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  • 10/13/2021 11:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    While many of us wait until New Year’s or a birthday rolls around to make significant changes, there’s really no time like the present to implement change. Anytime is a perfect time to start fresh.

    Whether you’re looking to amplify your current routines or acquire some new ones, NuEdge Alliance offers some excellent tips on a few simple habits that can make a difference in your life.

    Get Outside

    The term “sunny disposition” is more than just a phrase. Researchers have found that people have improved moods during seasons with more sunshine. Sunshine is not only great to gain a little color and improve our psyche, but it’s essential to our physical health, as vitamin D can help to improve sleep as well. Serotonin works with melatonin to provide our bodies with effective sleep cycles, and exposing yourself to more sunshine during the day can help you get higher quality zzz’s at night.

    Vitamin D has also been linked to osteoporosis and rickets, so sunshine is more than just a mood booster — it can keep us healthy and strong to better enjoy our time while we’re here.

    Local Groceries

    The term “shop local” has been gaining momentum, but doing so has more to offer than simply funneling money into the local economy. While that is important for small businesses to thrive, shopping at a local health food store or market is great for individuals as well.

    Making an effort to shop nearby is great for your well-being in that it increases feelings of connection to our communities. Getting to know your local farmers and developing relationships is not only good for the soul — it’s more fun as well. Knowing that we’re doing our part to spend our money in places where we can see where it’s going offers a more personal reward than simply ordering groceries online, and it also helps small businesses survive during harder times.

    Further, vegetables and fruits at local farmers’ markets are often fresher than in large chain stores and are sold in significantly less packaging as well, making it better for the environment, too.

    Self-Care

    You’ve likely been hearing a lot about self-care lately, and for good reason. It’s incredibly easy to neglect ourselves when we’re continuously bombarded with pressing outside expectations like our job, our spouses, our children, and more.

    Taking time out to look after ourselves is critical to our mental wellbeing and physical health. Learning how to emotionally support ourselves in healthy ways — like saying no when we need a day off or taking a sick day to recover from an illness — is not only good for ourselves — it’s good for others as well.

    Taking vacation time is also essential, and checking out fun cities or being a tourist in your own city can offer new perspectives and experiences. Whether it’s a getaway to Chicago for a long weekend, or staying close to home in another part of Nashville, there’s something out there for everyone. Remember, we can’t be the best employee, mother, friend, or wife if we don’t fill up our own tanks first.

    Self-care also comes down to appearance. Looking nice may sound superficial, but putting on a nice outfit or comfortable basics that feel great can do more for our mood than you may believe. There is power in the idea of “dressing for the job you want,” and it doesn’t apply exclusively to the professional realm.

    A Final Thought

    Implementing new habits can feel like a drag, but when they’re easy and attainable, they can be fun and exciting. Picking out a new reusable grocery bag might make you more excited to walk to your local market, or a new pair of fashionable sweatpants could inspire you to dress up just for yourself while working from home. Whatever it takes to put that spring back in your step, remember: you’re worth the effort.

  • 09/15/2021 2:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Culture and Identity Impact Mental Health

    As with anything in life, there are different points-of-view when it comes to movies, television shows, politics, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and even mental health. People have a plethora of opinions on a variety of topics. And although many may effectively defend their position as if it is the only one, there’s no denying that the topic of mental health and all those facing mental health conditions need to be treated with care and compassion. This is especially true in how mental health relates to different cultures.

    The Obstacles that Impact Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics

    This article will only highlight mental health in how it relates to Black, Asian, and Hispanic cultures, as well as the barriers they face.

    The Black community faces different mental health conditions, but one that is concerning is depression. Depression is a disorder that impacts all age groups, ethnicities, and races inclusive of white Americans. Clinical depression, or major depressive disorder, is a serious mood disorder that impacts the way an individual handles daily activities (e.g., eating, sleeping, or working), how they think, and how they feel. The insufficient data on depression within the Black community adds to the problems of misdiagnosing, under diagnosing, and under treatment of the condition in the community.

    Within the Asian community, about 2.9 million Asian Americans faced a mental illness in 2019, even though this very community is three times less likely to get help compared to other racial groups in the United States. Stigma and shaming are the major culprits deterring Asian Americans from seeking the help they need. But the National Latino and Asian American Study found 17.3% of Asian Americans will inevitably be diagnosed with a mental health condition during their lifetime.

    And within the Hispanic Community, stigma is also a major issue. Mental health stigmas are associated with violent behavior, are perceived as dangerous, and the idea that those facing this condition are not capable of getting better. One study even found that Hispanic families would deny that any family member is facing a mental health condition unless the symptoms got bad enough to threaten their life.

    Stigma is a tough idea to run away from because it’s always present in the mind of the individuals who accept it as reality. And when it’s physically or emotionally put into action by others, it manifests into a reality known as discrimination.

    Solutions that Could Make a Difference in Mental Health

    Treating all people with care, compassion, and love is what will help to contribute to breaking down many barriers. But that is only an altruistic starting point. The realities call for realized effort and work on the part of everyone. Those in a position of power who can create actual change can communicate with leaders in all communities to find out the needs of those communities, as it will also take active members of the communities to work together as well.

