Telluride Day 1 & 2 Reflection

I am not a usual “blogger” so I am using the tactic that Tracy taught us to talk about the parts of this experience that have made me feel. The first thing that I jotted down that I wanted to explore more but we did not have time in the day, was the concept of “The Pause”. I had the pleasure of working alongside Jonathan Bartels at the University of Virginia and have incorporated The Pause into my practice. For anyone that is unfamiliar with his work, I would strongly encourage you to watch this quick 3 minute video that introduces the concept, as it has really helped me to decompress after some of the most stressful moments in my life.

Another thing that keeps sticking out to me is the story of Lewis Blackman and the fact that his untimely death began with a newspaper article. It seems silly, but I continue to come back to the fact that this “new procedure” for pectus excavatum was advertised in the newspaper. This just seems absurd. How is it even ethical/legal/morally sound to advertise surgery to laypeople in a newspaper? If his parents had simply not purchased a paper that day, or if they had decided to do something instead of reading the paper, Lewis could still be alive.

Another “goose bump moment” for me was during the video of Michelle’s family, when her mother said that if the providers had not trusted the machines, if they had put a stethoscope to her chest, that CPR could have been initiated and could have saved her life. I feel that as a profession we rely so heavily on the machines and computer systems that surround us (which was supported by the IT lecture later in the day), that we often lose sight of the person in the bed in front of us.  As a nurse, when I would get a very high or very low blood pressure reading using the machine, I would automatically get a manual blood pressure before notifying the provider team. Knowing that there can be a lot of variability between automatic and manual readings. Now as a provider, I find that a vast majority of the nurses that I work with respond with confusion or irritation when I ask for a manual blood pressure, especially when the most recent reading is an outlier in an otherwise stable patient.  It’s crucial to remind ourselves that in our fast paced healthcare world, we often cannot trust the equipment that we rely so heavily on. Sometimes we need to take the time to do things by hand to be sure that they are being done correctly.

I also enjoyed the tips on communicating with patients and families such as using “I can’t imagine” and never “I understand” or “at least…”. And I also enjoyed the “It’s Not About The Nail” video, which I promptly sent to my husband and said this is EXACTLY what I’ve been trying to tell you for years! 🙂

Looking forward to the next two days!