I wasn’t sure what to expect for this first day, but it most definitely did not disappoint. There are many things I could write about for my first blog, but I will focus on the moment that impacted me most today –the Lewis Blackman video. I found myself not only heartbroken for his family, but also angry and embarrassed for my profession. I am a nurse at a pediatric hospital, and often take care of post-surgical patients. Many of the miscommunications on the part of the nursing staff in his story seemed like common sense to me. I found myself getting so angry with his nurses, thinking to myself, “Why on earth did they not catch __________? How could they have not noticed _________? Why did they not listen to the patient’s mother?”
It is easy looking back on a situation to see all the things that were done wrong, how things could have been better, which actions would have altered the outcome. When I took a moment to put myself in the shoes of Lewis’s nurses and relate parts of his story to my own experiences, sadly it wasn’t hard to see how those mistakes happened. When you are the middle of a busy shift, with 4 patients, and one of them is outside the normal diagnosis you take care of, it is easy to miss both subtle and obvious clues that something is not right, especially when a physician (resident or attending) has examined the patient and stated they are stable and they do not voice any concerns to you. What I hope to gain from this week is empowerment to speak up when I think something is wrong and to not be afraid to call the resident and respectfully challenge their opinion if I disagree. I think respectful conversation between disciplines is key to changing the culture of health care, and ultimately making our patients safer. I am very excited for what the rest of this week holds, and looking forward to having more thought provoking conversations that challenge our typical ways of thinking.