Doing the readings for this week was eye-opening and saddening. One moment I felt feelings of helplessness and desperation, “how can I do anything to elicit the kind of changes needed to transform healthcare?” Other times I felt hopeful that the experience would build confidence and provide me with important tools. It was a relief to find that I was in the presence of like-minded, passionate people.
One thing that stood out to me, as I prepare to step into the FNP role, is the story of Lewis Blackman. In primary care, the duration of appointments can be limiting in terms of what can be achieved per visit. Certainly, I cannot follow every bunny trail that comes up in conversation and will need to zero in on pertinent details. This, while simultaneously avoiding putting blinders on, having tunnel vision toward one diagnosis. The worst must be ruled out.
“We’re all wrong, no matter how good we are” was a phrase from the video, Just a Routine Operation. This statement, along with the conversations related to Why Hospitals Should Fly, reiterates the need to hear others, value opinions, avoid assumption, and be mindful in any patient-care situation. It is a blatant reminder that we cannot be perfect all the time.
I also appreciated the Brene Brown clip on empathy. The worst “at least” that I’ve ever heard was a doctor presenting a new diagnosis to a patient along with the statement, “at least it’s not cancer.” As providers, we see so many patients, many of whom have multiple comorbidities but, to this patient, the diagnosis was new, scary, and life-altering and the doctor was not in that moment with the patient. The gravity of the situation for this patient at this time was not validated by the doctor.
I look forward to the remainder of the sessions. I hope to use the information I am learning to reflect on my experiences in healthcare. As Gwen said on our first day, “we don’t learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.”