Showing posts with label Life: Healthcare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life: Healthcare. Show all posts

Monday, October 19, 2020

Life: Counseling and Support Groups in Minority Cultures

Let us discuss a topic which is is not spoken about in many cultures. Let us speak about counseling and support groups in the minority culture. For the sake of this blog, I will be focusing on the black community. I know I may receive a lot of flack for this one! During the current climate we live in, I feel this is a topic which needs addressing. 

Why is counseling in the black community taboo? Why does any form of counseling have a negative connotation? Do not get me wrong, we have come a long way, but have a long way to go when seeking outside assistance. "On average, White Americans are two times more likely to go to counseling than their African American counterparts (Carouthers, Zacchaeus. There's a Stigma with Counseling in the African-American Community. January 30th, 2014 (18 October 2020).

Pathway Clip Art

What is your opinion on support groups? Are they OK? In our culture, these topics are not spoken of very freely and are shunned. Many conversations are lacking in this area for fear of being labeled as weak, crazy, or having the inability to cope with life. The funny thing is, although there is a current stigma with counseling and support groups in the black community, there has always been some type of support within our culture. They take on the form of barber shops, beauty shops, coaches, pastors, and/or family members. 

So why is seeking assistance outside of our community looked down upon? I believe this thought process stems from history and has never evolved completely. In past history, the inner circle was the only assistance available for the black community. Currently, group support and counseling availability reaches far beyond the walls of our community. Furthermore, assistance can be beneficial in coping with life changes, trauma, and individual growth. Lets explore the difference between the two types of assistance.

  1. Counseling- Is defined as the provision of assistance and guidance in resolving personal, social, or psychological problems and difficulties ("counseling." Oxford Languages, 2020. (18 October 2020)). Counseling may include:
    1. One-on-one sessions- This is a good option if you have an issue speaking openly in a group setting.
    2. Temporary assistance compared to long term therapy- You will receive guidance for a short duration and your sessions will be completed.
    3. Goal setting and providing tools to achieve these goals- Goals will assist you in the problem solving aspect of life changes, trauma, and/or individual areas needing growth.
    4. Provides an objective view of areas needing assistance- Outside counseling provides privacy and gives an objective view of area needing improvement.
    5. Usually a counselor is an expert in the area you are seeking assistance-You are given a piece of mind knowing they have experience in the area you are seeking guidance.
  2. A Support Group- Is defined as a group of people with common experiences or concerns who provide each other with encouragement, comfort and advice ("support group." Oxford Languages, 2020. (18 October 2020)). A support group may include:
    1. Multiple people in 1 session- Also can be completed in one-on-one sessions.
    2. Temporary or long term support- Usually a support group is always present. Number of meetings to attend are not solidified. You may attend when support is needed.
    3. Does not encompass goal setting- Life experiences are exchanged. Also, comfort and advise may be given. Sometimes goals are given as a group, but usually goals are set per individual based on individual needs.
    4. Experiences may be similar to other attendees- Usually there are different levels of experience present in a support group. This allows the group to share on different levels of the healing process. This is not a definite set-up for a support group.
    5. A Support group may not be managed by an expert- Usually the group is managed by someone who has experience in the area of focus.

Any assistance you choose, counseling and/or a support group will result in growth. If any form of assistance results in growth, why the negative stigma? Why is an individual viewed as weak, crazy, or unable to handle daily life when seeking assistance outside the minority culture? Why do we prefer to struggle rather than seek help? In actuality the opposite is true. It takes real courage to be vulnerable and say you need assistance. Whether this assistance is for life changes, trauma, and/or individual growth. There are many private forums available, including telephonic and via web if you do not want to be seen seeking assistance. 

The reality is, speaking openly on personal issues, indirectly gives others support, hope, and the strength to speak out . Also, being vocal may prevent generational cycles from being repeated in our culture. How can a cycle be broken, if the next generation does not know what needs to be changed? Being vocal doesn't make you weak, it may earn you more respect for speaking out on an issue, and you may realize you have more in common with someone than what you thought. 

How do we make it OK to speak about counseling or needed support groups in our culture? We can let individuals know they are not alone, and it is OK to be verbal. This can be done by actions and speaking freely about feeling. If you are not use to speaking freely, this will not just happen over night. It takes practice and an open mind. Also, when individuals do have the courage to reach out, do not shun them and let them know its OK to be vocal. If you are uncomfortable in the area of topic, point them in the correct direction of assistance in the area needed. We do not always need to have the answers, but should know some supportive resources. Usually work, insurance carriers, local churches, and hospitals have free information on support groups and counseling. Also, the internet is a very useful search tool to find counseling and support groups. 

As a community the negative stigma of seeking help needs to be broken. The negative labeling of individuals speaking out needs to cease. This can be achieved by our community by working together as a whole. Be vocal and project positivity on counseling and support groups everywhere. Remember, it took a lot of courage for the individual to ask for assistance. If change occurs one person at a time, it will be a start. Let a positive change start with you!

