As I reflect on day 1, I can’t help but think that so many problems in patient safety can be solved if you remember that the person you’re interacting with is another human who should be treated with respect. This goes for both interactions with patients and between providers. Especially when communicating with patients who have lost a family member, if at the very core of our job is to help people, it shouldn’t be that crazy of idea to help someone mentally and emotionally through the grieving process. I realize that I am coming from a point of view with little clinical experience and as we discussed, there are many barriers to this – fear, reputation, litigation, etc. It’s currently not an easy process, obviously shown by the fact that’s it been a long process to make change, but I can’t help thinking that all this could be much simpler than it is.
My patient safety interest started before medical school where I worked in a medical simulation lab. I absolutely loved my job and the idea that one can practice so many skills without coming near a patient. However, I found that craved talking with patients. They often felt far removed and more difficult to get into that direct “I’m truly making a difference” state of mind that one can sometimes get when interacting with patients. This summer, I’m doing research in communication between residents and attendings and, though I find it interesting, similar feelings have come up. In my (very limited) experience, it seems like most patient safety work can feel far removed from the patient despite being a topic that first and foremost is all about the patient.
Since starting medical I can already see from new medical students how quickly people come to forget that the patient is at… Continue reading