From Burnout to Brilliance: Finding the Right Coach in Healthcare

Listen Now
Watch Video

Advisors, mentors, and coaches—family and friends—you will need to lean on all these people in your support system as a healthcare professional. Given the rigors of working in healthcare, a coach can be your strongest professional ally, helping you objectively see things without bias (or an interest in the outcome.)

Unlike many individuals in our professional circles, a coach will always remain unbiased, this makes having a coach incredibly important for our career growth and in the ongoing journey to fend off burnout.

In a profession as demanding as patient care, we all need strong support systems to keep us going. At the foundation of your professional support system, a coach can help you as outlined in this week’s edition of the Healthcare Experience Matters Podcast. Our host, Casey Callanan, interviews Kathleen Lynam, an Executive Coach with the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF).

“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you always knew you could be,” Kathleen tells us.

“The second important part of starting a coaching relationship is it has to be based on trust,” she added.

Kathleen helps us explore the evolution of coaching within the healthcare landscape and its role in enhancing both individual happiness and professional development.

As a retired chief nursing officer and a seasoned nurse with 35 years of experience, Kathleen brings a wealth of personal insights to the table. She has seen the unique challenges faced by healthcare professionals while on the front lines treating patients, and she has been working directly with physicians more recently as an executive coach.

Kathleen emphasizes the need to develop coaching skills in physicians, particularly in areas such as conflict resolution and negotiation, which are often overlooked in traditional medical education.

Kathleen provides real-world examples of coaching interventions, illustrating how coaching can significantly impact patient experience outcomes. She shares stories from her coaching sessions, demonstrating how personalized coaching plans tailored to individual physicians can lead to tangible improvements in patient satisfaction.

One notable aspect discussed is the crucial role of coaching in addressing burnout and work-life balance among healthcare professionals. Kathleen underlines the importance of coaching and its role within a robust, individual support system.

Coaching can be the missing link in helping physicians find joy and meaning in their work, thereby contributing to their overall well-being and resilience in the face of burnout.

As Kathleen discussed, one of the largest hurdles/challenges of initiating coaching conversations is engaging with healthcare providers resistant to change.

To overcome this, Kathleen stresses the significance of building trust in the coaching relationship, emphasizing that coaching should be a collaborative, two-way process rather than a top-down imposition.

As the interview wraps up, Kathleen’s insights turn to the broader responsibility of coaching in various roles, encouraging listeners to recognize the value of coaching not just in healthcare but in every aspect of life.

She emphasizes the idea of paying it forward, highlighting how positive coaching experiences can inspire individuals to become a strong coach for others.

In essence, the episode serves as a comprehensive exploration of the multifaceted role of coaching in healthcare. It goes beyond the traditional view of coaching as a performance improvement tool as Kathleen positions it as a catalyst for personal and professional growth, emphasizing its potential to foster a culture of excellence and well-being within the healthcare community and beyond.

More HX Matters Podcasts

Our podcast is dedicated to transforming the health care experience so that every person can receive and deliver the best care.

You can subscribe to our podcast for free on all major podcast platforms and for video of our interviews, you can always check out the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) on YouTube. Catch up on all episodes of our podcast by subscribing and following us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music and more.

Meet Kathleen Lynam, RN, MPA

Today, Kathleen Lynam brings extensive clinical, operational, and executive level experience in both small and large healthcare organizations across the country to her role as Executive Coach. But Kathleen is so much more than a coach. She is a national speaker, presenter and champion for patient care. Before stepping into the world of healthcare administration and, specifically, coaching, Kathleen spent over 40 years as a front-line nurse and Chief Nursing Officer at various medical centers and hospitals systems throughout New Jersey and New York. She knows what strong teams look and act like, having served in various leadership and coaching positions for large healthcare systems like Duke University Health System in Raleigh, Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York as well as urban hospitals and community medical centers in the Bronx and Queens.

Now, with over 40 years of diverse experience in healthcare management, Kathleen is acutely aware of the power of positive patient care experiences on not just administrators seeking to improve outcomes, but also nursing teams working to make a difference in the lives of their patients.

Whether it’s working side-by-side to help front-line nurses and teams uncover different ways to wow patients and families, or working side-by-side with CEOs and CMOs of hospitals to solicit authentic feedback from members of their teams, Kathleen’s greatest delight is empowering healthcare teams with an engaging, hands-on approach that helps both organizations and individuals thrive.

Kathleen is a respected executive coach who has worked with organizations across the country to achieve results through embracing a culture of “every patient every time.” She has authored numerous articles on patient-centered communication, physician engagement and coaching, and has been a featured writer and speaker for notable organizations and publications such as PX Advisor Magazine, The Beryl Institute, Duke University, Dominical College School of Nursing, AACP, and the Society of Healthcare Pharmacists.

Connect with Kathleen Lynam, RN, MPA
More episodes with Kathleen Lynam, RN, MPA