Aug 1, 2019 | Patient Stories, Faces of HDGH
This month’s blog comes from a very talented HDGH Physiotherapist and also, PUBLISHED AUTHOR. Jennifer George has been working on our inpatient rehab team at HDGH for over five years. She has spent the last 11 years of her career studying and reflecting on the importance of communication in our health and educational systems which is so important in all of our worlds.
Her latest book release, Communication is Care: 9 Empowering Ways to Guide Patient Healing is available through Amazon, Indigo (Windsor or online) and all e-book platforms globally – ie. Barnes and Noble (so cool!).
She is a mentor to future and current health providers on discovering their purpose, achieving fulfillment, and creating the best patient experience. We are so lucky to have Jennifer as part of our HDGH Family and our patients are equally as fortunate to have her as part of their rehab journey.
Those readers interested in getting in touch with Jennifer to discover more opportunities to connect, collaborate and revolutionize healthcare delivery can subscribe to www.jennifergeorge.co.
Thanks Jennifer for not only your contribution to August’s blog but also to the impact and lives you change each day through your work and words.
At one point or another, the majority of us will be patients of the healthcare system. Our fundamental need of good health and independence connects each and every one of us and grounds us in gratitude every day. If you think about every single experience you have ever had in your lifetime, it was rooted in your health in some way and has led you to where you are in this moment.
When I was asked to write this piece on “patient-centeredness,” I thought it would be simple to share my perspective with you. However, when I sat down to write my thoughts on what this means to me as a human being and as a healthcare provider, I suddenly felt overcome with information and emotion. I found myself reflecting on how I treat my patients everyday and how I would want to be treated if I were a patient.
Our healthcare system is starting to give a voice to the value of empathetic and compassionate care. As a result, it is revolutionizing patient-centeredness into human-centered care. I say this because at the core of it all, we are one – I am my patients and my patients are me. How many times have you thought to yourself as a healthcare provider, “My patient is the same age as me…my patient could be me…I will be this or that kind of patient one day…I would do or feel the same way if I were in my patient’s shoes…”.
In order to provide excellent care as a healthcare provider, you inevitably find connection to your patients in their full human form, not by their diagnosis or identification numbers. It is in this human connection that your patients are ultimately able to understand you and feel understood by you when they are in your care.
Human-centeredness is what unites us and is mutually reciprocated between you and your patients. It is the “flow of focus” on that one purpose that will give meaning to your patients’ involvement in their own outcomes and to your work in helping them get there.
This is witnessed in ongoing collaboration among the inter-professional team, consisting of shared empathy, being mindfully present, and empowering your patients to be their own advocates of care.
Most recently, I was met with a new patient who although consented to assessment, I found it difficult to connect with and establish rapport despite how many questions I asked. Upon leaving his room, I felt uncertain about my ability to understand him, and then it suddenly hit me: I circled back around and asked him what his experience had been like leading up to this admission.
Immediately, his spouse expressed that the only plan they were aware of was that he was going to go home from acute care with home care services. Yet, they were here at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare. They were informed just hours before that the plan was to send him to our hospital. I felt they were still wrapping their heads around the past few hours of his sudden transition.
Now, it made sense to me as to why I felt there was a disconnect between us both. I then responded by asking if the original plan is what he still wanted. My patient did not say yes or no. He was overall very indifferent.
Although challenging, this critical conversation is what moved our alliance into the right direction - my patient had no interest in any tangible goals like how I could help to restore his strength and gait in that moment, he was just consenting to the assessment because everything up until this point was felt to be done unto him. This made him feel untrusting and unheard.
I reassured him that if he still wanted to stick to the original plan that we would do everything we could to support it safely. Most importantly, I reassured him that he will be fully informed and strongly encouraged to be a part of his care plan and goals. The plan will not happen to him, but with him guiding us, his care team.
He notably sighed and smiled in relief. I truly believe that had we not had this open conversation, I would not have been able to provide effective care due to my lack of complete understanding and his inability to be present in each therapeutic session.
Our alliance - now enhanced by intangible understanding and genuine concern for one another, would mark the beginning of the human-centered experience. An experience in which both the patient and the provider feel a shared sense of belonging, harmony, and peace.
Jan 8, 2019 | Mental Health, Patient Stories
Happy 2019, All! We are excited to kick off this new year with a special post from a good friend (and no stranger) to my blog. Danny inspires us by sharing how he continues to succeed through his own mental health struggles. No doubt he finds healing through his words and experiences, and I am happy to share some of that with you. Here’s to a positive, growth-oriented and healthy 2019. All of us at HDGH look forward to continuing changing lives with you all and creating a healthier Windsor-Essex.
In life, when I feel overwhelmed I have that one special place in the home that I love to go to. It is peaceful and it gives me comfort and happiness. It is my foundation, my domain and a place that restores my faith and my soul.I call it "Danny Gautama's wall of happiness". You might be asking, "Danny, what is that?” Well my awesome friend I will tell you. It is a wall that simply represents who I'am. It is a wall that cherishes special memories throughout my life that gives me happiness. For example, on that wall I have photos of my friends, my families. my cousins ,my cat, my sweetheart and I at The cooks shop, my achievements, Workout posters, Sylvester Stallone Poster from Rocky, Inspirational quotes on working out and success, Valentine Day cards I received from two little girls when I worked at our parents business in 2006,Birthday cards, Email and text responses from people I have helped. In addition to a shelf with sentimental memories of gifts people have given me throughout the years and much more.No negative thought can make me believe that I should be depressed and that I'am unloved, because the evidence tells me i'am loved and important to people.You see when I look at this wall, I instantly feel so much better. I feel that I do belong in this world. I feel I do matter and have worth and I walk out of that room feeling great.
