Day 1 reflection: Thanking Colleagues in the Healthcare Workplace

I had such a thought provoking and incredible first day at the conference. I was particularly moved by Helen’s story about her son, Lewis. I was challenged by our discussion about anchoring which I believe happens too often across specialties and which I have seen first hand many times over the course of my intern year. The outcomes are not always good and major diagnoses are missed as a result. I personally want to be cognizant of this idea and for it to better inform my practice of medicine. It is all too easy to hear a signout when you are covering 50 patients and to miss details either from exhaustion or being overwhelmed. I want to ensure that information is being properly communicated and that family concerns are being raised and brought to the forefront of the clinicians mind and to continue to try to approach each patient with an open mind, not swayed by others input in order to make my own clinical judgements.

Something else that challenged my prevailing attitudes which I believe will inform my commitment was a system of positive acknowledgement when residents or nurses escalate up the chain of command for the betterment and safety of their patients. I want to be sure to encourage other colleagues to escalate up the chain of command if they ever feel like a patient’s safety is compromised without fear of repercussions. I plan to implement an idea that was discussed today of saying ‘thank you’ when I am speaking with colleagues, nurses, or other healthcare staff when I am notified of new information regarding one of my patients. I believe this idea fosters an open and approachable type of communication which ultimately is better for patient care. As I complete residency and fellowship and become an attending, I want to continue to use this idea so that my residents always know their is an open line of communication.