I was browsing my LinkedIn messages and came across a post from Bruce Berger, Ph.D., where he introduced a new term that immediately caught my attention. The term was Health Kind Professional (HKP).
Bruce is a colleague and a friend, and someone who understands people. He is a leader and an educator in the field of Motivational Interviewing, so when he writes a post, I take time to read it as he always has something important to say that I can learn to improve my practice.
I was instantly drawn to the term Health Kind Professional (HKP) and wanted to share it with readers of Nurses Advocates in this week’s Blog Post as I wish all healthcare professionals who are KIND to start using this acronym so it catches on.
We all know that the healthcare system is fragmented, complex, and hectic, but one thing it cannot be is unkind to patients, families, or the people working in it. As a nurse advocate, I am seeing more and more how unkind our healthcare system can be, so I am joining Dr. Berger to advocate for all healthcare professionals who are KIND to add the acronym to your title and see how many people notice it and ask you what it is. This way, we can raise awareness that kindness is essential everywhere, especially in healthcare.
Dr. Berger shared in his post that he was “advocating for a new type of individual…someone who puts kindness and compassion above all else when dealing with patients. Someone who understands that it is a gift that we are given every time a patient lets us into their world. It is a gift, whether that is to show us their fear, joy, frustration, or anger. And because it is a gift, health kind professionals are willing to be introspective and look inside and ask, “What keeps me from being fully available to my patients? What would allow me to enter each relationship with my heart open and ready to listen?”
He shared that Health Kind Professionals ascribe to the following principles:
1) I willfully enter into non-reciprocal relationships with my patients. I owe them everything. They owe me nothing.
2) When I make myself authentically available to my patients, the experience connects and enlarges us.
3) I will make every effort possible to demonstrate FIRST to my patients that I am listening to them before any educational interventions.
4) I fully understand and respect that I am not in charge of patient decision-making…patients are in charge of their decisions. I can certainly influence patient decision-making by the relationships I build with my patients, and I will offer patients insights and education to help them make the best decisions possible, but it is their decision.
5) I fully understand that patients are not responsible for any lack of caring or kindness I display. That is my responsibility, and I need to take it seriously and ask myself what wound was triggered in me that caused me to not be fully available.
At the end of his post, he asks what other principles you would add to this list. If you are a Health Kind Professional, please add your comment, and I will share them with Dr. Berger!
Thank you for reading this post and for being kind!
NOTE: To learn more about Dr. Bruce Berger and is work visit, https://www.mihcp.com/