    Between advocacy, education, access, and resources, positive change may be slow, but ultimately is inevitable. We are all part of the human race with the same needs for food, shelter, clothing, and safety. And if it’s only our distinctions with color, culture, and identity that divide us, those same distinctions can bring us together for the greater good of individuals facing a mental illness, as well as their families.


    By Nitara Osbourne, M.Ed., a Content Specialist and Brittney Morse, a Reputation Management Coordinator for American Addiction Centers. Brittney is a Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor, with a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology and a master’s degree in psychology. Brittney has 5 years clinical experience working in the field of addiction at all levels of care.
  • 03/09/2021 10:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    I started as an analyst in supply chain 24 years ago with a goal of one day becoming a leader, maybe even a manager. Little did I know that with the influence and guidance of many mentors and great leaders, I would become an officer of a company.

    Over the years, I have received great tips from my mentors and leaders, all of which enabled me to be more aware of my strengths, my areas for improvement, and most importantly, what I was and could become. The following tips are the ones that stand out most to me and were most beneficial in every step of my career. I hope these are a help to you as you grow in your career and exceed your personal vision and goals.

    10.  Work smarter, not harder.

    • What is the most efficient way to achieve your work and a quality result?
    • Are you providing what was asked or more detail than was needed?
    • Understand your primary goal and then focus on what is needed to achieve the goal – no more, no less.

    Work Smarter, Not Harder: 10 Ways to Be More Effective at Work | Inc.com

      9.  If you do not like your situation, CHANGE IT, don’t complain!

    • It is so easy to complain and yet so difficult to change!
    • If you are unhappy, your performance will reflect it.  In addition, you, your team, and your company will be negatively impacted.
    • Albert Schweitzer said: “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

    Why You Need To Love Your Job (forbes.com)

    8. Give credit where credit is due, recognize your team’s accomplishments (and yours too)

    • Always say “Thank You”. These are two words that are very powerful.  When they are said, they recognize the person who put forth an effort to do something for you.  When you don’t put forth an effort to say or write them, you unintentionally de-value the person’s efforts.
    • Most people find it difficult to recognize their own personal accomplishments. Don’t short-change yourself. If you don’t recognize your achievements, others won’t either. However, don’t forget to equally recognize those that supported your journey to achieve them.

    https://hbr.org/2014/03/the-importance-of-giving-credit

     7.  Self-Reflect periodically

    • Document your personal goals and your progress to those goals.
    • Do a self-assessment once a month or quarter. Treat your goals just like a project; they are equally important.  However, if you don’t track your progress to goals, your goal is just a thought and won’t become a reality.

    https://hbr.org/2017/03/why-you-should-make-time-for-self-reflection-even-if-you-hate-doing-it

    6.  Delegate to your team

    • If you do everything yourself, you are not leading.
    • Delegation shows your team you value them and their skillsets.
    • Delegation doesn’t always mean delegating to employees; it could also include automating a manual process or outsourcing a service.

    “…A leader is someone who can see how things can be improved and who rallies people to move toward that better vision. Leaders can work toward making their vision a reality while putting people first…”  

    What is leadership, and who is a leader? (chieflearningofficer.com)

      5.  Run to criticism

    • Welcome constructive criticism and feedback. It helps you grow and continually improve. 
    • Competitors are your strongest critics. Have you ever thought of using their criticism as ideas to improve your business and/or self-development?
    • If everyone says you are awesome and do everything right all the time, clearly, they are not telling you the truth!

    https://addicted2success.com/success-advice/5-reasons-why-criticism-is-the-key-to-your-success/

      4.  Never stop learning

    • Never be satisfied with the status quo. When you get to a point in your career that you become complacent or “think you know it all”, it’s time to challenge yourself.
    • Periodically research other industries and/or best practices within your industry to learn about the latest tools and resources that could benefit you and/or your company.

    https://www.inc.com/aj-agrawal/4-reasons-why-we-should-never-stop-learning.html

     3.  Remove limits that you create

    • You create more limits on yourself than others do
    • If there is a limit preventing you from moving to the next level and/or opportunity, take action to remove the limit:
    • What can I do to remove the limit?
    • Who can I ask to help remove the limit?

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2020/01/23/how-to-remove-your-limitations-with-6-expert-tips-2/?sh=6302fec81149

    2.  Believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything

    • Some people advance to the next level after they have performed the work of that level “unofficially” for some period prior.
    • Others advance to the next level before they have performed the work, believing without a doubt that they deserve the position.
    • You can be confident and not be arrogant. Have confidence in yourself. Never forget…perception is reality!

    https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/9-signs-you-are-genuinely-confident-without-seemin.html

    1.  Most importantly……Balance work, family, and friends

    • Success is important, however, everyone’s definition of success is different.
    • What do you want others to remember you by? They will not remember the cool powerpoint you created or tool that you created. They will remember how you made them feel.
    • Don’t forget to balance work against time with family and friends. There is always work to be done, however, there will not always time to spend with family and friends. Choose wisely.