*The information above is on counseling and support groups. The information provided is not all inclusive, but a starting point. Please subscribe via e-mail on the right, and leave a comment in the comment section below. As always, thanks for reading and subscribing!*

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Life: Getting Back to Normal

What does getting back to normal mean to you? Everyone's definition of normal differs. What's normal for one person, may make another person feel out of place. "Getting back to normal" can encompass many areas in life. For the sake of this blog our normal category will be health. I am going to give you 5 techniques you can use when you feel out of sorts. Here is to getting your Chi back😉! The techniques are as follows:

  1. Give Yourself Time- Weather we know it or not, people are use to routine. When your routine is thrown off, it takes time to get back in a rhythm. Give yourself a realistic time frame to return to "normal". Everyone's time frame is different. A good example is: It takes Jane 4 months to return to running 3 miles a day after surgery. Jill had the same surgery, and it takes her 6 months to return to running 3 miles a day. Same end goal, but different time frame to achieve.
  2. Set a Plan- Writing down a plan is a great idea. A plan allows you to see if you are on track to reach what is normal for you (end goal), or if you need more time. It is ok if your plan or time frame changes to reach your end goal.
  3. Make Small Task- Making small task to achieve your end goal can be rewarding. As you complete each task you feel like something was accomplished. Indirectly, you are encouraging yourself to complete the next step of your plan.
  4. Setting Goals- Setting goals is encompassed in your plan. Your goals should have a range: immediate, intermediate and long. All your goals are connected. Completing a small goal(s) helps you complete your immediate goal(s). Completing your immediate goal(s) assists in your intermediate goal(s) completion. Intermediate completion, gets your long goal accomplished. An example would be: immediate goal- walking today, intermediate goal- walking 3 times this week, and long goal-walking 3 times a week consistently over the next 3 months. 
  5. Set Limits- In setting limits, this allows you to be realistic in what you are trying to accomplish. You will not try to run a marathon by the end of the 1st week of your "get back to normal". You need to set realistic limits. Getting back in routine is no different! It takes practice and hard work. An example of limit setting is: I will not try to run 3 miles, 3 times a week in the first month. This can be a goal for the 2nd or 3rd month.  Setting limits allows you to be realistic and not set yourself up for failure.

*What I like about these techniques, they are useful for getting back into a routine, or obtaining a new goal. How do you get back to normal? Please subscribe via e-mail on the right, and leave a comment in the comment section below. As always, thanks for reading and subscribing!*

Friday, September 4, 2020

Life: Being a Patient- But I Work in Healthcare!

As difficult as it may be, many people enjoy working in the healthcare industry. It is not for the faint of heart. Individuals are very vulnerable during this time, and need the most assistance. So how do healthcare workers view an industry when they are on the other side? How do they cope with being a patient? Here are 5 techniques to ease the process of being a patient. They are as follows:

  1. Be honest about your symptoms- As healthcare workers, we feel we can work through anything. Our patients care come first. If you can manage symptoms with over the counter products, then you are OK. Being open and honest about all your symptoms, allow healthcare providers to treat you holistically.
  2. Make your needs known- Many healthcare professionals feel, stating they need assistance makes them appear weak. For some reason, being vulnerable makes healthcare workers feel job inadequacy. But, what better way to a speedy recovery, than vulnerability. Although uncomfortable, a speedy recovery will assist you in getting back to helping others in need.
  3. Clarifying information- Everyone assumes, "a healthcare worker, is a healthcare worker, is a healthcare worker". There are so many specializations in healthcare, you may be missing out on information. Although you are in healthcare, having your healthcare provider speak to you as if you are not in the healthcare field may be useful. In doing this, important information is not missed.
  4. Listen- Listening is a key component. Information in healthcare changes on a continuum. The continuous changes allow for improvement in patient care. No matter how experienced you are in an area in healthcare, you can always learn something new. So be open minded.
  5. Be the patient- Yes, I am saying this loud and clear, "BE THE PATIENT". This is the most difficult technique to do, but most beneficial. In healthcare you are taught to perform complete care. Attempting the same technique on ourselves is stressful and time consuming. It is OK to allow others to do their job. Allowing others to do their job, may alleviate some personal stress and allow you time to focus on healing. Yes I know, this last technique is easier spoken and is difficult to perform.

* How do you ease the process of being a patient, while working in healthcare? Please share in the comment box below, and subscribe via e-mail in the right column. Thanks in advance for reading and sharing*

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

LIFE: Death-Coping in Healthcare

As a healthcare worker, we deal with life and death on a daily basis. Some areas in healthcare deal with death more than others. There is a misconception that healthcare workers do not grieve. We should be use to it, because we see it frequently. That statement cannot be further from the truth. My question to you is, how do you cope with loss? Here are 5 coping mechanisms that can assist you with dealing with death:

  1. Be Vocal About Your Needs- Not everyone deals with death the same. It is OK to be vocal about your needs. Weather it's a 15min break to regroup, and/or backup to provide the dying patient adequate care during the dying process.
  2. Have An Outlet- Speaking to a counselor, senior nurse, and/or love on a regular basis may be a good idea. You never get use to death, but receiving pointer from someone more experienced in this area may assist you in the coping process. It is OK to speak up and say you are uncomfortable.
  3. Have a ZEN Place- A ZEN place is your little get-a-way place to reflect. This solution does not have to be expensive. Weather this is a She-shed, a special room in the house, and/or a getaway place to reflect(Ex: Hiking). This will surely allow you to regroup and deal with your feelings.
  4.  Make Your Healing Unique To You- Each nurse and dying experience is unique. There is not one grand solution to coping with the dying process. Certain situations are more difficult than others (ex: Unexpected death, suicide, and/or the death of a child). There is no distinct time line for the healing process (Aieda Solomon. Retrieved July, 1, 2020 from Take your time.
  5.  It Is OK To Cry- Yes, I said it! There is a misconception that healthcare workers do not cry and/or grieve. Showing that you are human doesn't make you any less capable of taking care of a patient and/or family member. Crying is a stress reliever and may show that you have empathy.
* These are 5 coping strategies that are useful in healthcare. What are some coping strategies that work for you?*