Healthcare Series: Using Reflection to Recharge | Maureen Fagan

Dr. Maureen Fagan is the Chief Nursing Executive at University of Miami Health System in Miami, FL. She is passionate about leading resilience and helping people recharge. 

In this episode, Maureen recounts her leadership journey this year on the frontlines of healthcare and shares best practices to help employees find their “reserves”. 

Truth You Can Act On 

1. Listen to Hear and Empathize 
Supporting Quotes

Maureen Fagan: “You see an executive that’s on the floor in what we would call the trenches. That’s our slang for being on the unit and seeing the patients and meeting the patients and hearing their stories, and I can see that when I do that nursing leadership in the end, the nurses on the frontline that are their staff step back and listen to me. They listened to me talking to the patient. And when I’m talking with the patient, I’m cognizant of the fact that I’m modeling the behavior, that I would like them to have the comportment of what I would like them to be providing.”

Maureen Fagan: “You’re staying on point with what the patient is explained to you. And if the patient is sad about, um, having gotten COVID and they just couldn’t believe it, and that they didn’t think it would happen to them, you’re obviously saying, ‘I’m so sorry that this happened to you.’ You’re being able to meet them where they are at this moment. So what you’re doing is focusing the negative mindset that the patient is in currently, and then you’re saying, in your mind, ‘How am I actually going to be focusing on something positive?’ So you’re taking that mindset, that negative mindset, and giving it the reframe that we talked about to something positive.”

2. Don’t Take the Bait
Supporting Quote

Maureen Fagan: “I think if you reflect back and use the lens of objectivity, you know, I know I got triggered by when he, or she said this or that. And then that made me do what? I tell my staff, and I’ve told myself this for years, don’t take the bait when something is happening right there. There might be somebody that you’re having a conversation with and it’s becoming provocative for some reason, and you want to make a point. I think if you actually respond back with, ‘Well, you know, I think that because ___,’, that actually just cascades. And so when you’re looking back on this after the event is over or the conversation is over, I think when you reflect back that begins your process of how you restore and rejuvenate yourself based on your reflection.”

3. Take Time to Recharge
Supporting Quote

Maureen Fagan: “Part of my self-care is when I get home, I am quiet for a solid hour. I don’t watch television. I don’t read. I sit outside and I think sitting outside, no matter what the temperature is, if you’re dressed the right way to be able to actually breathe without your mask outside, without anyone else being around you is a saving grace in this pandemic.”

4. Have Energizing Talks
Supporting Quotes

Maureen Fagan: “One of the things we like to do is to come on [Zoom] a little bit earlier and just chat it up. That’s been fun because whoever is on early, you get to say hello to and talk about other things, too. And when the new folks come on, you can see them come on before they actually come on. So, if you’re already talking, the other person realizes, ‘Oh, you know, I really want to talk to these people, too.’ And now we have another two minutes before we’re actually going to start the Zoom. So I find that a lot of fun.”

Maureen Fagan: “I think to be, to be a little silly changes the energy in a room and to be silly with, um, without hurting someone’s feelings. So silly stays in a realm of being funny and being childlike in its environment. And that is a very high energy field to be like that it’s like singing, singing is another very high energy field that you can capture. But silliness does that too.”

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