    Can We Really Balance Family, Work And Me Time? (forbes.com)

    37 Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance | The Muse

    As a member benefit, PWH offers a mentor program where you are matched with other individuals within our industry and open to both mentor’s and mentee’s. Click here to learn more about our mentoring program.

    Submitted by:

    Angie Haggard
    Ron Denton & Associates, LLC

    PWH Mentoring Committee

  • 01/06/2021 12:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    According to a recent Forbes article on mentoring, only 76% of people think mentors are important, however, only 37% of people currently have one.

    Informal and formal mentoring programs have shown the value mentoring has on someone’s professional career; yet, there is such a discrepancy between wanting and acting on a mentoring relationship. They are rewarding for both parties involved. Mentees (or those seeking guidance to grow in their professional career) can get the help and support they need while Mentors (or those who provide guidance) share their experiences and offer insights. 

    How can mentoring help mentees?

    A mentee is one whose career and professional development is furthered by a person with a wealth of knowledge, experiences and who offers counsel – the mentor. Engaging in a mentoring relationship allows for the development of an external self-awareness for a mentee. When a person has a good sense of self, they tend to be more creative, confident, and are those employees who get better promotions, according to this Harvard Business Review article What self-awareness really is (and how to cultivate it). Yet, it notes that self-awareness is a rare quality that most folks have not yet mastered - in fact, research points to only 10-15% of people do. Seeking an external perspective of self-awareness is one of the most remarkable outcomes that a mentoring relationship brings for a mentee. Often a mentee has clear goals developed and knows a direction they want to head or what area they want to build, yet the question that often is overlooked is not the “why,” but the “what.” In other words, “what” will help me stay on task to reach my objective and goals, with a focus on the current and future?”  Understanding the steps to take to fashion that future involves the specifics of what “what” brings from a mentoring relationship.

    How can mentoring help mentors?

    A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser. Because self-awareness is not one truth, by sharing steps to develop strategies, achieve goals, or overcome obstacles toward that professional vision a mentee has is a gift that an authentic, trusted mentor brings to the relationship. Make no mistake, however, the mentor gains as much self-awareness and insight throughout the relationship by sharing values and the gift of valuable time. Dedicating time and the ability to offer guidance and counsel given their own trials and tribulations provides the opportunity to build strong individuals who compliment the workplace with their unique talents with a differing lens only gleaned through the mentor’s eyes. We never stop growing and learning, and that is exciting!

    If you are interested in getting involved where do you start?

    Put yourself out there if you want to start with an informal relationship by asking someone you would like to speak to if they have some time to meet because you would like to get professional advice. Put yourself out there if you have stories and experiences where someone else may benefit and grow professionally. It is a two-way street that we traverse to become our best selves. Many companies in our industry offer formal mentoring programs within the organization. There is also a value in being a part of an external formal relationship. As a member benefit, PWH offers a mentor program where you are matched with other individuals within our industry. Click here to learn more about our mentoring program.

    Submitted by:

    PWH Mentoring Committee
    Eryn Marx
    Khaki Weber
    Selena Culpepper
    Justine Albright

  • 12/10/2020 10:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The holidays are looking a lot different this year for most of us. We may be cooking dinner for the first time or maybe looking to switch things up since we don’t have to cook for as many people. With so many other decisions to make around this time, I thought I’d share some of my favorites that I’ve enjoyed over the years with my family to help make the dinner decision a little easier. The best part is that these recipes fit into any season!

     

    Crock Pot Maple Brown Sugar Ham

    Ingredients:

    • 7-8 pound spiral-cut ham (bone in or boneless)
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • ½ cup maple syrup
    • 2 cups pineapple juice

    Instructions:

    • Use a 6-7 quart crockpot. Unwrap ham from wrapper, and discard the flavor packet. Place ham inside crockpot, flat side down. Rub the brown sugar over all sides of the ham. Then pour on the maple syrup and pineapple juice. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours. Baste ham with juices an hour or so before serving. When cooking is done, carefully remove ham from crock pot and place on a cutting board. Let rest 15 minutes before carving. Enjoy!

    Parmesan Green Beans

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

    Instructions:

    • Preheat oven to 400oF.
    • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside
    • In a large bowl, toss together green beans and olive oil. Add cheese salt, and pepper and toss again.
    • Spread green beans in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

    Twice Baked Potato Casserole

    Ingredients:

    • 5 lb. russet potatoes
    • 1 (3 oz) package real bacon bits (or 4-6 pieces real bacon, crumbled)
    • 8 oz cream cheese
    • ½ cup butter
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 2 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese
    • 2 tsp salt
    • ½ tsp pepper

    Instructions:

    • Preheat oven to 350o. Peel potatoes and cut into 1 inch chunks. Place in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook until tender and easily pierced with a paring knife, about 15 minutes. Drain and put in a large bowl.
    • Using a mixer beat potatoes until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and stir until combined and smooth. Add 2 cups cheddar cheese, half the bacon, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
    • Transfer to a buttered 3 qt. baking dish. Top with remaining ½ cup of cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Bake for 30 minutes or until potatoes are heated through and the top is slightly golden brown.

