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The Role of Love in Critical Care Leadership: Liz Crowe

Liz Crowe believes that love can revolutionise the way we approach critical care. She wants every doctor to become love ambassadors for their critical care community and share love like nothing is holding them back.

Liz believes that work life balance does not exist because we spend most of our time at work. Therefore, it is essential to love and be passionate about the work we do.

Liz compares the feeling of being a novice in critical care to first being in love.

Initially, there is fear and excitement doing new procedures. However, as days go by, you lose the rhythm. This is how relationships evolve, both in life and in critical care.

Relationships with critical care is all about hanging in there and, love. Love helps to sustain it. She discusses the role of love and leadership in critical care.

Liz demonstrates that great leaders always lead with love and compassion. Leading with love does not make them weak or indecisive, instead it creates a climate of trust and intimacy that makes individuals and the team feel emotionally and physically safe.

This in turn promotes robust conversations and conflict which is beneficial to the patients. By being kind and compassionate, a leader inspires their team to work better and achieve higher standards.

According to Liz, a good leader is supportive, genuine, works hard, apologises when they are wrong, has a good sense of humour, creates an environment of trust and acts as a human shield for their team.

The most stressful thing in an intensive care is not death but being unappreciated. Being loved and supported leads to increase in brain capacity and the ability to make difficult decisions.

Liz strongly recommends having a work spouse because family and friends do not understand what critical care workers go through. The people we work with are our support and community. Love builds innovation and creativity and not the brain. She quotes the example of the three doctors whose passion made the SMACC conference a reality.

Liz discusses the role of love in dealing with patients. She believes that beginning a conversation with a patient with love, respect and compassion makes things easier because they will believe that we care about them. She feels it is as important to teach newcomers about love and compassion as it is to teach them about having boundaries.

The more we care about patients, the less likely we are to be burnt out. Liz explains the concept of Ikigai which says that you can achieve bliss if you can combine passion, mission, vocation and profession, which according to her most doctors can.

Though there are times when this job can leave you heartbroken, it is also quite rewarding and important.

The Role of Love in Critical Care Leadership: Liz Crowe

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Liz Crowe

Liz Crowe is a Paediatric Social Worker who specialises in grief, loss, crisis, end of life and bereavement in critical care environments. She is still trying to complete her PhD examining risk and protective factors for staff wellbeing in critical care to inform interventions of support and education. Liz is a passionate and humorous educator who regularly speaks internationally. Liz is the successful author of ‘The Little Book of Loss and Grief You Can Read While You Cry’. She is a proud member of the St Emlyn’s education team and an active member of #FOAMed.

@LizCrowe2