Healthcare careers are built and are perpetuated on a sense of duty and connection. Some of the words that describe the job are stressful, fulfilling, sad, and joyful. Often well-run organizations would be described as like family. Sometimes that means they’re really dysfunctional and people just tolerate it. Other times people have a peace when they say their that co-workers are like family. That peace is a sense of belonging and connection.
That peace is unshakeable under the leadership that develops a psychologically safe culture. The connection and sense of peace is developed under stress. When you and your partners undergo a tough, messy situation you experience a sense of stress and vulnerability that deep down you’re unsure if people will accept. Then you get back to the station and find out that other people were experiencing similar feelings. There is a shared loss and you start a collective grieving.
That shared experience in a stressful event within a psychologically safe culture creates connection and peace. Building that is hard, hard work. And you don’t need anyone to tell you to do it or the support of your supervisors. Learn new tools and start using them.
The Crooked Road is a blog series on psychological safety and building connection within the medical and first responder community. My hope is to connect with others and inspire you to love other people.