    Kale Salad (one of my favorites!)

    Ingredients (to your preference):

    • Kale
    • Onion
    • Bacon
    • Hard boiled eggs
    • Shredded cheddar cheese

    For the dressing:

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup Miracle Whip
    • ½ cup vinegar

    Instructions:

    Mix everything together and serve!

    Do you have a holiday favorite that you want to share? Be sure to comment here or on our Facebook page!


    Submitted by:

    Kristy Spairana
    Associate Account Manager
    B. Braun Medical Inc.

  • 09/23/2020 10:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    By no means, I cannot and will not say I am professional speaker, but I would venture to say that I have become a professional student of public speaking. For years, we have all been pushed in front of an audience, whether it was a “show and tell” at elementary school to a brief memorized line delivered to a crowd of classmates, teachers, parents and other loved ones.  You may not have noticed it as much, but we have been practicing public speaking for quite a long time. 

    To this day, we may not have necessarily signed up to speak during meetings or to speak at large crowds.  And most of us, even the best of us, still get nervous.  Those individuals that do not seem to have fear of public speaking, have probably learned some strategies to overcome and most likely started nervous in the early years and with enough practice, have gotten used to it. 

    I am a self-proclaimed nervous speaker, even my genetic trait test shows I am highly likely to have fear of public speaking!  My heart races, my voice quivers, my throat chokes up and I feel this warm rush within my body when speaking in public.  So, when I saw the August webinar, “The day I nailed my presentation,” I knew I had to sign up to learn additional tips.  Kerry Stellar, a sales trainer who has delivered numerous presentations to clients and colleagues provided insights that were worth sharing and keeping.  She speaks the truth when she mentioned that you truly have to have confidence in your own abilities, that you have the 1st person experience and can relay that knowledge. “Embrace what you know and speak to it with enthusiasm,” she says.  Kerry also mentioned that the audience wants you to succeed, that they are quietly rooting for you, embracing your nerves can help.   I can even relate to her confession of feeling silly practicing how to wave in front of the mirror.  As I listened to Kerry, I started to think about my own tips that has helped me throughout the years that I would like to share with all of you. 

    Here are my top tips for nailing YOUR presentation:

    1.       PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
    I would agree with Kerry to practice as much as you can.  Put intentional time to practice your presentation.  Practice when you wake up, when you’re in the shower, when you’re in the car, with your dog, practice in front of your family if they are willing to listen!  If the presentation is something you would need to “nail,” put the time in.

    2.       MEMORIZE YOUR FIRST 30 SECONDS
    This will help with those first few seconds!  When you can recite your first paragraph without a hitch you can go on autopilot and bypass the initial “fight or flight” feeling that can set the tone of your entire presentation.  During fight and flight, your body is trying to prioritize and work on getting rid of the stress, so if you memorize and go on autopilot during this time, it will allow you to breathe through it and calm yourself down.
     
    3.       GIVE IN
    Yes, “give in.”  If you accept that you will be nervous, you tell your body that you acknowledge that initial feeling of fright, but that you are not really under attack by a 6 foot bear.  It will eventually realize there is no danger and release your nerves.

    4.       DO NOT PACE BACK AND FORTH ON STAGE – OR FOR VIRTUAL, KEEP YOUR HAND MOVEMENTS TO A MINIMUM
    Talking about bears, when you are on stage, try not to pace like a wild animal, walking back and forth.  It is normal to try to move around to get that nervousness out, but it does not look good.  You can pace, but pause for a longer time, get a couple of points in then you can move around again.  During virtual sessions, try to limit your hand movements.  Your hands may look larger in front of your laptop camera and with the virtual bandwidth, your movements may seem very choppy and it can be very distracting.
     
    5.       BODY LANGUAGE
    For live settings, the hands can be used to convey your expertise…purposefully.  Do not keep your hands behind your back or keep it on your sides like a robot.  Use your hands to make a point, or create highlights.  BUT do what comes naturally.  Use open palm gestures to build your audience’s trust. If you are behind a lectern, show your hands. 
    For virtual settings, it is a little different, try to think of how you would talk to someone if you were sitting at a table together.  Depending on your comfort level, you can lean in or lean back, you don’t have to face your camera squarely, but for your own sake, make sure your camera is at eye level, this will save your back and your neck.  And always end your calls with a smile (when appropriate).
     
    6.       BREATHING AND TONE OF VOICE
    Try talking from your stomach, instead of your throat.  It will take practice, but you will find that if you speak from your diaphragm your voice will be more full bodied and you will also avoid that feeling of breathlessness.  And while we are talking about the voice – try to match your tone with the emotions.  If you say “I’m excited to be here…” SOUND EXCITED!
     
