3 Ways to Find Your Periop Positivity

Publish Date: February 10, 2017


Brad Montgomery

“You are full of potential.”

Brad Montgomery has told his children this every night before bed. Now high schoolers, Montgomery sometimes feels his kids may think their dad’s message is a little hokie. And yet, it’s still true.

It’s also true that perioperative nurses have the power to bring meaning and influence into their workplace and personal lives, even if they are burned out, work with difficult physicians, and feel spread too thin. They have the potential to be a positive force.

For all skeptics out there, Montgomery makes it his mission as a motivational speaker to not only help people hear his message about how we all matter and are more influential than we think, but also see how strongly he believes in it, because it works.

He’s helped major companies like Google and Microsoft and health care professionals across the country realize how their power to influence and encourage and yes, motivate others can boost happiness, morale, and financial success. Studies show that it costs more to have unhappy, dissatisfied people joining and then rapidly leaving an organization, and that engaged, fulfilled, and positive people work harder and better in their jobs.

“We have a greater ability to create a positive impact on everyone around us than we sometimes remember or give ourselves credit for,” Montgomery says. “Once we realize we have this cool ability to make this change we have to do something very important—we have to act on it.”

He gives the example of buying the stranger behind you in line a cup of coffee. “A simple act that costs $3 can give a stranger a little joy and it helps us be happier, too, so we get way more than three bucks out of it,” Montgomery says. “We need to take these positive actions with people around us on purpose.”

Perioperative nurses have this same ability every day in their practice settings to buy a metaphorical cup of coffee for the surgeon they are standing next to, for the patient they are prepping, for the nurse colleague who could use a compliment or a person to talk to.

“We already know that positive attention and investing in others brings happiness both at work and at home, but it can be helpful to have someone remind you, and that’s my job,” Montgomery says.

Like anything, being someone who brings a positive message to the table is something to work on, especially in the high-stress work of perioperative care. Here are his three suggestions for finding your inner motivator and creating more meaning and happiness around you:

  1. Remember your power to be positive and share its impact.
  2. Practice acts of positivity for yourself and your co-workers in really easy ways like giving a compliment, asking someone how their day is going, or even just listening.
  3. Show others the power of positivity in your words and actions every day.

Montgomery says, “Engaging in the practice of positivity helps your patients, helps your organization, and, most importantly, helps yourself because being a positive influence feels good and it’s in all of us.”

He will help kick-off AORN’s Global Surgical Conference & Expo as the opening general session speaker on Sunday, April 2. Make plans to attend his keynote, where Montgomery will go beyond common sense to explain that there is some really cool — and fairly new — science about just how valuable positivity at work is. Montgomery will also be speaking in a concurrent education session later in the day on April 2 and during a recorded streaming session at the conference Education Hub on April 4 to share his perspective on thriving in the face of change by talking about it and even laughing about it.

Learn more about Brad Montgomery and read his whitepaper The Case for the Business Value of Happiness at Work to help jump-start happy in your workplace.