How Does “The System” Change?

I’m sure you’ve heard this all the time:

The Healthcare System needs to change. 

Heck, you’ve probably even said it yourself!

I know it, you know it, everybody knows it. 

But a statement like that is so esoteric. 

It’s like the number 100 trillion – I understand the concept, but I have no way to truly grasp what it means. 

That’s why in holistic nursing, to understand whole-person wellness, we break down the whole into its individual parts – mind, body, spirit, emotions, environment, etc. 

And when we talk about “The Healthcare System,” what we are talking about is how all of the individual components come together to form an integrated, synergistic model. 

For so many of us nurses, the individual components we see are the direct patient interactions – caring for them and their families. 

Our relationships with our coworkers, management, and leadership. 

The environments we work in, the populations we care for. 

Now, how many times have you heard about the trickle-down effect?

We see this all the time when Washington tries to tell you that by giving a huge organization a tax break, the individual worker will get a raise. 

Well, I’m sure you know that “trickle-down” change is BS. 

It’s riddled with bureaucracy and administrative inefficiencies that make no sense and create minimal impact. 

Instead, what we need is grassroots change, which brings us back to our initial question:

How does The Healthcare System change? 

Well, it starts with you, the nurse, committing to being the change you want to see.

It starts by transforming your relationship with your patients, colleagues, and community to focus on not only what needs to happen acutely, but also how to effect positive change in a sustainable way. 

The system changes when you, the individual, decide that something can be different and you don’t wait around for someone else to do it for you. 

If a system is the sum of its parts, then I ask:

What is the part you want to play?

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