    7.       PRESENTATION – LESS IS MORE
    Keep it light, make it more conversational.  “Death by PowerPoint” is exactly what it is, your presentation should focus on YOU and the content you are delivering, not your PowerPoint presentation.  Kerry’s tips are valuable about presentations.  For more tips, check out the recorded version on www.mypwh.org/Webinars
     
    8.       CLOSING
    Make sure you use words to signal that you are about to close your presentation.  As soon as you signal, audience will have a second wind and listen to your final words. Make sure you provide a brief recap and takeaways.  Make sure they are clear –if there are any next steps, you need to outline that, if there is a call to action, make sure you distinctly state it.  Most of the time I also frame my first slide to tell my audience what their top 3 takeaways, then my last slide repeats those top 3 takeaways.
     
    One of Kerry’s recommendation is to be yourself, and I agree with that 100%.  To show your authentic self during your presentations can make such an impact to those who are listening to you.  When you embrace your power, you will show your authority on your subject matter, but more importantly, your comfort level will increase on stage when you “…reduce the pressure to be someone else,” as Kerry says.  Follow these tips, learn from the best and nail your next presentation!
     
    Want to learn more about communication strategies?  Check out our newest course offering:  Influence Redefined…Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be, Monday to Monday®  Register today: http://www.mypwh.org/event-3943431

    Submitted by:
    Odra Anderson
    Aesculap, Inc.

  • 09/11/2020 3:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Creating a resume can be a daunting task if you’re not sure where to start.  First and foremost, make note that your resume can be a ticket to begin and continue a fruitful career.  It is oftentimes your first impression for prospective companies.  A resume can either land you an interview or be tossed aside with thousands of other resumes lacking the appropriate content and liveliness an organization is looking for in their next hire.

    Your resume represents YOU!  You should be proud of it and look forward to submitting it to your most desired positions.  Here are some key things to consider when creating your masterpiece:

    Choose a format and look that matches your personality.

    Do your research – there are plenty of resume templates to choose from; resumes with colors, images and photos, and distinct areas.  Choose one that catches your attention and excites you to use as your own.  Adding a personal touch, such as a professional photo, is acceptable and gaining popularity.  As a rule of thumb, your resume should look clean and organized.  Stick to one to two lines for each bullet representing your experience.  Aim for one page and consistency in fonts and colors, if you choose to stray from the typical black and white format.  And, think back to English 101.  Using improper English and incorrect spelling could cost you an interview.

    Consider an opening summary. 

    Employers want to know what you are seeking, why it is important to you, and how you would be the best fit for a position.  Opening summaries give you the opportunity to showcase your desires in a company and role.  If you are considering multiple roles, tailor your summaries to the specific roles.  It is appropriate to have multiple resumes if you are seeking various positions that require different strengths and skills.

    Incorporate Key Words

    When reviewing the job description of the role for which you are applying, pick out key words that are required in the role and for someone to be successful.  Make note of them, and when crafting your experience, incorporate as many key words as possible.  This will increase the chances of your resume getting through the company’s review process – whether that be computerized or human.

    Focus on your most impactful experiences.

    When choosing what to highlight from your college or professional career, choose only those of which you are most proud.  Aim to be concise in your description and powerful at the same time.  Focus on your performance in the position and how it relates to the role for which you are applying.  For example, if you are interested in a position that requires an ability to meet deadlines, craft a bullet that highlights your percentage of success in doing so in prior roles or experiences. 

    Don’t skimp on leadership experiences, strengths, certifications, awards, and other accomplishments.

    Your resume should tell your story. Outside of required tasks and duties, a potential manager and team wants to know how you have spent your extracurricular time.  This provides a deeper insight into who you are as an individual and what is meaningful to you, and ultimately if you are a good fit for the role and team.

    Invest in someone to review your resume, in addition to performing regular self-reviews.

    Having an extra set of eyes review your masterpiece is crucial.  It provides great perspective.  You don’t necessarily need to spend money having someone review your resume for you, although there are plenty of resume writers that can help.  Conducting a self-review of your resume every six months to a year is good practice, especially as you gain experience and continue to grow.  You’ll want to be prepared with a resume you are thrilled to present to a future company or manager when new opportunities present themselves.

    Submitted by:

    Brooke Elliott
    Premier, Inc.

  • 08/31/2020 12:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Home has become the place where it all happens.  Cranking out your work, leading teams, rocking it on the last video conference presentation.  Oh and the minor task of keeping little ones alive and entertained, middle kids motivated and off devices, and the older wiser children engaged while their world has turned upside down.

    Working at home with kids is a thing.  A real thing.  A new phenomenon that is still happening and we’ve only now entered summer.  The school work is done and now here they sit in our homes looking to us for direction.  So, what are some of the best ways to rock it as a working parent?  Recently at the PWH Coffee Chat moms, aunts, grandmothers and even some parents of 4-legged kiddos all dove into this topic.  So this post is dedicated to exploring 5 key ways to keep rocking it while working at home with kids.

    It seems there must be a lot of us out there too.  Know you are not alone.  You see, 7 in 10 moms with kids younger than 18 are in the labor force.  Turns out there are many of us navigating these uncharted and kid-filled waters.  So let’s dive in.

    #1 – Harder than expected is expected and its ok.

