Now I have never honestly owned a Ford
but my Uncle Ronnie worked for Ford for many years. He was devoted and
loyal. He believed in his product and the fact that it was American
made. He used to brag about how each car was touched by American hands
prior to being shipped to its destination. That always stuck with me.
The sense of pride and devotion he had to Ford despite the challenges of
the job, the economy.
I recall one instance many years ago when honoring pride and devotion
were central to initiating a collaborative care model into a cancer
care unit. The nurses in the chemo bay were opposed to mental health
being there. After all, their belief was that we would upset the
patients and their job was to help keep them calm and receptive to
treatment. Then one of my students approached me with an idea. She was a
nurse and understood the gate keeping that was taking place. She spoke
to the lead nurse and got permission to work with one patient who would
cry during every chemo treatment. Once the nurse saw how the therapy
happened, she started inviting that therapist into the chemo bay more.
She knew my student understood the culture and was pleased with the
results of the work done with patients there. My student understood the
pride, devotion, and loyalty of that nurse to the patients. She was not
being resistant to collaboration but resisted anything that would
decrease the quality of the patient's outcome.
Since that student graduated, we have not had another student in that
unit. Our relationship to that unit was tied to the unique credentials
of that student and her ability to build a relationship with that nurse.
Just like the production of a Ford product, it takes someone monitoring
the fidelity of the process and product to ensure its safety. Rather
than judge these quality assurance professionals, we need to learn how
to respect their passion for protecting the patients and making sure
they get the care they need.
I build models of collaboration for a living and my Uncle built cars.
I used to think we could not be any further apart in our professional
interests; today I appreciate how we could not be any more alike.
I am curious about the stories of those who are out there doing
collaborative/integrated care. Do you have stories about your attempts
to manufacture a top quality collaborative product? Was it a bit shaky
at times but your devotion and belief in the process outweighed the
challenges from inception to production?
* Tribute to my Uncle Ronnie who passed away earlier this year