Q&A with Shannon Kenning

September 10, 2019 | News


Good communication is critical for any relationship. It’s especially important in the workplace. As part of our Anniversary Speaker Series, Shannon Kenning will be delivering a session in Castlegar on September 19: Saying What You Mean and Meaning What You Say with Respectful Communication. She will also be presenting at the Hearts and Hands conference for health care assistants, in Victoria on October 24.

We had a chance to talk with Shannon about the importance of good communication.  

Why is good communication in the workplace important?
It’s essential to a healthy team that provides high-quality care. With good communication, people can work towards common goals, care plans, and meeting the needs of those in care, and their co-workers.

How does stress affect how we communicate?
Stress can make it difficult to remain neutral and open in our communication with others and can often lead to miscommunication. For example, a stressed employee may be very quiet and focused on completing tasks and a co-worker may perceive this as them being upset or sullen and sometimes take it personally.

You talk about psychological first aid, what is this?
Psychological first aid is the process of recognizing the current state of a person’s emotional well being
both for ourselves as caregivers and with our co-workers and friends. I share actions that can be taken if a person seems to be struggling emotionally or psychologically.

Why are you passionate about good communication?
I have worked in health care for the past 13 years and have seen several amazing caregivers struggle with burn out. I feel that by talking about the stresses, and amazing aspects, of our jobs, we can together take steps to prevent burn out and support our team members. Front-line workers need all the support we can give them to be successful in this fast-paced environment. I have also experienced events that I recognized as traumatic in the moment but didn’t fully realize how much they affected me at the time until I started researching Psychological First Aid.

Shannon Kenning is a licensed practical nurse, and currently the director of care at Castleview Care Home, in Castlegar. She has a passion for providing high-quality person-centred care, and with her team has achieved accreditation with exemplary status, along with great quality indicators for residents.

Learn more about the Anniversary Speaker Series and register.