    Working remotely for many was part of your daily life and it was routine. For those of you in this boat, many thought that adding kids into the mix seemed like a doable scenario.  An idea that quickly went up in smoke as the realization of how very disruptive adding kids to the mix shook up any semblance of your routine and every bit of silence.

    Then there were those of us office dwelling folks who were sucked from that land filled with adults and buzzing with meetings, straight into our homes that were never ever meant to function as a place of work in this way.  The kids came home too and we all stared at each other in bewilderment on the task at hand.

    Even if your home was overflowing with all the unconditional love and patience that it could hold, this was – ahem, is – much harder than expected.  Adjusting to our new work environment, while simultaneously trying to guide your children in this unprecedented time is not for the faint of heart.

    Depending on the age of your children the challenges are different and all incredibly demanding.  Learning to be a teacher for younger children through distance learning.  Motivating older kids through a time that has changed every semblance of their academic, social and even sports reality.  Navigating the adventure of young adult children who have been launched into their collegiate days only to suddenly be back quarantining at home.  In any scenario the hardness of it all was indeed much harder than expected.

    Now hard doesn’t mean bad.  It just means hard.  And it’s ok to face hard.  Accepting this difficult situation is the only way to work through it.  As The Kubler-Ross Change CurveTM reminds us, when faced with change, loss or shock, it is a process to work through the situation.  With the onset of the pandemic all three of these apply and certainly to the specific area of working at home with kids.  This process is not a linear progression where you march neatly from one stage to the other either.  One truth that resonates even in this specific COVID driven change, in order to make a decision to move forward and work within the changed environment in a positive and productive way, you must have acceptance.  That’s where we start, acceptance.  Facing that this is harder than any of us ever expected is very expected.  And it is very much ok.

    Reference Link: https://www.ekrfoundation.org/5-stages-of-grief/change-curve/

    #2 – Be Available but not on-call 24-7

    Though time and space seem to hint that you are home and available at all times, we all know you’re really not.  Physically present working diligently at your computer, but not always able to mentally and emotionally be present for your kids.  A concept that is hard for both young and old alike to grasp. 

    No matter the age of your kids, the reality is, they need you, your time and attention.  Face time and connection are crucial, which means setting realistic expectations is a must.  And realistically it can’t be 24/7.  Frame for your kids what working from home looks like and that it includes time of focus without interruption.

    Try reviewing the schedule for the day to ensure those “uninterruptible” times are well defined.  Setting boundaries for when you are not available opens up the possibility of all the times that you are available for your kids when they need you.

    Some parents find that scheduling specific time into the day for their kids is a must.  Add it to the calendar so your kids know when you are available to answer questions on schoolwork, help solve a puzzle they are stuck on, time for show-and-tell of their latest creation of the day, to read together, play a silly game, simply whatever they need. 

    Ensure there are breaks built into your work schedule so you can periodically check-in.  During a 60 minute meeting a lot can happen with kids involved.  Be realistic and ensure you have a break in your schedule vs. going from one back-to-back meeting to another all day.  A few minutes to connect (and ensure the house isn’t burning down!) will save a lot of heartache for all parties involved.

    #3 – Don’t forget to hunt for treasures each day.

    There is not a soul that would say this task working at home with kids is easy.  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t treasures to uncover in the midst of the days.  So how can you be on a hunt for these treasures?

    Start or end your day with a list of the things you are grateful for.  Whether there is one or twenty things on your list, it only takes 5 minutes and literally changes things.  As in, start a regular practice of gratitude journaling and you can increase your optimism by 5-15% (Amin, 2014).  See this treasure hunt pays far reaching dividends today and tomorrow.  It’s been shown this practice of spending 5 minutes journaling what you are grateful for can enhance our long-term happiness by over 10% (Emmons & McCullough, 2003; Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005).  For anyone who’s in need of more immediate outcomes, keep up the work of gratitude for at least 2 weeks as this type of gratitude intervention is proven to increase your sleep quality and reduce blood pressure (Jackowska, Brown, Ronaldson, & Steptoe, 2016).

    Reference to link in this section:  https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-gratitude-research-questions/

    Don’t forget that searching for these treasures of gratefulness might be right under your nose in a new way.  Proximity brings new unique opportunities that a working parent with children who used to leave the house have never been able to experience before now.  Opportunity to observe and hear what otherwise would have gone unnoticed.  Conversations between siblings, seeing a helping hand around the house, even an overheard argument that might reveal a deeper dialogue that needs to happen with your child.  Any of these moments are now little treasures you get to witness first hand.

    #4 – Carving out “me” time is a necessity.

    Lines blur quickly when work and home are in the same location, with the same people, all day every day.  When does the work day begin?  When does the day end?  Did I miss lunch…. oh no did the kids eat lunch?  Clearly defining time for you to refuel is a must.

    Remember those days a mere 3 months ago when you commuted every morning before starting your work day.  Use what was your commute time for yourself each morning before cranking up the laptop.  Many moms have shared getting in a morning workout is an invigorating way to kick-off the day. 

    Block time for lunch.  You need sustenance and it really is always a good idea to feed the kids too.  In a 2019 survey from Tork (Reference to link), almost 90% of workers in North America said taking a lunch break helped them feel refreshed and ready to back to work.  Seems like it’s worth the commitment to block that lunch hour.

