Drink the Water

What should you do if you’re lost in a desert and someone brings you water?

Drink it.

Last week I wrote about my goal to “Be the Water”, and tonight I want to encourage those who need “the water” to use it when it’s given.

If you’re lost in the desert, don’t hope to find your way out.  Don’t wait for it to rain. Don’t be foolish and stubborn.

I personally have many regrets about hurting mentors, missing opportunities, and wasting “the water” when it was needed.  What a waste.

  • If you’re thirsty, drink.
  • If you’re dirty, wash.
  • If you’re a fish, swim.
  • If you’re a sailboat, sail.

No matter how strong we may be, there comes a time when we all need “the water”.  If we don’t take it, we may discourage those trying to help and delay the growth we need to help be the difference to others.

Drink the water!

Have a great night,



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The Next Generation

Why have kids or a protégé?

Since my youngest child just turned two (he’s a St. Patrick’s Day baby), it got me thinking about him, my daughter, and the whole next generation.

Why do we need them anyway?

  • They cry.
  • They cost money.
  • They cause heartache.

It’s a lot of work and they don’t always care back or provide any sort of monetary benefit.  (Sounds like some protégés too…)

However, there must be some reason millions of kids are brought into the world every year.  People ask me why I wanted kids, and here’s my answer:

The battles we fight will continue. I am getting older.

It gives me comfort knowing someone I watched grow up will help me finish my battle.  I want to believe that what I’m working for every night is special enough to last, and that it will need a caretaker when I am old.  Someone I can trust.  Someone who understands.

If you’re up many nights working late, pushing, pulling, dreaming and learning, you know what I’m talking about.

Even though they may cry, cost money, and hurt our feelings sometimes, they are the future protectors of what we’re working on now.  They are an investment.  They are the future 8pm Warriors of the world.

Here’s to the next generation.




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Looking into the Eyes of the Future (of Healthcare)

This weekend, my youngest child (a one year-old son) and I spent time inserting different shaped blocks into the correct spots on one of his toys.  Half of the time my son was looking at me with this look of wonder and amazement as I showed him how to do it.  Simple stuff to me, but a big deal to my son.   

You could see it in his eyes.    

My son


As part of the leadership team in a healthcare organization, I see that same look from new graduates or interns I get to work with.  They know that they don’t have the experience, but they are grateful when someone shows them how to do difficult things that seem so simple to the veterans they work with.  (Big thanks to the many great preceptors and trainers out there!)    

However, with all the stress and staffing concerns in our industry, it is no wonder that we sometimes forget to remember that these rookies in our department are the future of healthcare. 

We are truly looking into the eyes of the future.   

What’s scary is that future might be more difficult than we imagine.  I’m sure the saying “Nurses eat their young” is not unique only to nursing, and with the baby boomers set to retire and healthcare reform now the law of the land, we’re going to need these unexperienced colleagues of ours to be confident, encouraged, and focused on a long-term career caring for patients.     

Unfortunately, with the economy where it’s at, finding graduates working in a hospital or clinic is not as easy as it was just a couple years ago.  Even new RN’s are having a hard time finding work in some areas that just a couple years ago were offering signing bonuses.     

I know RN’s that are volunteering to gain experience and relationships while they search and medical coders traveling across the country for their first job.  It’s crazy for high demand positions like those two (and many others) to have that sort of challenge to find work!  Especially since things were so different when they started school.    

Right now I see about 50 requests a week from new graduates with healthcare degrees looking for a place that will give them their first chance, despite the curse of the proverbial “no experience”.  With Spring graduation season coming up soon, that situation isn’t looking any brighter…    

One brighter spot is that I do see some places that are still hiring graduates if they have good attitudes and are willing to work hard, but those places are hard to find.  This was one of many reasons that we formed the Clear Medical Network to connect healthcare professionals for career guidance from their peers, as well as the fun stuff too (annual cruise, nights out, etc.).  We’re hoping to connect our industry to help share ideas and opportunities to make a difference.    

It’s not just for graduates, but that’s one group that needs it most this time of year.    

If you know anyone looking to hire new grads, we will gladly share the resumes we’re getting (for free).  Just have the hiring leader join the network or email me at Aaron@ClearMedicalSolutions.com.   Also, if you get a chance, please let me know what you think about the idea and help remind me and others of the important role that our young colleagues will play in our future.     

Have a great week!     


About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives at Clear Medical Solutions, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He enjoys teaching, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.