As this week has progressed, I feel as if the group (myself included) is taxiing the runway preparing for take off. (Forgive the airline reference 🙂 Each day we’ve been learning new methods to communicate, relating harm to real patients and families, and gaining momentum to make a positive change in healthcare. When we return to our homes/schools/hospitals, we are now flying on our own, armed with a plethora of knowledge and resources that will enable us to actually influence change. The key is keeping the momentum going. There will be times when it may be difficult to stand up and do what’s right – we’ve discussed many situations where the hierarchical environment or poor communication make that difficult. However, we should always remember the personal stories shared this week and allow those experiences to encourage us to do the right thing. Each… Continue reading
Before our visit to Arlington National Cemetery, I had never considered the connection between the number of buried service men and women (~400,000) and the number of annual deaths related to medical harm (~440,000). The reality of the statement “We fill an Arlington every year” was quite poignant. As I continue my work in improving patient safety and reducing preventable harm, I will most certainly include this fact when speaking with hospital administrators and staff.
Another consideration is that each incident of preventable harm is someone’s mother/father/sister/brother/son/daughter. The stories we’ve heard (and will hear throughout the week) put a face to the harm. While I cannot even begin to imagine their grief, I appreciate their willingness to share their experiences so we as students can learn and make positive changes.
The topic of communication seemed to be a common theme throughout the day. What I found most interesting and effective was hearing the perspective of medical students (I am a nurse). The small group activity allowed us each to share our thoughts and ideas about communicating information about errors. The varying perspectives between disciplines were quite interesting. It was an eye-opening experience for each member of the group to consider the differences and similarities between disciplines. For the medical students, understanding how to clearly communicate with nursing (and other disciplines) is vital to patient safety.