    If finding a long chunk of time isn’t working, carve out you time in small doses.  Take a quick lap around the block to get fresh air and alone time.  Close the office door, or jump into the nearest bathroom, for a moment alone to do some deep breathing or meditation.  Have a quick chat with a friend.  Pick up a book and read a chapter or two.  Reflect on your favorite encouraging verse or even write down an uplifting quote for the day.  Whatever it looks like for you, make the time, you’re worth it.

    #5 – Remember we are all human. 

    In these massive shifts over the last 3 months, it seems there is a beautiful reality that has come to light – work and “life” really aren’t separate after all.  In fact they never truly were.  We quite literally see it every day in this new video meeting filled world.  This new perspective results in a feeling of humanizing each and every person once again.  Gone are the days when what happened outside of the four walls of work were unseen.

    For me work-life balance was never a realistic concept.  Yes I’m clumsy and balance isn’t really my strong suit, but no matter what I did, the concept didn’t seem to work for me or others around me.  That perfect idea of balance was never quite right.  We are each one human, beautifully made, and in that one single human, the work doesn’t stay confined into the hours defined for work, and life with those loved ones at home come right into the work day.  To me it’s really all about work-life integration.  It’s how you as one human integrates your life in all its incredible aspects.  Integrating it all in order to effectively manage your time and resources each and every day, pouring into the lives of people all around us – work, home and everywhere in between. 

    So remember on your next meeting, as you hear the doorbell ring and the scurry of feet to see what package has been delivered, the sound of that ever piercing voice yelling for “Moooommmmm” which interrupts the flow of conversation, or see that little one running, perhaps even posing behind their parent in the midst of a very serious discussion… it’s a little reminder that we are all human.  And we all have other dearly loved humans that are part of every moment of our days.  Chuckle, smile, let out that oh-so-good down to your toes belly laugh from what you witnessed on that meeting screen.  None of us minded.  Sometimes it’s the bright spot in the day.  So, don’t forget give yourself that same grace.  It’s ok.  In fact it’s more than ok, it’s normal, and it’s a part of this crazy world of working at home with kids.

    Here we are at home working… with kids.  Even if you aren’t I bet you’ve witnessed someone who is.  It’s a challenge and that is more than ok.  So let’s find the treasure in these times and support each other as we continue to rock it at work while rocking it with these crazy kids.

    #1 – Harder than expected is expected and its ok.

    #2 – Be Available but not 24-7.

    #3 – Don’t forget to hunt for treasures each day.

    #4 – Carving out “me” time is a necessity.

    #5 – Remember we are all human

    Submitted by Jessica Wells, Vizient, PWH Membership Committee

  • 07/14/2020 9:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    What a great time we had during our Staying Motivated and Productive While Working Remotely Coffee Chat!

    Several of our members were able to join our interactive discussion and learn from one-another, what are the common challenges we face during social distancing and finding ways to keep engaged and driven to perform to the same standard as before.

    Here are some of the tid-bits we thought you may find helpful, also:

    • Many have gained the opportunity to designate time to focus and work independently on projects.
    • Staying connected with teammates is a welcome distraction from moments of focus pause.
    • Learning curve in finding ways to avoid/eliminate distractions at home and balancing them (tending to children while juggling back-to-back conference calls, taking a break or scheduling work calls/meeting in intervals).
    • Setting boundaries for yourself and others is critical:
      • Discourage friends and family to contact you during work hours.
      • Set a work schedule for yourself.
      • Schedule a lunch break daily AND take it – get over the guilt factor!
      • Trust yourself and others that work will get done even if it is outside of the 8-5 schedule; so allow the flexibility – notion of creating your own freedoms and responsibilities.
    • Prioritize staying active:
      • Multi-task taking a walk while on a conference call – getting some fresh air and clarity is a bonus.
      • Make it a joint walking session with your teams.
    • Keeping organized by establishing daily, weekly and monthly goals – keep it short – 3-5 goals max.
    • In addition to making a to-do list, be sure to write down your accomplishments, too.
    • Create a vision board to keep motivated and inspired.
    • Environment matters:
      • Figure out what work space works best for you – do you prefer having a designated work area to keep you focused and in work-mode or do you function better in a fluid space, moving from one area of your home to another to make your day diverse?
    • FOMO – Fear of Missing Out is real for many – being deprived of social interactions make us missing the office gatherings, potlucks, teambuilding activities, etc.
    • Many of us realized the diminishing need for on-site/office presence on a full-time basis.

    Let us know your thoughts and experiences on our Facebook page  www.facebook.com/pg/mypwh;

    For a full access to related content, please visit our PWH® Resource Series website:  http://mypwh.org/Resource-Series

  • 05/06/2020 3:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Amidst the unprecedented health crisis we are currently facing, being exposed to a new reality on a daily basis, fueled by constant news via traditional and social media coverage, the feel of constant change, rising unemployment rates, and the economic uncertainty the future holds, we cannot allow another day go by without recognizing all those effects on our mental health and well-being.

