This week, I have been thinking a lot about what a patient must think about while lying in one of our beds, often for hours or days. I have no doubt that most patients have a lot of anxiety about their medical condition wondering if it is getting better, if it will fully resolve, if it will impact their lives or if it will impact the lives of their loved ones. It is clear that as a team of caregivers, all of us have the ability to positively impact the mental state of our patient to encourage them through the healing process. Along these lines, I recently heard Tom Morris, a Professor and author from Notre Dame, speak about the impact we can make on others by the attitude we bring to our work. He talked about the importance of having two kinds of confidence: Initial confidence and resilient confidence. That takes me back to our anxious patient in the bed. When they sense our care team has initial confidence about their roles and their tasks, it puts them at ease and prepares them for the next step. We can minimize the stress they feel about the IV getting started, the drugs being given, the clinical assessments, the blood draws, the collaboration on clinical care plans because they sense our staff are comfortable with their own skills. When our patients feel they are in the hands of both clinically skilled and patient-focused caregivers it changes everything. Statistics show patients get well faster and then share their positive story many times after they are discharged. As time passes and the hours at Reston Hospital Center turn into days, it is our resilient confidence that carries the patients mentally and clinically to the good health and discharge. The repetition of clinical and service excellence shows that as a team we are resilient through the challenges of managing the often unpredictable changes in our patients’ health. We have shown tremendous resilience through emergency situations and crises moments and been a part of improving so many lives in our community. Through your extensive training, education, repetition of skills, and a mindfulness of the importance of your work, confidence grows from the initial confidence to resilient confidence.
I am proud of your work. This week, I received many letters from past patients sharing their stories about hope and healing at your hands. Each of you in some way shaped their experience. I’d appreciate any insight or thoughts you have on either your own or a co-worker’s confidence.