Many of us dream about finding a career path that we can be passionate about. Wanting to make a difference in the lives of others. For our job to be more of a “calling” rather than a 9-5 workday. By sharing heartfelt experiences with people in their own time of need, we truly can change lives – including our own.
White Coat Syndrome
Personally, I have experienced the dreaded “white coat syndrome.” My blood pressure goes up when I am at the health care providers office. I find myself nervous to ask questions and watch the healthcare provider walk away without the answers I truly need. Often times, I end up leaving the visit with fears that I have still lurking in the back of my mind. This only leads to more stress around the health concern and can even be perceived as a barrier to my own self-care.
My goal is to help people with health conditions feel comfortable enough to ask “any” question. Allowing them to lead the conversation and ensuring that their concerns and issues are addressed so that they can take care of their health and not have to add worry to the equation.
People with Diabetes are looking for support. They are longing to be heard and seeking compassion. In the midst of a busy day in a standard clinic setting, these important pieces of the puzzle are often hard to come by with time and space constraints. When having a phone conversation during a time of day that works best for both the health care provider and the patient, it creates a more relaxed and open communication. It allows patients to share their story, “confess” to shortcomings such as not taking their medication and “drinking pop again,” or simply ask questions. Patients who are comfortable talking to their health care providers build trust - one of the important pieces of communication.
As patients share their stories with me, in turn, I can be reminded that we all struggle with adversity and barriers. Creating a trusting relationship via our conversations allows me to empathize and provide inspiration. Recently, a patient has shared with me that they had lost their spouse and could not even begin to think about taking their medications or follow up with medication refills – as a Widow myself, I have understood the heavy burden of grief and I am able to empathize while providing reassurance.
Another patient shared with me that they had fallen on hard times with family and had stopped taking insulin for their diabetes a few weeks prior. She had given up hope because her clinical numbers had not been improving and therefore she did not refill her insulin – which can be dangerous! By allowing her to share her story, we were able to address her concerns. With encouragement and support, she understood that she was not alone and felt empowered to refill her medication and schedule a healthcare provider visit to get back on track.
Taking the time to listen allows us to pull back the curtain and offers a safe space for those with health conditions to be vulnerable and open when communicating. By providing a reflection of hope we are able to better communicate the importance of required medical attention, even during difficult times. People crave trusting relationships and gaining true insight as to how best meet the patient’s needs sets the pace for a fulfilling workday and heartfelt experiences that we can be truly passionate about.