Change is normal. That’s how we grow and evolve as humans. As stated by Dr. Spencer Johnson, “if you do not change, you can become extinct”(Johnson, 2002). Change is difficult for most people. They like what they have grown accustomed to and prefer to stay in their “comfort zone” They detest being stretched beyond the limit of their comfort zone. Some are pushed outside their comfort zone by other people or circumstances, while others intentionally push themselves outside of their own comfort zone to enable them grow and develop personally.
When people refuse to plan and prepare for change, the become stuck in the event of unforeseen circumstances or situation, they can be likened to one of the four characters in “Who Moved My Cheese” the mice, Sniff and Scurry, ‘sniff out change and Scurry to move with it’ or Hem and Haw, the two little people in the story, who found their ‘Cheese’ and when it is lost, they become lost, until they made up their mind to change.
Change in Professional environments
In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive environment, it is very crucial for organization to be flexible to change in order to grow and remain profitable. Employees are often faced with the tedious task of navigating through this change. This process can be very distressing and frustrating to the employees. It is always advisable to recognize the different stages of change and anticipate its impact in order to take preventative measures.
California budget crisis, for instance, has induced budget cut in all the sectors and counties. Notable among these sectors are the school district. Two years prior to this, the Los Angeles County of Education (LACOE), has announced that budget cut will force the district to close down some classes and lay off classroom teachers. Teachers who have been in the job for several years started to live in denial, thinking that they would not be affected. Others are gripped by fear that they will not be able to get another job if they lose their job. However, some of them acknowledged the impending change and started preparing for the change. I know of one of the teachers, who has been with school district for many years, and is enrolled in a weekend program at California to study Speech Therapy in order to enhance her marketability in the event of lay off.
This teacher can be likened to Sniff and Scurry, the mice who ‘sniffs’ out change, and realize that the looming change is inevitable and started making plan. She did not dwell on the fact that she has been in the teaching for several years and become too comfortable and refusing to see the inescapable change, just like Hew and Haw. Rather, she accepted the change and focuses her efforts in absorbing it and moving forward.
How to handle change
Change is inevitable and continuous and as a student I learned that the best approach to handle change lies significantly in having a positive attitude about every experience. Nursing is a new profession to me, due to my previous background in business administration, I found nursing challenging, yet interesting. It became obvious that every new encounter has its pitfalls, but the fact lies on my being able to persevere and identify good sides of every experience.
How I perceived changes have changed for the better due my realization that changes open a world of possibilities, stimulates opportunity of learning new things and provides an enabling environment for personal growth.
Change in the health care environment
Prior to the introduction of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), paper charting was used in collecting and sharing patient information among the care team members. The initial introduction of EMRs was met with fierce resistance. They start questioning the reliability of EMRs in collecting, storing, and sharing patients`