With a Vengeance

I got rocked in negotiations today. Like, the other party totally cleaned my clock; ate my lunch; and took me in lock, stock and barrel. And after that, my teammates and I had to rescue and evacuate two fragile patients–as well as each other–from a burning hospital wing.

Okay, so maybe the “patients” were eggs, and maybe the “burning hospital wing” was a teeter-totter. We struggled to fit all seven of us on the see-saw as the heavy, teetering ends came distressingly close to crushing our charges. Yet with a briefing, clear roles and responsibilities, a mid-procedure huddle, and effective communication, we performed our task admirably and with time to spare. And that’s what the Telluride experience is about: challenge that spurs growth. The faculty are pushing us to transition from merely identifying problems to offering solutions to them. To do that, we need to be uncomfortable, to find that, suddenly, our gap in knowledge and experience is a problem to be remedied.

I’ve reached that point. As I learned in an IHI Open School module and as I was gently reminded here in Telluride, I have taken a leadership stance. Tonight, I am recommitting. I will not be party to unexamined practice. I will not let patient safety go quietly into that good night. I will champion these competencies wherever I go, and I will work tirelessly to establish and advance a culture of safety wherever my career takes me. Ooh rah!

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