Posted by: ayrshirehealth | July 1, 2015

IMPACT by @di962

The pursuit of high quality healthcare – How will your IMPACT be felt?

What got you into healthcare?screening 2

What keeps you here?

What IMPACT do you make?

I entered healthcare with a general, if somewhat naïve desire to help people. My experiences of healthcare were minimal but I was drawn to it.

Seafield Childrens HospitalAt age three I had my tonsils out in Seafield Children’s Hospital, my earliest memories are of vomiting blood into a big silver bowl and crying for my mother.

One nurse telling me to stop crying it would only make me vomit more, rescued by another offering a cuddle, carrying me to the window to look for my mum reassuring me that she was on her way, it would be visiting time soon.

Talking about this memory with my mother years later she informed me that I cried so much they let me home early.

At age nine I had my appendix out in an Australian Hospital, similar scenario patients held to visiting hours, lots of crying and distress. We would never separate a child from their parent now, how far we have come.

I returned from Australia in the 70’s and lived with my Aunt and Uncle shortly after we arrived my uncle was diagnosed with Lung Cancer he was 59. His disease progressed quickly. Nurses and doctors seemed to be in the house all the time. He died at home surrounded by his family. The care I saw given to him and us as a family was phenomenal. Doctor Glencross often seen in the middle of the night, just in to sort out pain relief or deal with a complication that had occurred.

Walk in their shoes

I was clear of the impact the whole team had on me and on my family and this encounter I believe was what drew me to healthcare. Once in nursing I was fortunate to work with some truly inspirational people who shaped my practice teaching me how to care with compassion. Compassionate person and family centred care – that subtle understanding and ability to meet people where they are, to understand their life, to take a walk in their shoes.Walking in shoes

The biggest inspiration to me was a midwifery tutor called Catherine Roy, Cath sadly died recently, but left me and I’m sure others that she taught and mentored with a legacy that will be with me for life and that has influenced my practice and general way of being for ever.

As part of my development in the field of quality improvement I have studied many concepts and read many books. One book that resonated for me is Nigel Risner’s book, The IMPACT Code. Nigel Risner walks readers through the mnemonic IMPACT providing the realisation that “it is only by creating a positive impact in other peoples lives that you will create the impact that you so deeply crave in your own life”.

The IMPACT code

Teaching 2Cath Roy lived the IMPACT Code without ever knowing it. She was always:

In the moment, present and connected – teaching me about the privilege of being a midwife, being with the women meeting her where she is, quietly encouraging, enabling her choices for birth, advocating for her when she couldn’t do it on her own. This teaching has stayed with me and can be applied in many settings and I believe is the essence of person centred care.

Modelled the best, constantly seeking ways to improve and motivate those around her to do the same. Cath was my role model in midwifery but importantly in being so she taught me the key characteristics to look for in those that would become my role models in the future, I would see her in them.

Passionate and purposeful, instilling the thought that if you cant find passion and purpose in work don’t do it, find something else, seek it out and surround yourself in passionate purposeful people. Cath demonstrated a passion for midwifery that was anchored on what mattered to women and taught midwives that their purpose was to keep this at the centre of care delivery, whilst always striving for the safety and wellbeing of the mothers and babies.

Action oriented, small things amount to big things, if not you who? Cath always encouraged her students to do the things we thought we couldn’t. I can still hear her voice, “you can, I know you can”. This led me early in my career to become a steward with the Royal College of Midwives driven to make the workplace better for midwives. Who would have thought that some 10 years later I would be the policy officer at government, steering “Staff Governance” into legislation.

Curios and sought the comedy and joy in life, essential elements to drive you on and to develop innovation. Laughter is contagious, so is smiling, joy and fun in work will keep you motivated and help you build effective relationships. How much easier is it to share a daft idea with people that you have a relationship with than those you don’t? How many daft ideas have gone on to become fabulous innovations? Cath encouraged this curiosity and joy in work, driving in me a thirst for knowledge and improvement.

Trusting and trusted, supporting students to trust in our selves, our instincts our abilities and to develop trust in others within our team. With trust the ability to be compassionate becomes easier. Cath Roy always thought the best of people trusting easily and rarely being let down. It was as if by giving that trust she automatically got it back. Seeing the good in people always feels better than undertaking the work required to search for the bad.Impact 2

Have I made and IMPACT I hope so. Will I keep on trying? Yes I will!

What IMPACT have you made and what IMPACT will you commit to make?

This week’s blog was by @di962 (Diane Murray) Assistant Nurse Director, Quality Improvement and Governance, NHS Ayrshire & Arran








  1. Thank you, it’s the way I believe everyone should feel about their work, not only nurses.We all have a part to play in delivering care, whether in a hospital setting or someones home, caring and showing it.

  2. What a thought provoking blog which has made an immediate IMPACT on me! Like Margaret, I agree that everyone, not only nurses, have a part to play.

  3. Enjoyed your blog Diane – thank you. I think it’s fantastic that Cath left such an impression on you….and shaped values/beliefs that have stayed with you.
    I think the culture in healthcare is changing for the better…I do think that we’re generally kinder to each other and that ethos is reflected in what you’ve written….’seeing the good in people always feels better’. To me, this is a much better place to be. It feels more trusting, collaborative and empowering.
    Going back to Cath, I wondered if you ever told her what a huge impression she made on you? Knowing that you have positively influenced even one person in life is a great legacy to leave.

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