PXPs - Staying the Course When Things Get Tough

Written By: Kristin Baird, MHA, BSN, RN

Over the past few years, there’s been a new role emerging in healthcare—the Patient Experience Professional, or PXP. It’s an important, but not an easy, role. Face it. There is a wide range of moving parts, and people in place at healthcare organizations. Getting those people, and parts, all moving together in the same direction, toward the same goals, with the same motivations, is a significant challenge. Not to mention the complexity that is added by patients themselves!

Frustration, and burnout, are frequent among the PXPs I interact with on a regular basis. They’re passionate and committed, but they’re faced with many obstacles; some which may seem insurmountable. Many enter this role almost starry-eyed. They have hopes and dreams of the great impact they will make, and how much better the patient experience will be. But, as days and weeks and months go by, and they’re constantly going to meetings, holding planning sessions, brainstorming, continually bringing people up to speed, and trying to engage stakeholders, they become exhausted–and disheartened. For those in this role, it can be deflating if they don’t know how to take care of themselves.

One of the things I talk about in my webinar, the “7 Habits of Highly Successful PXPs” is how to stay the course when things get tough. Identifying people around you who energize you can be a good way to do this. Know who energizes you, and turn to them – not to unload or complain, but to rejuvenate. Conversely, know who those individuals are who sap your energy, and try to avoid them, if you can.

PXPs can often feel isolated in their organizations, and this can exacerbate their feelings of discouragement. It’s important to get out and about, and to interact with others who can share stories about all of the great things that are happening in your organization. Believe me, no matter how bad you believe things are, there are great things happening, and great stories to unearth. You just need to take the time and make the effort to find them. It’s also important to get back to your connection to purpose. Why did you enter the healthcare profession? Why did you choose to become a PXP? What inspires you? Who inspires you? When you identify those important, inspirational people, ask for their help. There’s no shame in asking for help!

The PXP role is one of a motivator, and a cheerleader. The level of energy required to serve consistently in this role, is significant. At the end of a long day, or a long week, who encourages you? Having a coach can help - someone who is not part of your organization, but who has the wisdom, experience, insight, and perspective to help you see a way out of the muck, and help you identify a clear path forward.

In fact, some of the most accomplished people in the world have benefitted from the assistance of professional coaches – Steve Jobs among them. As we work with PXPs to provide them with the support and coaching they need through our PXP Advisor program, one of the most frequent things I hear is: “How can I ask for help? This is what they hired me for.” I’m here to tell you - we all need to ask for help from time to time, and we all benefit immensely when we do. Given the complexity of healthcare, it is simply not possible for PXPs to shoulder the burden alone.

We invite you to learn more about how the PXP Advisor can become part of your support network.


To learn more about the Baird Model for Service Excellence, employee engagement or leadership development workshops, or to sign up for Kris Baird’s FREE newsletter, write to info@baird-group.com

Copyright Use
Want to use this article in your e-zine, newsletter, or on your Web site? You may, as long as you include the following statement:
            Nurse, author, and consultant Kristin Baird, "Healthcare’s Customer Service
            Guru," is the author of Raising the Bar on Service Excellence: The Health
            Care Leader’s Guide to Putting Passion into Practice (Golden Lamp Press,
            2008), Reclaiming the Passion: Stories that Celebrate the Essence of Nursing
            (Golden Lamp Press, 2004), and Customer Service In Healthcare: A Grassroots
            Approach to Creating a Culture of Service Excellence (Jossey Bass, 2000).
            The Baird Group provides consulting, mystery shopping, and training services
            for improving the patient experience. To learn more, please visit
            http://baird-group.com or call 920-563-4684.

 

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