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Speak to Groups of People?? Never! May 21, 2017

Posted by mariemanthey in Creative Health Care Management, Inspiration, Manthey Life Mosaic, Nursing Salons, Professional Practice.
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Honestly, that’s how I felt in the early years of my career! The thought of speaking publicly was a nightmare.

As a student, I made a choice between the two options for my Master’s Degree based partly on which one involved less public speaking!

I was sure that speaking to large groups of people was not and would never be necessary for me – it is not a part of Nursing – and it terrified me.

I was physically affected – I’m not exaggerating – every time I had to do it for some reason.

I had nausea, I had knock-knees, I had so much static in my head that I could hardly hear my own thoughts. Every time I did it I felt like I had failed miserably, and no matter what, I would never do it again.

However, life went a different way for me.

I was part of the team that created Primary Nursing, and other people wanted to know about that process. There were two ways to communicate about it – speaking and writing. Writing took forever! The two articles we wrote in 1970 just took a really long time to put together, edit, format, get references, all of that. Then we did another article in 1973 – again, it just took a really long time. I was Chief Nurse at first one hospital and then another, and my available time was just very limited – it was really hard to fit in time for writing.

Much as I hated speaking, it was a way to deliver the information that I wanted others to know, in real time, most efficiently.

So for those initial five years of talking about Primary Nursing, it was excruciating every time. Every time I had knock knees, nausea, static in my head, the physical costs were huge. I would actually feel sick to my stomach just looking at my calendar and seeing a speaking date written on it. But I just had to go out there and do it anyway, because the importance of the message demanded it.

For me, getting up and speaking was a much more effective way to get the word out, than writing. People were curious and I wanted to let them know about Primary Nursing and its benefits for the nurse-patient relationship.  The effect Primary Nursing had on the patient’s experience – that’s what was so important. My passion about that essence of Nursing just saw no boundaries.

So, I made myself learn how to do public speaking, even though for most of the first five years, nothing got better. It was just as horrible, just as debilitating, just as uncomfortable every time as it always had been, for years on end.

Years later, little by little, it started to get better. I began to get some sense of self-confidence about it, to the point where I was actually able to look at  a speaking date on the calendar and not get terrible anxiety about it.

After that, I began slowly to not only be comfortable speaking, but to enjoy it. I began to be able to take in the visual and auditory feedback of the crowd and use that information to fine-tune my delivery. I learned how to be present with my message, and also present with the people I was delivering the message to.

And for these decades since then, speaking has been a huge positive for me. It’s still all about getting the message out – about Relationship-Based Care and other ways to enhance the nurse-patient relationship – in the best way possible.

The power of conversation is really what it all comes back to. I am engaging in a one-way conversation when I speak to audiences. I very much want for the audience to engage as well though, always. That’s why I like to speak within a schedule that allows for break-out sessions. I want folks listening to me to be able to speak with and listen to each other and me as well, and to have their experiences also be part of what is shared.

Nursing salons are another extension of that important need to connect – to hear each other and share each others’ experience.

Conversations Change People, People Change the World! – Margaret Wheatley

 

Salons – Looking Back, Looking Forward May 19, 2017

Posted by mariemanthey in History, Inspiration, Leadership, Nursing Salons, Professional Practice.
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Alternate title: Salons – Then and Now

A Talk for All Times | Nursing Forum, October 2010

Salon conversations | Nursing NewsNurse.com | 2012

 

Nursing Salons were created to provide a safe opportunity for people from throughout the diverse practice of nursing to share their stories, hear from others, come to grips with the realities of their workplace, offer support, and regain the feeling of unity.

They caught on like wildfire, not only in the U.S. but around the world as well.

At the top of this post you’ll see some links to the birth of these Salons: my article in Nursing Forum Magazine from 2010, and a note from an early adopter in 2012.

It’s interesting to relive those initial ground-breaking moments, and review the origins of all that has come to be.

Looking forward, I hope Salons continue to spread into every community and are attended by members of  all health professions.  These conversations create ripple effects throughout the system.

Imagine if doctors and nurses and professionals from other health disciplines all over the country met together and had conversations like this. Margaret Wheatley tells us that conversations change people and people change the world.

We see this happening in ways large and small at Salons. The salon in my home yesterday evening was no exception.

My dream is that doctors and nurses and all clinicians begin meeting in homes all over the US and talk to each other about the work we do.   I KNOW the health care system would be impacted in a major way.   We would migrate health care forward, in big changes and small changes, in ways that can not be specifically predicted but can be expected with absolute certainty.

