Looking at a full moon
We are finally catching up on the much needed rain that we were lacking from this summer, but as I sit here catching up on some overdue reading I had to take a moment to acknowledge that the Wall Street Journal got it right. In a recent article, they highlighted the observation that anyone who has spent enough time in the hospital knows. Weird things happen when there is a full moon out. I will leave the speculation of about spirits and aliens driving people to our emergency rooms to others, but if you want to understand what the world looks like to the people actually providing the care in our hospital and emergency departments, it is worth taking a look at the article so that you can read about some of what they have seen.

Physician – Patient Divide
Their is a progressive divide that has been occurring for the last several decades where the processes of healthcare – the machines and computers which have brought a revolution of potential to medicine – have separated those who provide care from those receiving it. Where physicians were once frequent visitors to patient’s homes and nurses were treated with near reverence (and still should be), we are now separated from one another by the very tools which were supposed to make our care so much better. Even the term “providing care,” is ironic. Either you are providing care or you are actually caring and the work that goes with caring is just part of the process. I am not sure when it became necessary to distinguish provision of care and the actual act of care.

Perspective

Much has been written about understanding the patient experience, and I would agree that no matter how unpleasant it is working in a difficult setting it is always worse to be the patient, but everyone would profit from taking some time to think what it is like to be in the hospital when that full moon comes out.