The power of unity

In today’s session, we discussed a number of topics ranging from dealing with communication problems to establishing the importance of placing patient safety as a core value, and not simply a priority as John Nance stated. What struck me most is that although we emphasize the strength in the power of one, there lies the opportunity to synergize our collective powers of one to become a new power of a united front. When examining the aviation industry and the reasons why it successfully turned its practices around to establish validated checklists and ensure customer safety for thousands of flights every day across the globe, one can find at its core the agreement between the leadership down through the staff that safety is at the forefront of all future decisions. Changes had to be made and over time, the leadership agreed, united and came together to tackle a monstrous task. Unfortunately on the hospital systems scale in our nation, we have not yet found the balance, incentives or attitudes to properly address our own monster. The fear of transparency, the resistance to change, the problems of living contently while there is still much to improve, all lead us down a dangerous path, filled with potential harms to our patients. What I saw in our teeter totter experience was the magic of asking a group of relative strangers who all had interest in patient safety and had the willingness to work together by deferring to others and voicing their own strengths. This translated further in the ways we young adults interacted with each other outside the simulation. While hiking today, many of us consistently helped one another across a difficult trail, we extended our hands to each other literally and metaphorically, creating true bonds. My hope is that finding these commonalities and convincing others of the worth and necessity to place patient safety within the heart of an organization will lead us to a world where hospitals can truly fly.

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