I hope that everyone is able to take part in this wonderful vehicle for self-care and enhanced professional practice. And I hope that together we continue to build the best future possible for the health of society.

Have any of you has been to a salon recently? How did it go? Are any of you still looking for one near you? Are any of you planning events and considering adding a salon before/after/during? It’s always great to hear from you!

Reading List:

Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future (2002) Margaret Wheatley

The Mosaic of Marie Manthey’s Life April 30, 2017

Posted by mariemanthey in Creative Health Care Management, History, Inspiration, Manthey Life Mosaic, Nursing Peer Support Network, Nursing Salons, Professional Practice, Values.
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ColoringBookCover

by Marie Manthey

I became ill at the age of 5 and was hospitalized for a month at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chicago. It was a traumatic experience in a couple of ways. First of all, my parent’s didn’t know how to prepare me, since they had never been hospitalized themselves.. so they just said I was going to a large building. They left me there for a month, visiting twice a week, and sometimes when one or the other of them came, a very painful procedure was done involving an IM injection of their blood. As a result, I felt not only abandoned but also frightened and confused about the pain associated with their visits.

Florence Marie Fisher is the name of a nurse who cared for me. One day she sat at my bedside and colored in my coloring book. For me, that translated to ‘cared for me’ … and I decided then that I wanted my life to be about that kind of caring.

From that time on I knew I would be a nurse. I entered a hospital diploma program right after high school, and worked for the next four years as staff nurse, assistant Head Nurse, and Head Nurse. During the last of those years I started going to night classes in the community colleges .. not necessarily at first to get my degree.

I was invited to enroll in the degree program at the University of Minnesota, which was one-of-a-kind at that point. After 15 months of full-time study, I received my Bachelors degree in Nursing Administration. Soon after I was recruited into the U of M’s Masters program in Nursing Administration, in what was the last of the 3-quarter Master’s degrees.

Before finishing that degree, I was recruited by Miss Julian to be an Assistant Administrator of Special Projects. This was a new position that gave me an unbelievably valuable opportunity to learn first-hand about leadership and administration. I was able to experience directly not only organizational dynamics, but was also privileged to work with a group of administrators who used Senge’s principles of a learning organization even before he’d written ‘The Fifth Discipline.’

It was during this time that I became one of two Project Directors for Project 32 (at the University of Minnesota), a pilot program to improve hospital services from an interdisciplinary/interdepartmental perspective. This project eventually morphed in to Primary Nursing, and my career became about understanding and implementing organizational changes that result in the empowerment of employees and the accompanying development of healthy workplace cultures.

Throughout the next ten years of my life in nursing administration – first at another community hospital within the Twin Cities, and then at Yale New-Haven Hospital in Connecticut – I freely helped others with Primary Nursing.. Always accepting visitors and often speaking both locally and nationally as well as publishing as time allowed.

During this period of my career, what had been a manageable, socially acceptable level of alcohol consumption escalated in to full-blown alcoholism. There was an intervention and I entered a 6-week residential treatment program on the East Coast, and have been sober ever since.

In my first year of sobriety as I was feeling my way forward, there were no positions in Nursing Administration available to me. Instead I wrote my initial book on Primary Nursing .. and returned calls to all who had ever asked me to speak, putting out the word that I was available for speaking and consulting. The result was that Creative Nursing Management, Inc. was born, now the longest-running nurse-managed health care consulting firm in the U.S.

When I finished writing Primary Nursing, the publisher asked me who I wanted to dedicate it to.. and that had to be Florence Marie Fisher, the nurse who had colored in my coloring book when I was five. We weren’t able to contact her then, and so I gave up on that idea of actually connecting with her.

My career as a successful entrepreneur has continued ever since. Running a business was not ever something I thought I would do. I didn’t see myself as a businesswoman, but rather as a professional woman. Nevertheless, through many trials and many errors, the company grew. I often say we were successful not because of my business acumen, but rather because my work was authentic and based on real-world realities and values.

In time we grew into a multi-faceted, multi-national firm called Creative Health Care Management. I sold the firm when I turned 65 (in 2000) to the employees themselves. Now in semi-retirement (still, in 2017!) I remain involved in the important work of developing nursing practice and improving patient care.. just without the stresses and challenges inherent in leading an entrepreneurial entity.

