I Know You, Thought I Haven't Met You:
Exploring Implicit Bias within Members of the HEALTH CARE Team
Presented by Kathleen Kieran and Melissa Times
While interpersonal communication skills are acknowledged as integral to team functioning, improved clinical outcomes, and higher provider satisfaction, most didactic material and research findings in this area center on “in the moment,” problem-focused communication, often surrounding team safety. Implicit bias surrounding the perceptions of one team member by another is an underexplored area. While we have all seen memes and popular media portrayals of various members of health care teams (nurses, surgeons, pathologists, to name just a few), the impact of one team member’s (often sub- or unconscious) assessment and expectations of another has not been studied. A cohesive, integrated team approach to patient care, medical education, and quality improvement increases patient confidence in providers, facilitates communication, and creates a culture of safety fostering quality improvement and personal growth.
In this workshop, we will explore what unconscious and subconscious biases we hold, how social and popular media (and medical training!) contribute to our perceptions of others, and how each of us might consciously and thoughtfully acknowledge and work to change how our own biases influence interactions with others.
This workshop *is* for participants who are interested in and committed to a creating a safe space for honest discussion around this important but often activating issue. This workshop is *not* for those who wish to explore their experiences in a purely anecdotal fashion (though discussion of personal experience is encouraged).
At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
- Describe how the words used to depict stereotypes for members of the health care team carry positive and negative connotations.
- Provide three examples of ways in which stereotypes and predetermined expectations for appearance and behavior impact how others interact with a member of the health care team, and how that health care team member interacts with other team members.
- Identify two ways to actively check assumptions and acknowledge implicit bias (positive and negative) among health care team members.