Interdisciplinary Communication

As a nurse at Telluride this has been super educational and eye opening experience. I have been surprised at how much I have been able to bring to group discussions, and how much I have in common with the medical students and residents. It is clear that nurses and physicians can be too divided in the hospital environment. But when we realize our common goal is to take care of our patients and keep them safe, we can immediately be on the same page. I appreciate the physicians that I work with who have come to me and told me to all them any time, as I work night shift, and that they respect any opinion or concern I have about our patients. I believe whole heartedly that is how easy it is to begin a respectful nurse-doctor relationship.

The concept of patient safety can seem daunting. And it is not easy to shift medical culture or change ingrained systems. But I am repeatedly struck but how simple examples of good doctors and nurses are: telling a patient you care about what their goals are, being honest when you may not know something, and taking responsibility. The actions themselves are simple to do, it is the systems and culture that make it difficult. Speaking with each other and being open about our feelings is the first step to change this.