I was grateful to hear from the exceptional faculty members and fellow emerging leaders during this first day in Napa, California.
There were several themes mentioned throughout the day that resonated with me as a nurse in the PICU and family nurse practitioner student. The discussions today focused upon the isolation family members can feel while navigating the complex healthcare system. My question that I continue to reflect upon is, how can healthcare professionals (residents, nurses, pharmacists, etc.) begin to address this sense of isolation and inaccessibility between provider and patient? The answer will take a collaborative and focused effort to change culture, systems, and attitudes. Reflecting upon my own practice as a pediatric nurse and future family nurse practitioner, I believe a crucial first step is listening to the patient or patient’s family. Helen Haskell’s and Carole Hemmelgarn’s tragic stories remind all providers that one must never discount a family member or patient’s concern. The patient and family must feel heard and valued. I challenge myself to continue to provide family-centered care and advocate on behalf of patient and families at the bedside. I also acknowledge that if an error is made my response has a direct effect on defining my profession and I will be mindful of this as I progress in my career.