SOMETHING AWESOME: ELEVATING STORIES OF AWE AMONG COLLEAGUES IN THE EVERYDAY WORK OF ACADEMIC HOSPITAL MEDICINE

Stefan Law, MD1, Manuel Diaz, MD2, Ethan Cumbler, MD, FHM, FACP3, Read Pierce, MD4, Patrick Kneeland, MD2, 1University of California - Los Angeles, Santa Monica, CA; 2University of Colorado School of Medicine; 3University of Colorado School of Medicine, Lone Tree, CO; 4University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO

Meeting: Hospital Medicine 2018; April 8-11; Orlando, Fla.

Abstract number: 99

Categories: Hospital Medicine 2018, Innovations, Other

Keywords: , , , ,

Background: The healthcare workforce suffers from high levels of burnout, disengagement, and perceived isolation due to constant and unpredictable stresses. While multifactorial, the extent to which clinicians’ experience wellness and maintain resilience in a complex work environment is in part driven by connection to purpose and consciousness of elements of everyday activities that give joy. Indeed, studies in positive psychology practices have demonstrated the impact such practices can have on overall wellness. At the same time, applied positive psychology interventions remain rare among clinicians, and many clinical groups are uncertain how to undertake this work.

Purpose: Improving workplace culture, resilience, and shared sense of purpose by implementing a protected narrative session to highlight uniquely positive moments (“Something Awesome”) during monthly hospitalist group meetings. 

Description: After introducing the concept of “Something Awesome” by relating a exemplar story at a monthly meeting, we sent all group members a call via email for submissions of brief stories highlighting moments of awe and joy. Submissions are reviewed monthly by a core group of our faculty who possess experience in storytelling and narrative medicine. Those faculty choose 1-2 stories to share at the next month’s meeting. We save unselected stories for potential sharing at a later date. Selected storytellers meet with the core faculty to practice the story, and are given feedback to help clarify the narrative or increase its impact. Storytellers are given a scheduled block at the beginning of the monthly meeting to share their stories with all faculty and staff present. Stories are recorded and transcribed for performance of qualitative and quantitative analysis of themes and content. Since initiation of “Something Awesome” in February of 2017, 12 stories have been shared by physicians, advanced practice providers, and administrative staff. These cover a variety of themes (Figure 1). The average length of each story was 7 minutes.  In 7-point Likert scale assessments of “Something Awesome,” group members report that it is a valuable addition to the monthly meeting (6.1/7 mean), that perception of opportunities to share positive experiences with the group have increased (4.4/7 pre, 5.8 post), and that a culture of sharing negative experiences has decreased (4.6/7 pre, 4.1 post).

Conclusions: Incorporating scheduled and protected opportunities for hospitalist group members to share moments of joy and awe is a simple, low-cost intervention that promotes attention to positive experiences with potential to impact culture of the work environment. 

IMAGE 1: Figure 1. Themes Explored in “Something Awesome"

To cite this abstract:

Law, SA; Diaz, M; Cumbler, E; Pierce, RG; Kneeland, PP. SOMETHING AWESOME: ELEVATING STORIES OF AWE AMONG COLLEAGUES IN THE EVERYDAY WORK OF ACADEMIC HOSPITAL MEDICINE. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2018; April 8-11; Orlando, Fla. Abstract 99. https://www.shmabstracts.com/abstract/something-awesome-elevating-stories-of-awe-among-colleagues-in-the-everyday-work-of-academic-hospital-medicine/. Accessed September 19, 2019.

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