Values can be said to underpin everything we do and say in our work and life as healthcare professionals. If we lose sight of our values, we may begin to experience a loss of meaning in what we do and who we are, leading to a diminished sense of self-esteem. Our work & lives suffer as a consequence.
This first module is to help us remember what our innermost values are and to remind us about what drew us to our work and what inspired us. There are certain core values that are relevant both to our conduct as individual moral beings and to our practice in healthcare and related professions. The module also helps us identify practical ways of weaving these core values into the fabric of everyday action. As our values flourish, so do we.
Peace is introduced as our natural state, ie that within all of us there is an innate core of calm and tranquillity. The module uses simple yet powerful ways to rediscover this inner peace. By practising peacefulness, participants can access their positive qualities, which help to build self-respect and contentment. Peacefulness is the medicine for ‘burnout’.
Positivity is about having the choice and power to change the way we think. Healthcare professionals can often think critically or even negatively out of habit, whereas positive thoughts make people feel good. This module helps participants to recognise unhelpful patterns of thinking and change them to more positive ones by learning to observe their thoughts. Their resulting positivity and optimism brings benefits not only to themselves, but also to colleagues and patients.
Compassion brings humanity to healthcare. It is the expression of our innate qualities of patience, generosity and kindness, yet there are often personal barriers to its expression – anger, anxiety, guilt and attachments. This module helps participants to acknowledge and tackle these barriers and to view compassion as a value they can consciously express throughout their practice.
Co-operation is about working together successfully, as individuals and teams. This module helps participants to gain an understanding of the thoughts, attitudes, feelings and behaviour which enable successful co-operation. It enables them to build team spirit in non-competitive ways, so that tasks become enjoyable and creative.
Valuing the self requires that we recognise our own worth and, in doing so, can better acknowledge the intrinsic worth of others. Participants explore ways they currently do look after themselves and consider what sources of personal support they have available to them in particular situations. Self-confidence will grow as they develop their self-respect. This can help them to bring mutual respect and harmony into their relationships, to the benefit of themselves, their patients and colleagues.
Spirituality in healthcare is a vital concept in furthering the ideals of holistic health and in meeting the spiritual needs of patients and practitioners alike. The programme involves participants in clarifying concepts of health and healing, spirit and spirituality, in order to further develop their values-based practice.
Why is it that some people can recover from life’s problems while others decline into physical ill-health, depression or more serious mental illness? And what are the personality characteristics or qualities of people who can recover from what life throws at them and triumph in difficult times? This module explores answer to these questions.
It is one of the most important modules as it suggests a practical and positive response to the stress and burn-out problems healthcare professionals face, one that promotes teamwork, and compassionate and spiritual care.