Difficult Conversations Podcast

Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician

Episode 138 | April 6, 2021

Hospital Leadership During Covid-19

Dr. Noreen Bernard, RN

Chief Nursing Officer of UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital

Noreen Bernard

Hello and welcome to Difficult Conversations with Dr. Anthony Orsini. The COVID-19 crisis has affected us all, but especially with people in leadership roles in healthcare, which is why I am so excited today to have as my guest, Dr. Noreen Bernard, RN. Noreen is currently the Chief Nursing Officer for UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital and Broomfield Hospital. She is also an adjunct faculty at University of Colorado and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University. She has over 25 years of executive leadership experience with an emphasis on clinical operations, nursing professional practice, professional and organizational development. She is Nurse Executive Advanced board certified, a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and we are really lucky to have her here today. As always, Dr. Orsini keeps his promise about two things, that you will feel inspired, and you will have learned valuable lessons to be a better and more compassionate communicator.

Noreen begins by telling us about her journey, She tells us some traits about her that may have helped her get this job so quickly after graduating and gives advice to young nurses or clinicians who may want to follow the path of leadership. Find out why she says, “Lean in, get a seat at the table, and say yes.” Dr. Orsini talks about the “Healthcare Heroes” and how the COVID crisis has affected the entire group, and Noreen tells us how she navigated though all the issues the pandemic brought to hospitals and healthcare workers, such as possible furloughs and the hospitals losing millions of dollars each day. Dr. Orsini shares his views on how important communication is to your professional and private life, as well as being a compassionate and an active listener. Dr. Orsini and Noreen talk about how much the doctors, nurses, therapists, housekeepers, and everyone who works in a hospital have run towards problems and not away, and how selfless they have all been during this pandemic. Patient experience is always a hot topic in medicine, and Noreen explains the four things they focus on with patient experience and a special motto they follow, “Eyes up, Energy forward.” She also shares a story about allowing a family visitation during COVID and how family and friends at the bedside really helps with the healing process. We end with Noreen telling us the most difficult type of conversation she’s had in her life and how she navigated through it. If you enjoyed this podcast, please hit the subscribe button, and download all the previous episodes to find out more about what we do and how we teach communication.

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