We have two choices in life. Either we believe our negative thoughts to be true or we instead challenge them and come up with evidence that in reality it is not true and that you matter to the world.
When we have depression we may fail to see the bright side of the things to be grateful for, however there is always something behind the darkness that sheds some light of hope.
As I was battling a depression episode in 2007, I was building and creating my wall of happiness and as I started adding things on the wall I realized that I had so much to be grateful for as you do to. For example, you have people out there who love you even if you do not think so. There are so many people out there who would love to help you and make you feel better. There are so many inspirational quotes that can inspire and motivate you to change your life.
I want you to do something. What is there in this world that makes you happy? What represents you and your uniqueness? Can you find a space in your house and dedicate it to only you? It can be anything you want. It does not even have to be on a wall. It could be on multiple shelves; however, it has to be something that only makes YOU HAPPY. What is it that is meaningful and passionate to you?
Try not to hoard on everything and anything .I use to be a big time hoarder and collected things that I thought were important but were not and that did not make me truly happy .It was just a cluttered mess full of useless items. It made me feel overwhelmed. When I had a cluttered mess I had a cluttered mind. Think about it, when God takes me away, nothing is going with me. None of this stuff represents me. I realized that a room should be filled with who you are. What people know about you .That brings out your uniqueness.
Make sure that your happiness area is clean and nicely organized. Clean areas can impact your mental health in a positive way as opposed to a cluttered area in the house. Get rid of the things you don’t use or need.
In addition to having your clean happiness area, make sure your home, apartment or condo is always clean as well .Decorate it, have space, paint your walls with positive colours like pink, blue, green or any colour that makes you feel positive. I love fluorescent pink. It brings a calm yet euphoric and romantic feeling in me. In your home make sure there is no dust. Keep it simple my friends your bed should always be made, laundry is clean, dishes are always washed etc.
Your place should have good natural lighting which can improve your mood, if the weather is nice open all the windows and bring fresh air inside.
Remember this is your place you are living in and seeing everyday .Why make it a place that is depressing and negative when you deserve nothing but happiness and joy in your life.
One thing I do is I have a chalkboard and a chalk so I write positive quotes that I see when I drink my morning coffee before I go to work. For example “Danny the Fighter” “Danny is loved” “You got this Danny boy “. This gives me a pick up boost to get my day started with positive energy and vibes. I also have a separate small chalkboard and write down the things I’am grateful for.
My awesome friend, make the best of your home. Make it anyway you want. Be creative, have fun. Best thing to do is decorate your house while listening to inspirational music that gives you that good feeling.
With that being said always continue to make progress in your happiness. Always have goals my friend and achieve them with passion and a never give up attitude.
God bless you and take care. #Never give up, # Keep moving forward, # Believe in yourself.
Sincerely Danny Gautama
May 7, 2018 | Mental Health, Patient Stories
It’s an exciting week! The second week of May is always a fun and important week for us at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare as we recognize and celebrate two important areas of what we do. From today, May 7th until the 13th, we celebrate the dedicated, tireless work done by our nurses. Events will take place every day this week for our HDGH Nurses and I would also encourage you to hop on social media using the hashtag #YesThisIsNursing to share your gratitude of our wonderful nurses both locally and across the country.
Along with Nurses, this week we are also celebrating Mental Health Week. For this week especially, folks are encouraged to recognize mental health as more than mental illness and instead about feeling good about who you are, having balance and managing life’s highs and lows.
Our guest blogger, Danny Gautama, is a true example of what it means to perseverance and spread positive awareness of mental health related issues as he too struggles with depression. Danny has made it his mission to help others with his words. Thank you Danny for being open, honest and sharing your story with us.
If you are reading this and have depression, I just want you to know how important and valuable you are. You are loved and needed in this world.
Don't listen to your depression because it lies to you. You will NOT give up because you are a fighter and a warrior.
You will beat this. I have faith in you.
People do care about you because I am one of those people. You have a purpose in this world and you are meant to do great things. You are meant to make a difference in this world. Don't listen to your depression because it wants to bring you to your knees. You are stronger and more powerful than it.
Get up and fight.
I am with you all the way cheering you on. You deserve happiness and love. Do whatever makes you feel happy. Listen to music, go help the homeless, volunteer for a good cause, give someone a compliment, help your elders with groceries, play with your pets and if you don't have a pet then adopt one, dance in the rain, exercise etc. You will start to feel better about yourself. Any time you have a negative thought, don't believe it; instead, challenge it.
I have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), anxiety and depression but i get up every morning and fight. Sylvester Stallone is my hero so i guess i have to be a fighter. I will not let any of my negative emotions affect my work, relationships with my families, friends, romantic relationship or with my relationship with my cat, TJ.
Your happiness is my happiness.
Remember what Rocky Balboa said: "I didn't hear no bell. One more round!" Say that to depression. Tell depression "you are not going to bring me down".
This is your life. You are in charge of it.
Depression has no business being in your life. So smile today, smile for me. Show the world your beautiful smile, walk outside with confidence, celebrate who you are. You are a somebody. You are perfect just the way you are and you are irreplaceable. You will live long happy life.
Whenever you feel down, put your palms together facing you and join your heart lines together. You will see a smiley face.
So just know that everything will be okay. I am sending you a gentle loving hug from me to you. I love you. Stay strong and never give up.
I would love to hear from you. Get in touch with me at email@example.com
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