Today I attended a wonderful session put on by Lifewings outlining techniques to improve patient safety and communication in the healthcare arena. We role played scenarios in which communication between team members became pivotal in achieving a common goal, learned about our pitfalls as healthcare providers, and shared our concerns with other attendees.
One of the many points we discussed was the degree to which more junior members of the healthcare team are willing to voice their opinions to the team at large. Sometimes we’re afraid of being scolded. Sometimes we’re just quiet and unwilling to speak amongst strangers… especially those above us. But how does this affect the patient?
One piece of advice I try to instill in all the junior residents (regardless of their speciality) is the need to always advocate for our patients. NO ONE should ever fault someone else for bringing up a concern about patient safety. I don’t care if you’re a medical student addressing the chief of staff, if you have information that might make a difference, you should feel obligated to share it with the team.
I’m hoping to see a change in how our perioperative care (and especially trauma care) is improved by incorporating the skills we learned during this course.