Michael Skolnik’s story sparked many emotions for me. I thought of how often we as health care providers don’t really listen to our patients and their families. We often assume that we know what is best for the patient because we have the scientific knowledge to understand their disease and how to manage it. At times, we push our own agendas and expect our patients will go along with whatever we recommend to them. We may even become irritated if they disagree with the plan or proposed procedure.
I think that Michael’s story shows how important stopping and listening is. Patients and their families have a right to decide what they feel is best and we do not have the right to take that away from them. As we brought up during a discussion today, it is even important to give patients the option of choosing no treatment or only… Continue reading
The story about Mrs. Morris, a woman with myasthenia gravis who developed an air embolism during a central line removal really struck me. There are so many examples of patients suffering not due to malicious acts or carelessness but from their providers’ humanity combined with situational or systemic issues. The interview of the intern who had performed the procedure was heart breaking and showed just how distraught he was left as a result of this experience. The quote “we cannot change the human condition but we can change the conditions under which humans work” by James Reason eloquently sums up the current issue and the way forward. The conditions providers work under have a clear impact on patient outcomes as well as provider distress. I have personally left work feeling similarly distraught, taking on the full responsibility of an error or near miss. However, in reality, I was set up… Continue reading