When most healthcare workers hear the term “P4P” these days, they immediately think of the dreaded “Pay for Performance” program. The theme that I chose for my term as APIC DFW is a very different, much more positive P4P. I’ve tried to explain it at both board and chapter meetings, but I feel the need to share a bit more on the theme. I’m often asked, “How on earth have you stayed in Infection Prevention (IP) for so long (16 years) with everything that has happened/changed/etc?” After much deep thought (well, maybe not so deep for those of you who know me well), I can attribute my tenure in IP to only one thing—it’s the Passion for the Profession (P4P).
So, what is “passion”? Simply put, it’s “an intense desire or enthusiasm for something”. After more than 16 years, I still get up excited to go to work every morning (some days more than others), and I continue to be enthused about the difference IP can (& does) make. What is the driver for this passion? It’s an intense desire for patients to receive excellent care, and for those who provide it to feel cared about by their employers (via great employee health programs). I have to admit that some days I have to dig deeper than others to find the passion—that’s when I have to put things into perspective, look at the bigger picture, and remember WHY I do what I do.
Why did I choose this theme? For many reasons, but most of all, because I care so deeply about each and every one of our APIC DFW members. If you haven’t noticed, burn out is at an epidemic proportion in our field—and my goal is to lessen the likelihood of burn out amongst our members. IPs have many valid reasons (over-worked, under-appreciated, etc.) for “catching” this serious, career-ending condition. Believe me, I’ve been there. But, I’ve learned that when I take a deep breath and, again, think about why I do what I do…I can stir up that passion again and tackle the issue of the day with renewed strength and a fresh point of view. Passion is prophylaxis for burn out; if we could self-administer a dose of “passion tonic” every day, I truly believe we could make huge strides towards wiping out the “plague” of IP burn out.
Passion gives us energy—who is more energized than someone who is passionately in love? A young suiter has boundless energy to pursue the heart of the beautiful damsel. Do our patients (& healthcare workers) deserve any less? Should we not be relentless in our pursuit of infection-free patient care? In my opinion, only P4P can provide IPs with sufficient energy for this ever-heightening challenge.
Passion is “contagious”-- with appropriate exposure. Granted, over-exposure can lessen the likelihood of “passion transmission”, but administered appropriately, it can go far in engaging others in our quest for safer patient care. So, another reason that I chose P4P as our theme for the year was to help spread our message via engagement of care givers, members of our “C-suites”, etc. This, in turn, will lead to more individuals working together in our facilities to promote safer, higher quality patient care. Rather than having an epidemic of burn out and apathetic care, let’s start a passionate care epidemic!
So, that’s just a bit of an explanation for my P4P theme for APIC DFW this year. I sincerely hope that you’ve caught it—and that you have made significant strides in development of immunity against burn out. I also hope that you’ve taken on more “passion fuel” to last for the duration of this seemingly endless journey. May you spread just enough of your P4P, so that those in your circle of impact will “catch” it and join you in the relentless pursuit of no preventable infections in our patients! If you would like to discuss this (or any other) topic, please email me at Maryfulton@mhd.com. Thanks for reading!!
Mary Fulton, RN, BSN, CIC
Methodist Charlton Medical Center
2013 APIC-DFW President