Airline safety tells us that if a plane is
going down and oxygen masks are necessary,
you must put on your own mask
before assisting others.
Why? Because if you cannot breathe then you
will not be helpful to those around you.
The same concept
applies in your work.
This brings me to another important
aspect of communication.
You need to recognize
when to ask for help.
First, understand that you
cannot do everything yourself.
If you are going to do or achieve
something bigger than yourself,
then you will have to include
more people than yourself.
In fact, if you can achieve your dreams all on your
own, then you are probably not dreaming big enough.
When you are providing healthcare
and you have questions,
you are confused, overwhelmed, or
frustrated, lean on your team to help.
Listen to your body, listen to yourself,
recognize when it is time to ask for help.
This does not mean relying
on the team to do your job.
It means relying on them
to help you be successful.
Situations where you might ask for help
could be with a full patient load,
a question about the course of care, or a challenge
with a physical task such as moving a person.
When you do ask for help, I want you to
consider the urgency of your request.
Ask for help by communicating the scope
and the timelines of your request.
This could look like this..."Hey, do you have a few minutes
in the next hour? I'm having some trouble with this."
or "Could you help me
with this later today?"
If the question or challenge is non-urgent and if you
can possibly predict what the challenge might be
such as moving a person, then try
to be proactive in asking for help
and creating more bandwidth for your team to
prioritize their day to help with your request.
If a matter is more urgent, then communicate that as well.
Note that not everything is urgent.
Sometimes, you might have even 15, 20 minutes
leeway for your team to organize and come to help.
When asking for help specifically, give the scope
of your request and the timeline of your request.
Be clear in your request for help. If you
have a question or are seeking clarification,
help the person to understand
the context in a clear manner.
Prepare your question in a way that quickly gives a synopsis of
the situation, the area of confusion and the question for action.
After this quick synopsis, I want you to explain what
you have already tried, what your thought process is.
Let the person know the initiatives
you took before you called for help.
This will give the helper more context to not only give you the
answer, but also better guide you to find the answer in the future.
After you have received
help, say thank you.
This sounds way too simple,
but is too often forgotten.
Recognition is important.
A person is significantly more likely to
help you again if they feel appreciated
for taking extra time out of their day to help
you develop as a healthcare professional.
Say thank you. Also, make
yourself available for help.
Be available to support the entire team
that has ownership of the patient care.
Ask how you can be of help and try to prioritize
your team to be available for your team.
You can't do it all yourself. This is important so I
will say it again, you cannot do it all yourself.
Asking for help makes you a
better healthcare professional
and will empower you to provide
more excellent patient care.
So, how can I help you today?