Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News:
“My column won a bronze award for best blog in the 2019 American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors competition,” I informed a friend of mine, “but I feel funny telling people.”
“Women have such a hard time with this!” she said with some exasperation. “You HAVE to tell them, Eleanor. Who else is going to let them know but you?”
With her words in mind I posted about it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and my main psychology group, Psychologists in Long-Term Care. I received many wonderful, supportive, unexpected replies. I wasn’t going to write about it for this column (because, gosh, wasn’t that enough already?), but I decided to for several reasons.
I view part of my job as a psychologist as being a role model. On the units, I’m aware that the aides and my other co-workers are observing how I speak to them and to the residents and families. Similarly, in writing this column, I represent psychology to those who work in long-term care management. If people, particularly women, find it difficult to talk about their accomplishments, then perhaps I can model sharing an achievement in order to encourage more colleagues to do the same.
Dealing with extensive regulations, reimbursement challenges, elaborate documentation requirements and a punitive environment can erode the joy of helping elders. Acclamation for accomplishments, on the other hand, can bring joyfulness back to the job. I could have told just my mother and while that would have been nice, by sharing it with a larger group, the positive response is magnified, giving me added energy to continue my work. I’m sure there’s a scientific, dopamine thing happening, but the gist is that it feels good to be acknowledged. The reverse is true as well: Offering a genuine compliment can make the giver feel better too.
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