An additional aspect of my work today involves tackling the challenge of Substance-Use Disorder. A group of us concerned with the problem of shame and stigma associated with SUD formed a Peer Support Network here in Minnesota, and we are partnering with entities involved in all aspects of the situation.

Another vitally important component of my professional life today has to do with my involvement with my alma mater. After transitioning away from day-to-day involvement in the running of CHCM, I became active in the Alumni organization at the U of M School of Nursing, and also became an adjunct faculty member there. In 1999 the University of Minnesota awarded me with an honorary doctorate, which was thrilling beyond compare. Today I am also active with the Heritage Committee at the School of Nursing, and am engaged in other ways as well with the University.

I also continue to be a part of my own and others’ Nursing Salons – a safe space for nurses in all walks of the profession to share conversations and support one another.

My ongoing interest in changing the way we think about workload and resources is part of the same picture. As healthcare incorporates more and more technology, the temptation strengthens to discard the human caring aspects.

As nursing matures as a profession, I am more convinced than ever, that the choice to care – and to express care and compassion by one’s behavior – is the absolutely correct choice nurses must make in order to continue to serve society justly.

Clinical competence must be on one side of the nursing coin, and care on the other. This is the ‘Coin of the Realm’ nurses must choose if, in fact, the covenant between nursing and society is to continue to exist.

A ‘Mass Salon” event at the Texas Nurses Association meeting April 20, 2016

Posted by mariemanthey in Inspiration, Nursing Salons, Professional Practice, Values.
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Salon Resources: https://wordpress.com/page/mariesnursingsalon.wordpress.com/7

Texas has done it again.    Last Saturday I introduced Salons to the House of Delegates and for the next two hours, about 170 delegates experienced a Salon conversation at their tables.   The same format was used…check in, have a conversation, check out.   It is such a simple formula, I am always amazed at what happens at an experiential level.   After each table had ‘checked out’ we had a room-wide sharing.   And that is where the magic and/or miracle was seen.   Among the comments was amazement at how easy and conversation flowed..  “like fish moving in a school”…..  it seems organic and effortless the way the conversation moved based on the check-in.   Another comment was how easy it was despite vast age and experience differences..   “Amazingly energetic”.   “Easy to reach common ground”.   “Nursing has the same values no matter where is it practiced”.   Found the bedrock of who we are….reached common ground.   And finally as always….the word Hope came through.   This seems to be an almost universal result of a salon conversation.

The reason I was asked to do this by the TNA is they are encouraging their members to form Salons all over Texas….and the members present were encouraged to become or recruit hosts in their regions.   The TNA will provide a website to post information about all meetings, including the opportunity to RSVP right on the website.   This is a really important development and will greatly facilitate the success of this movement.

Thank You Texas….for once again Thinking Big

A Salon in New Mexico February 12, 2016

Posted by mariemanthey in Nursing Salons.
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Salon Resources: https://wordpress.com/page/mariesnursingsalon.wordpress.com/7

Next week on Feb. 23 There will be a Salon in Albuquerque.……my hope is that someone gets them started both here and in Sante Fe and I also hope that the movement continues to grow, as it does make a difference!

In a way it reminds me of my early experience with Primary Nursing. The growth was organic. From a couple of short articles in the literature (same with salons) to years of talking about it and helping others get it started…(during which time it was unclear what the impact was) to a slow spreading throughout the profession ( including education finally) and throughout the world. Just like Salons (I hope)…Primary Nursing was also sort of ‘under the radar’ of officialdom in health care. No nursing organization ever officially endorsed the concept. No financial impact was ever recognized by the system. For years/decades, I was asked ‘how widespread is Primary Nursing throughout the country? For which I had no answer. No one ever counted up the implementations!   No national surveys were done.  Ever.  We still don’t know.

The same thing is happening with Nursing Salons… people ask me where are they happening? Sometimes we hear they are happening…  but mostly not… it is a Happening! Simply a happening.    When Salons ‘happen’ all over the country, change happens all over the country.

Funny, isn’t it?

Conversations Create Change November 12, 2013

Posted by mariemanthey in Nursing Salons.
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Recognition of the value of conversations to change ourselves and the world is organically spreading from the experience of Nursing Salons to using their same format and function in a variety of other settings.

I have heard of using the question “What’s on your mind about…..?” as a non-judgmental opening for wide-ranging issues.    The very openness of those questions removes constraints that might otherwise hinder creativity and deeper dialog.

