Best Practices in Healthcare Management Begin With Self

Miki Goodwin, PhD, RN, PHN, NEA-BC; Kim Richards, RN, NC-BC


Nurs Econ. 2017;35(3):152-155. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


LEADERSHIP BY EXAMPLE and modeling self-care are clichés with little daily application to the hustle and bustle of a busy nurse's life. Until, that is, there is a scary reminder that even with all our understanding about healthy lifestyles, our bodies, minds, and spirits can let us down.

In this article, two exemplar cases will be described: two apparently healthy nurses relate how easily the tables turned, and how we must continuously prompt ourselves to believe that best practices in healthcare management begin with self. More women practice nursing than men, and more women go undiagnosed with cardiovascular disease than men. Either way, those living with risk factors may or may not know they have them and are likely to fail, because of myriad obligations, to translate their health knowledge into practice. The proposed outcomes of a self-care program are to heighten awareness of our own health so we may best take care of others. While this is not a new concept (nurse, know thyself), very little funds are devoted to the concept that healthy bodies, healthy minds, and well-being of nurses are more likely to not only produce the optimal healing environment for our patients, but improve the healthcare organization's bottom line. However, when a medical professional seeks care it can be intimidating for both the patient and the provider, and the patient may be embarrassed asking naive questions. This article offers simple measures and easy-to-practice habits that, at the very least, provide awareness and remind us of the importance of "putting our oxygen masks on first" before we offer help to others.