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The One Week Challenge

October 21 2013 by Dave Nicholson

In the rapidly changing world of Interventional Radiology there is little we do that is “routine”. Although, we all have those patients that we see once a month, every other month, or every 6 months. They are the “neph tube”, the “biliary tube”, the “fistula declot”, the “perm cath check”, the “down fem-pop”. What do we know about them? What do we need to know? What do they want us to know?

As an example from my own experience, I recently had a patient that had a complex liver transplant with multiple complications. I met him one week post transplant for a bliary leak. Everything was normal. Right sided percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram with external drainage positioned to exclude the leak. As I walked to the cafeteria I ran into the patients wife. She sat down with me, and I drew her a picture of what we did. Told her how often we would change his tube, and kind of what she could expect. Immediately, she was so happy. She started showing me pictures of him surfing, and telling me all about their kids. That was 9 weeks ago… her husband is still in the hospital, and I see her almost on a daily basis. Sometimes when I am sitting in the cafeteria she will come over and join me and just talk about anything.

In having the experiences, both good and bad, that I have had I would like to take this opportunity to challenge all of you.

The challenge is one week long. Take one week and get to know your patients. Meet their family. Sit with them. Take 10 minutes out of your day, it will surely be time well spent. Find out something about their personal life. I promise you that not only will you find a new found appreciation for your role as a healthcare provider. As well, it will change how you view your patients. Please let us know how your week goes. Good Luck!!!

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