I continue to be amazed at the directions the conversations take in Salons…..especially the ones where different levels of nurses from different types of settings – with vastly different role experiences – come together to talk.  And Most Surprising Fact!!!! ….they never, ever turn into bitch sessions.    I’m not exactly sure why…..but I am reporting the truth.

I’m curious… how have you seen that simple question used to stimulate a conversation?

Salon comments….from Cleveland Ohio October 31, 2013

Posted by mariemanthey in Leadership, Nursing Salons.
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I was reminded that we rarely take a break to look up and enjoy the big picture.   Marie spoke of our history and our potential!   That journey is both humbling and exciting – knowing what other nurses have given to the professional role and realizing what great and powerful opportunities we have at this very moment.   I am convinced that The James has the cognitive creativity to provide nursing leadership on the things that matter most in health care – the patient and the family.

News: A New Salon in Michigan June 29, 2011

Posted by mariemanthey in Inspiration, Nursing Salons.
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Salon Resources: https://wordpress.com/page/mariesnursingsalon.wordpress.com/7
Good evening Marie,
I want to let you know that we have formalized our Nursing Salon in Rochester.  I was really hoping that someone who attended the salon you facilitated last October would want to do this. After careful consideration, I invited the nurses from our first Tide of Primary Nursing, 15 nurses arrived on time, and I had to suggest it was time to end and leave at 9pm.  It was a beautiful evening of insightful conversation, my heart was singing, my brain was whirling. The nurses found the conversation inspirational, energizing, and a sacred place to talk about nursing.  Our youngest nurse was 6 months into her profession, our most mature nurse was 40+ years into hers.  We had nurses from Medical Oncology, Maternal Child, Critical Care, and Rehab, surprisingly we were all more similar then different in our perspectives of nursing, the complexity and significance of the roles that we all engage in.
 
Karen  (she was the host of the salon you attended with us) has agreed to alternate the evening with me.  She has odd months, I have even months.  All who attended committed to bringing a colleague with them to the July salon.  We agreed to the third Thursday of the month.
Fabulous, phenomenal, and I cannot wait for the next salon in July.
Thank you for your vision, encouragement, and listening.

The Power of Conversations May 30, 2011

Posted by mariemanthey in Nursing Salons, Professional Practice.
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Salon Resources: https://wordpress.com/page/mariesnursingsalon.wordpress.com/7

Conference:  Ways of Knowing Conversations

Over one hundred health care professionals gathered for a day of conversation about Sustainability and Spirituality in Healthcare on May 25 in St. Paul, MN. The unusual format for the day gave national experts 20 minutes for their speeches followed by  30 minutes of “table talk” among attendees with 10 minutes for audience-wide sharing.

This approach was designed to recognize the reality that the experience of attendees provides unique and expansive backgrounds within which to share understandings of the speakers content.  The buzz in the room confirmed the validity of the format.

One of the common threads of the people who attended is a deep interest in holistic approaches to healthcare. The insights shared and decisions made and shared point to the reality that, once again, conversation changes people and the lives they lead. Attendees were physicians, nurses, acupuncturists, massage therapists, counselors, etc.  Role distinctions blurred around the common interest in holistic health and the environment.

Salons were  frequently mentioned as one mechanism for these kinds of life-changing conversations.  Many people said they are interested in starting a Salon and I hope they will use this blog to share their experiences.

Salons: Common Sense Therapy for Stress November 26, 2010

Posted by mariemanthey in Nursing Salons, Professional Practice.
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Hi Marie,

Thought of you and the salons this morning as I was reading an article
about the risk of “compassion fatigue” in nurses.  I copied a snippet
of the article below….makes me even more grateful for the nursing
salons on this eve of Thanksgiving.  Thank you again for providing
this necessary venue for nursing.  You are the best!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Although it is easy to say that nurses should be given the opportunity to recognize and talk about the stress that they experience, and to make plans for coping, these are challenging tasks. Trauma research indicates that people involved in traumatic events need to be able to “tell their story” 8 or 9 times to defuse the physiologic and psychological impact of what they have been through. Providing opportunities for nurses to get together to talk and support each other is common sense. As laypeople, we support and care for each other during stressful times. Somehow, we have to provide that same sort of commonsense therapy for healthcare professionals. Once people share what they are feeling, then strategies can be developed to cope with those feelings. However, in busy hospitals and clinics, it will be a challenge to find the time to provide these experiences.