    Dealing with all the recent changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic we are left feeling isolated, anxious and fearful, and it is becoming the new truth for many; hitting closer to home and those around us, even ourselves. An increasing number of reports reveal the staggering growth in cases of individuals suffering from fear, depression, substance abuse and even suicide. We must use this time as an opportunity to raise awareness with our families and our communities, even ourselves in order to reduce the stigma that is often associated with mental health.

    I personally have found myself being in a dual role. On one hand, going through the motions and at times feeling overwhelmed by media, I catch myself becoming more distant from close friends, family and coworkers with whom I used to be surrounded by daily. I realize I have been extremely lucky to have an opportunity to work from the safety of my home during this time, to continue to be productive and contribute to my organization (Concordance Healthcare Solutions) and servicing our customers. And even in moments of gratitude, we find it difficult to escape the nagging thoughts, for example, how I will be able to adapt going back to the office… Questioning if people (including myself) would be healthy enough to be around each other…or how to ease into projects that were temporarily on hold during coronavirus… In the grand scheme of things, this is nothing in comparison with the struggles others often face.

    On the other, I have experienced being the support person for a close friend struggling with depression and anxiety. Very recently, just in the last few weeks I discovered the dark world of mental illness and how taxing it can be on the person suffering from it, as well as those around them. In addition to pre-existing conditions, quarantine has enabled the surfacing of a whole other set of emotions and feelings for my friend, such as that of loneliness and abandonment, emotional distancing and disconnect, experiencing loss and grief for events or circumstances that can be either hypothetical or forthcoming, substance abuse, even thoughts of suicide.

    I also wanted to share some of the practices that can sometimes be so minor but have made a great impact on my own outlook and daily life in quarantine. Interestingly, some of them can be quite simple, even intuitive - hope you also find value incorporating them in your everyday life:

    1.       Surround yourself with little things that bring you joy – astatic has always brought me a sense of comfort and inner-peace and so, one example of that is my love of having a bouquet of freshly cut flowers on my kitchen table. Since this is my new office space, every couple of days, I have made it a point to start my morning by bringing in a handful of spring flowers from my garden –daffodils, tulips, lilac. Or, creating a calm and therapeutic environment by adding to the ambiance is running a diffuser with my favorite essential oils during the work day does wonders for me. It is the little pleasures that set you up for a positive mindset!

    2.       Working in a clutter-free space is crucial for my productivity, even if it means doing all the clean-up work late at night. Kicking off the day with neatly stacked work-pile, ensuring no housework is awaiting me first thing in the morning.

    3.       Adhering to a routine – following a daily regimen and schedule has helped me stay consistent, motivated and further easing my angst with having stability and managing my own expectations.

    4.       Plan a self-care routine often – journaling; beauty/skin care; having a creative outlet; introspective moments – taking time to really recognize and asses my feelings and methods I have taken in managing those emotions.

    5.       Spend time outside – it is easy to get caught up doing chores back to back at home, or having too much screen time, binge watching Netflix or working a regular shift from your home and realizing you have been in the same spot for hours – we have all been there. Making it a habit to spend time outside has been crucial for my well-being and staying positive. Weather permitting, I would have my morning cup of coffee outside, enjoying the crisp air; take conference calls on my balcony or even take the dog for a 10-minute walk mid-day.

    6.       Dedicating time for others – now more than ever, it is vital that we reach out and stay connected with our community, colleagues and family - we have seen it in so many instances people being kinder and more compassionate towards one-another. Acts of kindness are happening every day and I personally wanted to contribute to helping others, even in the smallest ways – I love cooking, so over the weekend, I dedicated some time to making bread and delivering it to friends. Someone surprised me with a book in the mail, on a topic we had previously conversed about and I am very passionate about. Something so small yet so meaningful to all is making the time and effort to check on someone and really ask them how they are doing; probe and seek deep, meaningful and genuine conversation – during a difficult times like these is when you may learn most about people and create stronger bonds.

    To learn more, check out the podcast links below – all dedicated to providing us with insight to the various symptoms and conditions we all experience differently but still affect our emotional, spiritual and mental wellness. I encourage you to utilize any of these tips to help spread positive messages of hope, empathy, mental health care and prevention.

    Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Beth Rush, a Mayo Clinic neuropsychologist, shares ideas for taking care of your mental health and finding comfort amid the uncertainty: https://blubrry.com/mayoclinicqa/57556639/mental-health-and-coping-during-covid-19-crisis

    Speaking of Psychology: Managing Your Mental Health During COVID-19 with Lynn Bufka, PhD: https://www.apa.org/research/action/speaking-of-psychology/covid-19-mental-health

    Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love: Coping during Coronavirus: https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5hZGtuaXQuY29tL2FwcC1zZWFyY2gvY25uL2JlaW5nLWJvc3Mtd2l0aC1wb3BweS1oYXJsb3cvYWxsLzEwODAvMjAwLw&episode=YWIyMzZmZDEyYjRiMGY2NzMzMTc5M2NjYzAzYTg4MGEubXAz

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