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Archive ORX Session Previews 2020

Bringing Positivity to Your ORs

If someone promises you a formula to take away on-the-job stress, they’re lying. Workplace stress is not only normal, it’s unavoidable — especially for busy surgical professionals. You can, however, learn to minimize your concern and worry over things that are out of your control, says Kay Frances, MBA, who will deliver the opening keynote address during Virtual OR Excellence. Ms. Frances wants attendees to fully understand the power of a positive attitude and a healthy sense of humor — and how those things translate directly to personal and professional success. During this highly engaging, thought-provoking talk, you’ll gain a tangible sense of purpose and positivity that will set the tone for the entire virtual experience. You’ll also laugh… a lot.

What do you hope attendees will walk away with after hearing your talk?
I want them to realize that while we can’t always control our circumstances, we can choose how we view them. Stress can’t be avoided. It’s a part of life. The key is to learn to manage it in a healthy way, which has a lot to do with mindfulness. We have enough legitimate things to concern ourselves with, so we need to let go of those little things that simply don’t matter. I’ll encourage attendees to remember positive emotions whenever possible and to keep their senses of humor. Laughter is the delivery vehicle for my message, and I want everyone to feel that bond of a shared experience. If they can both laugh and learn, I will feel I’ve done my job.

Kay Frances, MBA
Kay Frances, MBA
  • Author of The Funny Thing About Stress
  • A former stand-up comedian who has appeared on NBC, Lifetime and Comedy Central
  • Began studying karate at age 42 and is a fourth-degree black belt

Will the pandemic factor in the advice you offer?
The pandemic has been an interesting exercise for me to truly “walk my talk.” I’ve discovered the principles of managing stress and change still apply and are even more important during this tremendous challenge, which we’re all experiencing to varying degrees and in many of the same ways. Now, more than ever, we need to be optimistic when we can, find humor in life’s events whenever possible and remember to take care of ourselves. The more we apply these principles, the better equipped we are to handle the current crisis as well as anything thrown at us personally and professionally.

How would you describe your speaking style?
I’m very conversational and on the path with everyone else, so I don’t preach from an ivory tower. I’m passionate about peak performance and I combine my knowledge of the subject with my background as a professional stand-up comedian. I think any message is best served with a spoonful of levity, so even though the subject matter is serious, I deliver it in a fun and lighthearted way.

What are you looking forward to most about being the opening keynote speaker for Virtual OR Excellence?
I love talking to healthcare professionals! I was my mom’s caregiver for seven years and came to develop the utmost respect for people who work in all facets of health care. I don’t think what they do is merely a profession. It’s a calling. I also find that healthcare professionals understand the importance of laughter, so they are typically great audiences. I think we’ll have a ball! OSM

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