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Jun 29

Motivating remote healthcare workers

Whenever we are given power and respect in life it is our responsibility, no, our duty to give that power and respect back to our benefactors….as teachers, care providers, protectors and leaders!

So today was my turn… I was honoured to be invited to give the introductory talk for remote community healthcare workers training program in quality improvement out here at Bajhang District Hospital in remote western Nepal. I chose the topic Why Improve Quality? and aimed to empower them to consider not just indicators and numbers but the real focus of all healthcare…the patient!

We had great fun and I am due to meet with them again tomorrow to discuss TB and on Friday to delve deeper into Quality Improvement theory and practice.

I am sharing with you here the basic script if today’s talk and welcome your feedback 🙂

” Why improve quality?

For our managers?
For funding?
For donors?
To look good?
So people will respect you?
To reduce costs?
To reduce readmissions?
To reduce disease?

Most importantly we should improve for the patient! To make the patient’s experience QUALITY!

The patient deserves respect! Dignity! The right to trust in their healthcare worker, in their healthcare system! The right to be comforted when they are afraid! The right to Confidentiality and privacy when they are exposed!

We have a position of great power…people come to us when they are at their weakest, their most vulnerable and they are asking us for help! Illness takes away people’s power, their control over their own lives and destinys. Don’t we want the help we give to be the best it possibly can? When they are weak, give them support! When they are vulnerable offer them security, safety! To give them back some of the power over their lives that illness has stolen from them!

What a wonderful thing that people respect us enough to entrust us with their lives when they are in need! What a beautiful gift we have been given! Let us not abuse that gift! Let us not lament it! Let us be grateful and show that gratitude through quality patient centred care!

Health is a human right and we are here to facilitate the accessing of that right!

Be proud of that role! Don’t just go to work and go through the motions! Be active in ensuring that each patient receives the best you have to offer!

What is the first rule of healthcare? Above diagnosis, above treatment…First do no harm!

Define health: physical, mental, spiritual and social!

Bad communication, mistakes, wrong drugs, no access, no privacy/confidentiality, wrong tests, poor infection control…

All these things can harm the patients health in one way or another! Without quality in all these areas we can directly cause fear, shame, anger, isolation, loss of hope, infections, reactions….

We are not here to harm the patient…we are here to protect them!

Often we hear “I am too tired, too busy…I don’t have time for good communication, for confidentiality, for washing my hands, for double checking my prescriptions…”

All I can hear is ” I don’t have time to care!” Those are not the words of a healthCARE worker!

So be proud of your role as a protector of human rights. I can’t do it…only you (the community healthcare worker) can protect your community!

And so make sure that your care is centred around the patient! That you improve quality for the patient…Not for a policy, not for the finance, not your managers….

Improve quality considering all aspects of health and put the care back into healthcare! ”

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.clairemariethomas.com/2011/06/motivating-remote-healthcare-workers/

1 comment

  1. Dinesh Rawal

    Dr. Claire, First of all welcome to Nepal and especially to Bajhang, the remote district of Nepal, as there are than 90% of nepali healthworkers being congested in urban areas, where as hospitals in remote district are running without health professionals, advanced equipments, and medicines. Even minor disease and injuries peoples are being rushed to nearby cities. For the first time i have seen the person who is being interested to serve the people of remote villages of Nepal, we respect your mission and vision, hope that your attitute will goes on improving the standard of health service in Bajhang Hospital, So many thanks for choosing Bajhang hospital for health service..

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