Difficult Conversations Podcast

Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician

Episode 140 | April 20, 2021

Speaking The Truth - Debriefing Nurse Leaders

Lori Gunther

Chief Executive Officer at Synova Associates

Lori Gunther

Hello and welcome to Difficult Conversations with Dr. Anthony Orsini. Today my special guest is Lori Gunther, Chief Executive Officer at Synova Associates and a Board Member of the Patient Experience Institute. Lori became a partner at Synova in 2019, bringing twenty years of NICU and perinatal industry experience to the company. Lori is a trained professional counselor, and a nationally recognized expert in the field of patient experience, crisis intervention, PTSD, communication skills, and maternal-fetal health. She is recently published in Advances in Neonatal Care on how to improve and implement parent education in NICUs.
We start out by learning Lori’s counseling background, her years as a therapist, her journey through the March of Dimes, and how she got to Synova. Lori tells us how she got more involved in Synova, what they do, and how she thrives in chaos. She shares a story about what happened to her infant son after having surgery, which led to her wonder how can we have better conversations, listen more and think about our words. Dr. Orsini and Lori agree that the communication skills necessary for physicians and nurses to speak with patients are the same communication skills that are required for good leaders. Lori shares stories about her dad, and the mantra that she still lives by, “Don’t come to me with a problem, come to me with a solution.” She tells us how she ended up owning Synova right before the pandemic hit. Lori tells us about the Synova debriefing calls for nursing leadership and how they really help during the pandemic. Since there’s a whole area of nursing leadership that has no support, as well as for a nurse or physician who’s really not getting any support, Lori shares with us some “Drop the mic” advice. We end with Lori telling us the most difficult conversation she has had in her lifetime and some advice on how she was able to navigate through this. Also, find out what’s on the horizon for Synova, the free webinars they offer, and their 25th Anniversary event in November that Dr. Orsini will be speaking at. If you enjoyed this podcast, please follow, and download all the previous episodes to find out more about what we do and how we teach communication.

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