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    Andy Stonehouse, MA

    Citing the stress caused by COVID-19, Susan Childs, FACMPE, founder, president, Evolution Healthcare Consulting, said the past two years have been a great example of the need to understand and improve the emotional challenges of the healthcare profession.  

    “About the end of last year, morale started falling, burnout started happening, patients started getting angrier, people needed a little more balancing,” she said. “A lot of the managers are getting burned out, because they were so busy trying to take care of the practice and be everything to everybody. But as everyone knows, you can’t help someone unless you’re good yourself. It’s taking care of yourself and being aware of what you need.” 

    Childs said part of the solution lies in the understanding of emotional intelligence. And while the term may sound like pop psychology, she said the reality is that identifying and learning to work with emotional stress is a fundamental tool in daily life.  

    “Everyone needs to be recognized for their value,” she said. “Really, that’s (what) emotional intelligence is – recognizing and being aware of your own emotions and your relationship management with others.” 

    To that end, Childs said it is critical for healthcare decision-makers to understand the role they play in setting the tone for thoughtful interactions, especially in such hyper-stressful environments.  

    “Your words mean a lot as a leader. People really take it as gospel,” she said. “So, you have to be really careful how you communicate, who you communicate, what you communicate and body language. Everything makes a world of difference.” 

    A simple strategy employing emotional intelligence, Childs said, is for managers to take a fresh view of the workplace and to engage directly with every member of the team.  

    The best thing you can do is sit down with someone at their job with no interruptions,” she said. “[Ask] ‘what do like about your job, what don’t you like about your job and how would you change it?’ It shows that you’re listening to them, and that’s what they want.”  

    Hear more from Childs in this episode of the MGMA Insights podcast: 

    MGMA · Affirm and Balance Your Practice Through Emotional Intelligence


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    Written By

    Andy Stonehouse, MA

    Andy Stonehouse, MA, is a Colorado-based freelance writer and educator. His professional credits include serving as editor of Employee Benefit News and a variety of financial and insurance publications, in addition to work in the recreation and transportation fields.  

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