Listening on Morning Patient Rounds

I spoke with Pat Godbold about her morning Patient Rounds at McLeod Medical Center Darlington.  Pat is the Administrator for McLeod Darlington and McLeod Behavioral Health.  I thought her experience with a patient was interesting and her conversation instructive for all who serve in health care. Our patients want our time and attention and appreciate our respect for them as individuals.

“I visited with two patients on Thursday.  My conversation with the first included providing some words of care and comfort. We had a philosophical discussion regarding how and why things happen … and how our response to the circumstances of life can make the difference as to whether we use the experience negatively or positively.  The patient, a resident of a local community in the region, was involved in a traffic accident.  He fractured his hip which required surgery.  The recovery will include ‘non-weight bearing’ status for eight to twelve weeks. 

While many of us would view this period of illness or time with anger, sadness or helplessness, he sees it differently.  He has chosen to view this time as an opportunity to do some of the things life seldom allows for us.  For example, reading many of the classic books, especially by American authors.  Books we might have read long ago and have forgotten the beauty and meaning in the author’s words.  During his eight to twelve weeks, he is working through Mark Twain, John Steinbeck and William Faulkner.  He is reconnecting with friends from long ago with whom he had lost contact.  He is writing letters to his young grandchildren – - letters they will be able to read when they are older, so they will know him better as a man.  As I left him, I could not help but wonder if I could accept the challenges he has faced with the courage and strength of character he showed today.  I can only hope.”

Every day our lives are touched by interesting people we meet in our health care facilities.  Each one has a unique and interesting view and we want to respect their needs.  Stopping long enough to listen and learn while we are caring for them often leads to our own improvement in knowledge and perspective.



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