I remember starting to work ER 31 years ago being younger than most staff. Some nurses I now work with were once my pediatric patients.
As in my family practice, I also share the Basic Wellness Message with almost every patient I see in ER. The knowledge that pain, suffering and illness often arise partially due to real needs unmet. The knowledge of how daily intake of 400 grams of non-starchy vegetables contain the necessary flavonoids that will not only help and heal their present condition but also prevent a huge list of pain, suffering and illnesses that will afflict them and their family; and bring them back to ER and possibly require much more care. When I began teaching patients in ER, I think the nurses at first thought I am odd and don’t know what to make of what I do. (...I do know they love me anyways). I also share with the nurses my perspective that the reasons why many patients in ER may present with medical problems seemingly trivial to us is because they lack knowledge and are genuinely anxious or scared. I can’t see any other reason why anyone will watch CP24 for 5 hours straight on a Saturday evening in the company of a roomful of sick people. I feel that one solution to our growing healthcare challenge is to seize every opportunity and educate. To share a simple message. To “share” with kindness rather than blame. To help patients see the personal relevance. To encourage them to share what they learn with their family.
My experience and patient feedback have been amazing. Patients and their family leave with big smiles and gratitude. Patients often hug me and thank me. Some tell me that they are so grateful and will pray for me.
The nurses like to show me the delicious salads they brought for their dinner. I must admit some of their salads look interesting.
I also have found that for patients presenting with specifically, insomnia, anxiety or panic disorder; even brief instructions on mindfulness techniques such as “body scan”, “STOP” or “Take 5” are often well received and appreciated. My experience is that patients want to get better, want to be more involved in their own care and embrace knowledge that will help them.