Community Connections for Health Care

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by Joan Bachman
The Northern Plains weather has changed from Winter to Spring. Every year, this seems to happen overnight. Neighborhood sounds change from snow blowers to lawnmowers. Green things are poking up all over – some wanted, some not so much. This change brings smiles, wardrobe switches, broken fingernails from digging in the dirt. To manage the appearance of my garden, I may need to remove some of the growing things and plant new ones. I must make decisions about how many changes to make, if any. I may seek the opinion of other gardeners and decide to use their suggestions or not. These particular decisions for change have the advantage of affecting only my perception of my yard.

The word “change” evokes widely varying pictures and emotions, even within ourselves at different times of life.

The world sees many changes on a daily basis. We hear about new technology, political dust-ups, violence, and occasionally a report of compassion and “good’. Borders change, families change, trust changes. Our own lives will likely be affected in some way by many of these changes; if not today, at some time in the future. It seems most of the changes we hear about have a negative effect on the life of someone. Is that because we (the world) are tuned to look for the bad? Or do we take all the good changes for granted with no appreciation? Questions to which there may be no answers.

I’m thinking many people are like me and embrace change -- when it is my idea. I have good ideas (just ask me) and am not afraid to voice them. I have led change at work, at home, at church and other organizations. Many of those changes made for positive results; however, sometimes the suggested change was a bad idea, usually because I didn’t understand the entire situation; I didn’t listen. I have become better at collecting information and listening.

No matter who proposes change, an important element of planning any change is thorough research of every aspect of the current situation by visiting with persons involved with each relevant process. Explanation of why a change is necessary is perhaps the most important element of the plan. If everyone listens with an open mind, the best solution will be jointly designed. Change imposed by someone else, even when it looks to be an improvement, is often met by some with fear and hesitation; maybe even distrust. Trust yourself to surface your concerns to the change-maker rather than to complain to everyone else about the disruption. Positively stated suggestions by anyone affected can make the proposed change more attractive and therefore productive.

Why change? Change is actually an important aspect of being alive. Change stimulates learning and increases attention to detail. Change brings opportunity.

If a business continues down the same path too long, the rest of the world passes by and the business loses its relevance. Incorporating a new person into a team gives an opportunity for everyone to teach and to learn even as some aspects of the team are changed. We see the environment change, and must make changes and adaptations to continue to fit into the world around us. If we aren’t growing (changing) personally, we may find ourselves out of step with our social circle or workplace.

Whether you propose the change or find yourself in the midst of change proposed by someone else, you can choose to view this as a painful experience, or you can choose to use the situation for your personal growth and expanded horizon, and make the transition an exciting challenge.

About the Author

Joan Bachman

Joan Bachman is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Registered Health Information Technician, and Faith Community Nurse. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Joan has experience as a Nurse, Administrator, Developer, Trainer, Grant Writer, and served as Administrator of SD State Survey Agency. She has consulted with health care facilities and nonprofit organizations and presented leadership training. Joan is the author of Guidebook for Assisted Living Facilities and Senior Service Providers and Guidebook for Physician Services in the Nursing Facility, and she has published in professional journals.


Vicki Schmidt

Change is evident and ongoing. Sometimes when I make a change I see it as the final answer when many times it is just the beginning of something starting to happen. In the end, as you say, much of it is how we chose to look at it - we can decide it is bad and reject it, or we can embrace it and see the wonders of God’s Spirit moving in and around. I always say “trust the Spirit” - and wait to see what God has in mind for me/us. Thanks - you sparked some nice thoughts for today!


Yes change. My neighborhood is changing again. to the west, south and east these last few months. New neighbors make life interesting. Spring is wonderful, warm and green with flowers everywhere.

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