“Are you pondering what I’m pondering?”

“Well, I think so, Brain, but if Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why does he keep doing it?”

While we aren’t cracking corn (whatever that means) we are are on our way to becoming strong and influential healthcare leaders. Even of most people don’t seem to care, we must carry on. Indeed I would suggest we are morally obligated to carry on. I hope that one day others will care as deeply as we do. I’m looking forward to the day we all say that we can’t remember what it was like to practice in such an unsafe environment and culture.  

After today’s sessions I continue to remain inspired, but I still have so many questions. As I reflect on the questions I have written down, I think that others need to reflect on them too. Embracing a total transformation of our healthcare system is going to take a common vocabulary, a common set of definitions, and common goals that nursing, medical, and ancillary services need to agree on. 

John Nance, (pilot, lawyer, and safety analyst) author of Why Hospitals Should Fly, gave an engaging and very thought provoking presentation this afternoon.   

Here are some things to ponder…

Why do we tolerate a culture that accepts approximately 50 health care related deaths per hour as status que?

How do we define a culture?

Why do we say patient safety is a priority and not an absolute core value?

Why are clinicians hesitant to retrain and refine our thinking and habits?

What small steps can nurses take to begin restructuring our environment to be one that expects errors and continually works to prevent them?

How do we make the patient the subject of healthcare, not the object?

Why is there such widespread denial about our issues (from providers and from the public)?

Why, in our world of connectedness (social media, text messaging, telemedicine, etc.) are we not embracing a team mentality for the delivery of healthcare?

Why do we continue to let fear and insecurities drive our practices?

These are all questions that we must continue to ask ourselves if we are to facilitate the changes that need to happen in our backwards culture of healthcare. There are going to be those resistant to change. If you are one of them, I ask that you reflect on whether or not you still have some compassion. Watch this video:

If a tear didn’t come to your eye, or a knot didn’t grow in your stomach, you need to really examine your own motives and seriously ask yourself if you are fit to continue practicing in healthcare. Deep down I feel we all have the same motives. It’s time we stop arguing and get on the same page. Our patient’s their families, and their friends deserve nothing less.