Following on from last weeks blog (and a day later) I decided to write this from 37,000 feet in the air. No I’m not speaking metaphorically after a couple of gin and tonics. I am literally flying in the clouds as I type. Oooooooo!
I’ve been on call all weekend and in the usual way of trying to get everything done my brain objected to the additional pressure of writing a blog as well. The only thought I had was to ‘get done and get home’. Not exactly a riveting read.
So this morning I took off from a beautiful sunny Glasgow bound for Faro, Portugal. I had managed to get a window seat too. Now I’m not going to spend the rest of the time waxing lyrical about the stunning scenery as we flew past Loch Lomond, over Arran and down the Irish coastline. What struck me though was that although I had been to all of these places, it felt like I was seeing them for the first time. By merely going a few thousand feet in the air I was seeing a familiar landscape from a new perspective and that’s really what my week has been like.
I had been invited to a Patient Opinion event earlier in the week (more of that in a future blog). Most of what was discussed was around perspectives. Not just ours but those of patients, families and other staff members.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the throes of work that we forget what it looks like though the eyes of those we care for. Now, we may know how things work but all to often I have been witness to unnecessary friction between staff and patients/families purely because we do not stop to see it from their perspective. When in fact we do stop we are often not surprised by what they are saying. Most of the time we find ourselves agreeing.
This week in clinic I had this exact conversation with one of my stroke survivors. This person had done exceptionally well post treatment and I was bringing them back to see how things were. Now while I do not expect everything to be perfect I was a little unprepared to hear how negative an experience it had been for them. It wasn’t that anyone had done anything wrong per say but there was a sense that despite what we thought were our best efforts we somehow fell short…
So I decided to try something I haven’t done before, I invited them back to the ward. I want us to have an opportunity to talk though the experience. More than that though, I want to hear how we could do better. My hope is that by looking at our world from a different perspective we can make things better for people in the future.
While going 37,000 feet in the air can help to see things differently sometimes it’s as easy as stopping to listen…..