What healthcare leaders can learn from a home health nurse

Guest post by Thomas H. Dahlborg, chief financial officer and vice president of strategy for NICHQ (National Institute for Children's Health Quality), where he focuses on improving child health and well-being.

" ... a simple touch, a nod, a gesture that lets the patient know that you see them as more than a diagnosis and are engaged and listening to them gives the healthcare provider credibility, forms a trust between patient and provider and starts the relationship off in a positive way to achieve goals."

I am fortunate to be surrounded by amazing healthcare practitioners who demonstrate healthCARING every day. Be it within my family: bride (registered nurse), mother (x-ray technician / vascular technologist/mammographer), sister (registered ICU nurse), cousin (nurse leader), sister-in-law (social worker); my co-workers: physicians, nurses, therapists; and my friends: physicians, physical therapists, behavioral health practitioners (psychiatrist, psychologist, etc.), and specific to this post, an amazing home health nurse.

This home health nurse recently had her own health challenge and was kind enough to share her experience with me so that I may share with all of you.

"So when I started experiencing discomfort in my chest I ran through the checklist in my mind--indigestion, upper respiratory, strained a muscle working out the day before--but this pain was different. So after experiencing no relief I went to the 24/7 ER Clinic.

There I was quickly escorted into a room, leads were put on, wires were attached, important 'need-to-know' clinical questions were asked, and then after this flurry everyone exited the room. I was left alone and I was scared.

Things really didn't get much better after I was transferred to the hospital.
A nurse came in to introduce himself, asked my name and date of birth and then left. The hospitalist came in to review the information from the ER. She asked about my pain as well as the same diagnostic questions that were already asked and answered. She then turned and left me ... alone. I was still scared.

A stress test was scheduled for the next morning.

Read the full commentary at Hospital Impact