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Shifting from "fixing" to "being present"

As Clinicians we are taught to "fix", shifting to "being present", may help alleviate anxiety, and model peace and calm

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Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

Clinicans dealing with end of life patients and families

Having worked on an inpatient unit that largely deals with end of life, I often found it fascinating with how the presence of clinicians, and what they "bring in" affects the emotional environment of the room.  Calm and understanding versus hurried and unfamiliar.  It ALL brings light or heaviness.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Entering a room filled with people randomly, sometimes with smiles and affirmation and another time with flat affect and cursery questioning. Our patients and their families are constantly reading our cues for support and information on where their loved one is in the process of dying.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Some believe that people can't be taught intuitiveness. It would be wonderful to be able to educate folks on "how" to read people and also how to trust ones intuition when it comes to communicating with patients and family.

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual


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Kimber, thanks so much for your contribution! I'm so glad that you brought this topic  up as it can change the entire trajectory of one's dying process - for both the patient and their family. 

Our Palliative Care Team at Mount Sinai Hospital developed a program and class based on effective and therapeutic communication at the end of life that all of our nurses are required to take. Being a nurse myself, I found this particularly helpful, as we often find ourself in very challenging and emotionally provoking conversations with our patients and their loved ones. The program offers nurses the opportunity to get in touch with their own emotions and beliefs, role-play, (i.e. participating in hypothetical situations that would likely occur with our patients and their families), become familiar with and memorize important phrases that can help mediate a difficult topic, etc. We required to fill out a survey before and after to evaluate the efficacy of the program as it relates to nurses comfort level and experience of implementing the suggested/practiced techniques. I personally have found tremendous benefits from the program and overall have seen a positive impact on our unit. 

What about the possibility of a healthcare organization sponsoring a nationwide or regional class/program that promotes effective and strategic communication techniques for the healthcare workers during the end of life process?  

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I think gut feelings and intuition are so important in end of life care. Wonder how we teach clinicians to be more aware of those feelings? 

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Hi Kimber, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.