Allen Curreri's Blog
Medical professionals work tirelessly to save lives, often expending considerable physical, emotional, and mental energy in the process. The stakes for those working in hospitals are intense: lives hang in the balance. The stress of the job undoubtedly contributes to the fast-paced environment; doctors, nurses, and technicians alike not only have to juggle their own considerable load of tasks, but coordinate their work with their colleagues in order to ensure that each patient’s needs are properly met. Given the stressful expectations loaded onto these professional’s shoulders and the frenetic working environment native to hospitals, it’s hardly surprising that lines of communication break down and cause dangerous setbacks like the one described above – but understanding why they occur makes them no less worrisome.
A four year-old-boy is pulled, flatlining, from the bottom of a lake, and rushed to the emergency room. No one knows how long he was underwater, they can only say that CPR was administered, and the boy showed no response. The doctor on call, David Hilfiker, drops everything. Dashing to the operating room, he lets his practiced hands take over.
Strength is what drives an effective unit, just as strength is what a mindfulness master looks for within their self. Such strong commonality cannot be ignored; in fact, military leaders have started to recognize mindfulness as an essential component of any soldier’s arsenal; many military heads now see the benefits of meditation as a sort of armor, offering units a cohesive, fortifying mind-shield which outstrips even the hardest Kevlar.
It’s ironic that although we rely on doctors to care for our health, they are rarely able to devote the same time to their own — least of all their mental health. We’ve talked before about the incredible stresses that doctors face every day, stresses that can’t help but take a toll on anyone’s wellness, no matter how competent you are. It isn’t not only a hardship for the professionals who care for us, though, but also one for patients who rely on a doctor’s sharp observational skills and clear-headed decision making to make the best possible call, every single time.
Incentives for Computerized Care: How Can Hospitals Navigate Tech Without Compromising Patient Outcomes?
It’s not exactly a new insight to say that technology is the future. Both science and the popular imagination have been anticipating the development of super smart tech for decades, tech that will help us live longer, better lives on almost every front. Just like in the movies, however, this powerful technology can backfire if we don’t take the time to understand it properly and think critically about its integration.
Health has always been as much an art as a science. Since the beginnings of medicine, intuition has played a key role in a physician’s ability to diagnose and treat their patients. Now we are facing a shift in the very fundamentals of the practice. Intuition has begun taking a back seat to technologies like clinical decision support systems
It’s hard to imagine a traditional cop — full uniform, crewcut, handcuffs snapped in and a firearm on the hip — sitting cross legged on a yoga mat to the sound of a gong. And yet, that’s precisely what more and more police officers have been doing in satellite programs across America and in the UK. That’s right: the latest, cutting edge police training is not in target practice or defensive strategy, but mindfulness.
When I was just starting out in the medical field I traveled door to door, hospital to hospital selling scanning equipment. As a young man, this put me in the unique position of being responsible for teaching new skills to doctors, even if it was only the operating instructions for an ultrasound. More importantly, those hours spent in the ER stuck me right on the front lines, experiencing firsthand the incredible demands many doctors face on a daily, even hourly basis. I watched as doctors were confronted with impossibly complex choices, witnessed as they made decisions in a matter of moments that would change the course of their patient’s lives forever after.