Empowerment with a capital E

For me, one of the biggest parts of this patient safety movement will be empowerment. Empowerment of our patients, our patients families, our nursing staff, our technicians, our medical students, and most certainly our physicians. We need to empower our patients to speak up and to ask hard questions. We need to empower them to say no, share in the decision making, and question our process. We need to empower our patients families to do the same things when they feel their loved one can’t or won’t do it for themselves. We need to empower our nursing staff to ‘stop the line’ whenever they feel the urge to. We need to empower our technicians and hospital staff to understand that they are an integral part of the patient care team and that their roles are invaluable. Empowering our medical students means to help them realize that they are the future and that this change will not be possible without them. And finally we need to empower our physicians to embrace their infallibility and to live and work each and every day for the reason why they got into this profession in the first place; to provide compassionate, thoughtful, and loving care to the individuals and families that they work for.

“Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.”
― Mahatma Gandhi