The Enduring Spirit of Caring

Description of the Session:  This presentation meets the specific call for the Education in the Health Professions Special Interest Group (EdHP-SIG). This Inspire session is applicable to all academicians, but especially those in the health professions. Through this session, the academician will learn how to develop a culture that promotes self-care, collegial support, and student success.  Specific actions that can be implemented in the attendees business or university will be presented and program outcomes will be shared.

Association for Educational Communications and Technology
Susan Steele-Moses, DNS
Presentation Date: 
Monday, November 2, 2020
Event or Conference: 
2020 AECT International Convention
Presentation Type: 
Poster Presentation
Boyer's Domain: 
Presentation Location: 
225 E Coastline Dr
Jacksonville, FL 32202
United States
Educators in the health professions prepare practitioners in medicine, allied health, and nursing. Independently and collaboratively, practice in the health professions is arduous and requires a highly skilled practitioner. Educational models have traditionally been based on a culture of intimidation. Research findings suggest that bullying is counterproductive, undermines trust and creates a sense of fear, which undermines faculty and student confidence. Incivility can be overt and covert and manifest itself through interpersonal interactions, cyber bullying, or simple rudeness. Incivility often stems from jealousy, superiority, and intimidation. Based on a nationally recognized healthcare program, Re-Igniting the Spirit of Caring, concepts were adapted and applied to the academic setting. The program is based on three concepts, care for self, colleagues, and the students we are privileged to serve. First, faculty tune into themselves, which is foundational to every other relationship. Second, strong collegial relationships, based on trust, require faculty who are self-aware and manage their behavior and emotions. And finally, high quality relationships with students require relationships that faculty have with themselves and their clinical programs. To implement a change in the environment, first an educational session was needed. All faculty and staff, within the School of Nursing and the School of Health Professions attended a one day workshop. Course content was presented in module format. Module one focused on balancing mind, body, and spirit, circles of concern, ways of being, and compassion fatigue. In module one, the faculty completed a personal assessment, identified areas of personal thriving, how perception were formulated, and what brings them peace. The second module focused on mutual respect, healthy collegial trust, consistent and visible support, and the development of healthy faculty and staff relationships. In module two, faculty and staff discussed the characteristics of an ideal colleague, their role in this work, and completed a personal collegial assessment. The third module focused on seeing the student as a person, the six roles of teaching, and the role of transformational leadership to model the way. During module three, students shared their personal stories or disrespect, a caring assessment was completed, caring behaviors were discussed, and the development of caring relationships with students were formulated. In the third module, the ways of being, the transformational leadership cycle, and the steps to creating a shared vison were also presented. At the end of the day, work units developed shared vison and presented them to each other. Several outcomes were identified to determine the effectiveness of the program. First, student satisfaction and retention were measured. Next faculty and staff satisfaction and scholarly productivity was evaluated. And finally student, faculty, and staff complaints were assessed. Based on the results of the program, student satisfaction (Mean = 2.98 to Mean = 3.84) and retention 90% to 98%) increased, Faculty and staff satisfaction (Mean 3.42 to Mean 4.13) and scholarly productivity increased, and student, faculty and staff complaints decreased (3.9/semester to 0/semester) over a two year period. This program can be replicated at other colleges and universities to promote a culture of caring. Because, as leaders, the culture we create is what our faculty and staff do when no one is watching.