Two Critical Ingredients for Patient Safety

Two Critical Ingredients for Patient Safety


The needs of patients in hospitals are often so complex and changing – there are no simple solutions or plans of care.  Every single health professional needs to be contributing at their highest levels as autonomous individuals together in powerful inter-disciplinary collaborations.  In such collaborations, no one can play small. Everyone must have the courage and self-belief to speak up and share their expertise.

This is especially true for nurses and midwives who are the eyes and ears at the point of care.  They usually have the greatest depth of knowledge of the people they are caring for as they form relationships over the 24 hours each day the patient is in hospital. Nurses and midwives are usually to first to realize things are not quite right. Making sure that their voices are heard and count is a two-way strategy:

  1. The workplace must make it safe for nurses and midwives (and others) to speak up when they sense that things are not quite right. The habitual, unthinking response to people who raise concerns tells everyone whether it is safe or not – this is the organisational culture.
  1. Individual nurses and midwives need to find their own voice, and the courage to raise it. This is a personal self-empowerment journey that takes strong congruence, conviction and courage. There will be times when the individual will need to be counter cultural (go against the prevailing norms) in order to remain congruent with his or her own values.  This is when their levels of self-empowerment will show because it is at these times that their conviction and courage be called upon to make the difference.

Developing a solid sense or self-empowerment, and leading in a way that empowers others will keep patients safe.  These are the principles that underpin the Clinician to Manager Acceleration Program.  The next Program is starting at the beginning of December.  Check out the program by clicking here.

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