Late last week while tucked away in a corner of the hotel restaurant Tami gazed over my shoulder, wide-eyed and fixated. At first, I assumed she was in an early morning, overtired gaze fighting desperately to keep her eyes open. When I turned to see what she was looking at I saw the hotel television broadcasting the latest information on the upcoming NFL Draft.
“Tonight is the draft and it got me thinking…” Tami began, “what if we hired caregivers like they do in the NFL Draft?”
At that moment she had my attention. I set my coffee mug down and leaned deeper into the conversation. She began to talk about the manner in which the draft essentially provides opportunities for teams to rebuild. What if we had scouts instead of recruiters? What if caregivers were groomed and encouraged more like football players, seeking to be the number one draft pick? What if health care teachers and educators were more like college football coaches, striving to be the best by creating the best?
What if caregivers were honing their skills like football players vying to be the number one pick in round one of the draft? What if caregivers competed in a series of 7 events that showcased their skills similar to that of the NFL Combine.
This could change the entire dynamic of the senior care industry, encouraging educators and trainers to be at the top of their game. They would need to know the best and most up to date techniques and foster a change in communication, empathy and basic skill sets. Students would look for the instructors that would get them to the next level and inspire them with hope for an awesome future.
We began to discuss how this could change the entire culture of care, top-down and bottom-up. Think about it: football players work tirelessly to become the best player any team would want. They focus on working out, staying healthy, learning new techniques, practicing endless drills all in the hopes of gaining a spot in the coveted first round of the draft. These players start early in the process of making themselves an attractive draft pick by choosing colleges that, in the past, produced other top picks.
College coaches that have developed first-round NFL draft picks become highly sought after and help to shape the face of the National Football League. These coaches work to build players that are confident, motivated and strong. The college institutions that employ these coaches and train these players become influencers in American Football.
Imagine if caregivers worked tirelessly to groom their best features and strengths, learning new techniques, practicing endless scenarios and engaging is self-competition to continually make themselves better. They would be inspired to be the number one draft pick within long-term care communities that valued such dedication and passion.
Imagine if healthcare educators viewed themselves as inspiration for the future caregivers. They would work to maximize a caregiver's best features, strengths, and abilities as they mold a potential icon. Great educators would think outside of the box, continue to learn the latest and greatest - the biggest and the best techniques in motivation, encouragement, strength, and endurance. They would run drills in perspective and empathy that would build confidence. These educators would know that they are only as good as the caregivers that they create, and this would drive them to do better and be better.
Imagine a senior care industry that employed these caregivers that were trained by the best educators. They would become influencers in the culture of long-term care, enticing upcoming caregivers to aspire to be a part of their team. Imagine if the culture of American caregiving recognized the caregivers that work hard and bring natural and groomed talent to their organizations.
What would it look like if the culture encouraged the educators and trainers as they worked tirelessly to create such talent? What if we used praise, excitement, and notoriety to naturally reward the sought after caregiver and the long-term communities that recruited them?
~ Written by Catherine Braxton, Chief Education Officer with a little help from her friend Tami Neumann, Cheif Operations Officer
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