Today’s Theme: The Power of Saying “No”

Today’s theme is about the power of saying “no.” For many in healthcare, the ability to say “no” is a foreign concept. We are a service profession. Our job is to meet the needs of others, so how can we say “no” to a truly legitimate request? Traditionally, even our training models – built on long nights on-call – reinforced the notion that there was always time for one more thing. By simply sacrificing sleep and nourishment we could add in that one additional task. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, we know that logic was false. We know that everyone has limits, but as healthcare workers we are still not good at drawing those lines. We have a personal need to be of service, but struggle to recognize that this need comes at a great expense. We now have a generation of progressively burned out providers. The price of saying “yes” without respite has taken its toll on us as individuals and as profession. Today, we need to pause and reflect on the power that comes from saying “no.” Instead of being spread too thin, each of us must work to identify the few things that matter most and commit to them. By committing to work about which we are passionate, we will get stronger and the community will be better off. How can we do this? We can do it by coming together as a community. Alone each of us is limited, but together we are virtually infinite. We can work together to complement one another, cover one another, and truly meet the needs of Western New York. We need to work as a single healthcare community to meet the complex needs of an evolving community. It is time that we say “yes” to a model which delivers better care for all, but will only possible when we begin to look at our own work and understand when it is time to say “no.”