I first entered the new wing of the Hospital for Sick Children in February 1993 – just over 27 years ago.
Since that time I have had operations, birthed babies, spent time in the NICU, attended outpatient appointments, spent time in the ER, spent time with my kids as inpatients all in this building.
I have been told that in this time, a major shift has taken place in health care, with much higher numbers of complex care patients, and a much higher need for interconnected care. I don’t know the reasons for this, but I DO know that we are not prepared for this as individuals or as a health care system.
There are lots of things that are needed to create the changes that we require. I’m sure lots of them are expensive or complex, but you know what isn’t expensive? Letting patients know that they are SEEN. Acknowledging that what is going on in their lives is HARD. Admitting that you don’t always have the answers, but that you will take seriously the work required to properly find them!
This is how you reduce trauma.
This is how you rewire the brain to heal from trauma.
This is how you create nets and bridges between the cracks and fissures that we are all falling through.
You create a shared story of humanity.
And it might not fix the underlying condition, but it WILL lower stress levels in patients, families and caregivers alike, which in turn will improve communication and – I predict – improve patient outcomes in the short and long term.