Heather Walker

The power of choice

Really appreciated the exercise in shared decision making. Although a little confused and self-conscious, Hussein did a great job of putting the steps into perspective for me. Whenever patients are given a new diagnosis or prognosis, there is a loss of power. Patients are confused, overwhelmed, upset, etc… By making sure caregivers acknowledge a patient has a choice, work with them to consider the options, and allow them to be the decision maker, then they are able to give patients back some of the power they lost. The first stage of choice talk is critical and easily skipped over to go straight to options. I honestly feel like I can use this same principle of choice, options, and decision in other areas of life including my kids and students. I will continue to be cognizant of the steps and continue to practice them until I become more experienced and comfortable.

Telluride day #2 reflection

Wow-my initial feeling after today’s session was one of being overwhelmed with information. There were so many great discussions and learning points. One reflection during my ride back to the lodge was that I wish I had to take a gondola ride to and from work back in Cleveland. The beauty and serenity is priceless! My second reflection was on the importance of making sure my patients are acknowledged for their opinions, emotions, and unique importance. I might deal with 10 patients a day who have hypertension, but the way each of those 10 people view their health and high blood pressure, feel about their condition and it’s impact in their life, and access to resources vary tremendously. If I can take the time to listen to their story and relate to them in a unique way then the outcomes will be better. I have found that more patients comply… Continue reading

Reflection on Communication

Thinking back on our discussions today, the role of communication is crucial for safety in health care. One aspect that I think cannot be stressed enough is that communication is not just speaking well but also listening well. Health providers are often so preoccupied with the things they have to relay to others that they forget to truly hear others.

Following is an example that changed how I view communication: I was asked by the hospice attending to see a patient for a second opinion. I had never seen this patient before. The attending had revoked services for a Alzheimer’s patient due to being stable for a couple of months. When given this news, the husband (who was her caregiver) became irate and threatened to sue the company stating that his wife was declining. On my way to their house, the office manager texted me warning that the husband… Continue reading

Telluride Experience 2020 Dates

BRECKENRIDGE, CO:
CMF Session One*: 6/8 – 6/11
Bennathan Session Two: 6/15 – 6/18
Session Three: 6/22 – 6/25

WASHINGTON, DC/MD:
Session Four: 7/22 – 7/25

*Session exclusive to the COPIC Medical Foundation Residents.