August 29th, 2011

Maelstrom – Patient preference matters

The grinding stream.

An apt description of a summer that has been much more soul sucking than refreshing, hence the rather resounding silence around here.

Some of the stream has been phenomenally positive, such as my husband’s unexpected fast tracking to management duties at work and deciding to return to university for an accounting degree. I am so excited about being able to encourage and support him through online learning and am selfishly looking forward to what I can learn from the school’s platform for my own online teaching. It looks far more organized and helpful for students than anything I’ve encountered or been able to create thus far.

Some of the stream has been the normal ebb & flow of work. I’ll soon launch my third online continuing education class in as many months and am developing a 4th for the fourth month. There are some rather notable changes I’ve observed from my classes that I’ll cover in another entry this week since I’m concerned by what I see. I’m on vacation (unfortunately my husband isn’t) and actually have time to think and reflect to blog, since between the mental energy work and the next issue have taken I’ve had little of that.

Most of the stream has been a torrent with a family health crisis, the first that has happened since I’ve been a medical librarian. Many nights have involved gently getting what specific facts I can about the situation, determining where emotional levels are to be able to handle additional information, then researching to identify articles that are helpful for both the health care team and have at least some sections that are comprehensible to my very sharp family without a medical school background.

That research balance alone is a challenge, but the totally unexpected part? Teaching both my family and (through them) the health care team what is clearly stated in most of the conclusions of  articles but no one seemed to notice before now: Patient preference matters.

This insight from the one who is the strongest and most confident member of our family says it all:

When one sits in front of the highly esteemed, white coated Dr. X after kindly and informatively interacting with her and her great clinical nurse specialist for two hours and looks at a full wall of degrees and honors (Harvard Phi Beta Kappa etc) it takes a bit even for me to say “and those studies also discuss the premise that this is overtreated.”

This is all without the help of a patient navigator, and I’ve been wondering about the role medical librarians could serve as members of these teams of nurses and social workers at hospitals.  Are some of you already involved?

Posted at 08 54 AM | 1 Comment » | print this post

One Response to “Maelstrom – Patient preference matters”

  1. Alisha Miles says:

    Hey Nikki,

    I can completely identify with having multiple projects going on at once and making it difficult to blog. Lately I feel like I have neglected my blog as work as increased.

    I would like to say I have more of an involvement with patients; however, the reality is I am a solo librarian and it is just not possible. The only contact I have is with patients who visit the library, which is very few. My focus lately has been on areas in our hospitals that are not often reached, such as the nursing homes, orthopedic hospital and other places.

    I wish you and your family the best of luck with your research.


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