Oncology Symposium in Fort Worth, Texas.
I am a Texan – born and bred. Contrary to popular belief and pervasive stereotypes, I don’t routinely say yeehaaaw, still, the Cowtown Oncology Symposium is so fun and enlightening that it’s worth breaking out my Southern drawl, Y’all.
The planning committee cordially invites you to submit your abstract on oncology, radiation, hospice, and palliative care nursing trends for poster presentation by January 31, 2014. Submission guidelines are below, so giddy up!
COS Poster Abstract Submission Guidelines
P.S. And, if presenting isn’t your thing (which it totally can be your thing no matter your level of leadership!), you should definitely attend the Symposium. It’s set in beautiful and historic Fort Worth on the fabulous Texas Christian University campus.
I’m not sure when it happened, but it seems like algorithms and “pathways” have overtaken healthcare. I’m not complaining; I love it. I’m a visual person, so when people explain processes to me, I tend to draw them as I’m listening or reviewing my notes. I’ve found that algorithms turn gray processes and care to black and white. They clarify exactly what everyone can and should do rather than leave that information in one person’s head. I frequently make – and revise – algorithms. They’re easy, artful, practical, and just plain smart work.
I make algorithms one of two ways – in Microsoft Visio or in Microsoft PowerPoint. You could also use Microsoft Publisher, but I prefer not to use it for algorithm creation simply because I know PowerPoint shortcuts and tools much better. Visio is intended to develop algorithms and pathways. It’s incredibly easy to use (especially if you know how to use PowerPoint or Publisher) and takes all the guesswork out of making straight lines and centering text. If you don’t have Visio but make a lot of algorithms (or are planning to do so), purchasing Visio is well worth the investment. No, Microsoft Visio is not paying me for this article; I just love Visio that much. I know, it’s geekily comical. I am unashamed.
If you don’t have Visio, you can still develop your algorithms in PowerPoint. It may take a little longer than Visio, but hey – it works. Open a blank file. You’ll only need to use one PowerPoint slide for this. Start adding your quadrilateral shapes, overlaid text boxes, and add in arrows. Capture or highlight all the items on the slide, group them, and then right-click to save the file as a picture to then insert into other documents. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it.
Do you use or create algorithms in your healthcare setting?
An August 2013 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll revealed “more than four-in-ten Americans think the new health care law has been repealed, overturned in court or are just unsure whether it remains the law.” The same amount of people surveyed stated they trust “a lot” the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, information their doctors or nurses give them – the highest among even federal and state agencies and well above insurance companies. Oddly, though, most Americans are not receiving information about the ACA, including exchange marketplace information, from healthcare professionals but rather news media and family and friends, both of which rank lower on survey participants’ trust scales for the information. A full 65% admit they have not sought information on the ACA, and about half of those surveyed reported experience comparing health insurance plans in the past.
The Kaiser Family Foundation poll includes additional, enlightening information, including data pertinent to specific demographic groups. Healthcare professionals are trusted sources of ACA information, but clearly we are not having these discussions with patients or the public. Perhaps it’s because even the experts are still novices on the ACA and we lack the education and confidence to share this dialogue with others? If you find yourself in this predicament, here’s a synopsis of helpful, easy-to-understand resources:
Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace begins October 1, 2013, which is right around the corner. It will last until March 31, 2014, and coverage begins January 1, 2014. Everyone can access the Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov or www.cuidadodesalud.gov, and you can prepare for the Marketplace before October 1st via numerous ways.
Have you sought information about the ACA and how it will impact you as well as your patients? Are you having these conversations with your patients to ensure they’re informed about the ACA and how it will (or already has) impact their care?
Kaiser Family Foundation. (August 28, 2013). Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013, from http://kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-august-2013/
I’m pretty keen on statistics. Writing, speaking, and leading – I can drop some numbers on you in no time. The statistics shared through the Thunder Road film, though, stopped me in my tracks.
My dad is a veteran. Several of my uncles are veterans. My brother is a veteran. I have family and friends serving at home and abroad right now. There are more than 22 in my quick calculations. I cannot imagine any of them taking their own lives. Perhaps they have thought of it, though, based on their experiences and enduring post-traumatic stress disorders, or PTSD.
I can’t share the Thunder Road information as good as the film writers, so please take a moment to view the video below, providing more information about PTSD in veterans as well as the film itself.
Consider supporting the Thunder Road film creation; there are some pretty cool incentives for contributing. Share this information with your colleagues. Change your practice to provide appropriate care for PTSD among veterans.
They’ve fought for us and others. It’s time we fight for them.
I just repainted several areas of my home. After seeing the finished product, I thought, “Wow, no one would ever know there’s a deep, rich gray underneath that new color.” My mind drifted to an art exhibit that showed, through some kind of imaging machine, how artists painted over their draft work to develop today’s masterpieces. “Huh…I never would have known that was under there…or even thought to look!” The very next day I had a conversation with a leader, and I learned a lot about her – some of her “shaping” and “refining” experiences (read: “painful”). I walked away thinking the same thing…”Huh, I would have never known that was under there.”
All leaders are amalgams of their past experiences. What’s incredibly interesting, though, is that all great leaders have some really painful experiences – moments that have defined their work as well as shifted their focuses – making them who they are and why they lead the way they do. It’s unfortunate that too few people really get to know their leaders and learn about those experiences. The great leaders are willing to share them. I assure you; they don’t want you to relive their past horror.
I hope you have the opportunity to have some of these discussions with the leaders around you. And, I hope you’re brave enough to share your leadership experiences with others in the process.
Leaders aren’t born. They’re made. Sometimes painfully.
I can’t help but think of all the nursing students beginning new semesters. I wish them all the best. Own it!
You can download this card for free. Sure can!