Another Friday of PCBH
Throughout this past weekend, my mind has continued to reflect on another “Friday of PCBH,” that occurred last week. Before going into the reflection of the transcendent moment, my mind wants to express my gratitude for everyone that presented at CFHA on narrative and related expressive writing medicine. From Runyan to Valeras, from Fleishman to Lorenz, each presentation detailing the healing powers of sharing stories through writing, art, any expressions was healing and inspiring. Thank you for this community that promotes such vulnerability and openness, that honors the very being of humanity and allows us to be with each other during moments of celebration, sadness, destruction, and healing.
Last Friday was one of those PCBH days that has become so normal, so common place, so routine, the mind often habituates to the incredible nature of these experiences. The day started early at 7 AM, as all of the CHCW BHCs gathered for our monthly meeting. Bridge and I have spoken, presented, and written about these meetings and, simply, they are just healing. The meeting begins with a moment, free of time, of sharing wins, kudos, moments of vulnerability, etc. BHC after BHC gives gratitude for each other, our primary care team, as well as acknowledges struggles that we may be experiencing, which typically prompts a quick return to gratitude for the team offering support during a difficult time. My mind often will drift to scanning the room, pausing the moment, and noticing the group, the gestalt, that reflects inspiration, support, and love. During such evolving, changing, and daunting times that healthcare currently faces, to have a team that is so willing to share vulnerability, that embraces the idea of contextual and compassionate healthcare, and ensures that everyone in the room feels the love and support makes the ominous moments buffered and held with more grace and flexibility. To share PCBH with such a team transcends beyond the two-hour meeting that includes our monthly Award Show, and leaves us all more inspired to the work we were called to do.
As I made my way up to my afternoon clinic and did the pre-clinic huddling and scrubbing, I looked at the white boards that details the PCPs and BHCs for the afternoon. My mind quickly saw 13 medical providers, which prompted a tinge of “oh shit… this could be a crazy afternoon.” Quickly though, my mind also saw that I was on a team with three other BHCs (i.e., four total BHCs for those 13 medical providers). Calmness and excitement filled my experience, knowing that the same monthly meeting that inspired greatness in me was radiating out throughout those other BHCs. We were ready, we were willing, and we undoubtedly wanted to do the work of PCBH.
As expected, handoff after handoff came through in the afternoon, resulting in the PCPs, nursing teams, and BHCs having to work fluidly and collaboratively with each other. Like a choreographed dancing team, we all moved gracefully throughout the afternoon, entering in and out of exam rooms, at times running down the hall to ensure all the patients that were present in our clinic received the most compassionate/contextual care in the moment as possible.
There was a moment mid-clinic, where I was walking (well, maybe running) to pick up a scheduled patient I was late for, I passed one of our incredible MAs bringing back a patient to see a medical provider. “Have you seen, Dr. Hampton before?” the MA asked the patient. “No, I haven’t,” the patient answered. “Well, you are in for a TREAT, he is incredible!” the MA confidently responded. My mind, gratefully, paused for a moment and noticed the subtle compassionate care that was occurring during a busy primary care Friday afternoon. I have no idea what the patient was coming in for, nor how the visit went. And, at the same time, that brief interaction the MA was able to create by offering confidence and reassurance undoubtedly transcended. It was a moment of engagement, it was a moment of compassionate healthcare, it was a moment of love.
As 5:15 PM rolled around and I made my final rounds to check in with the teams that within a four-hour span, completed at least ten handoffs regarding diabetes management to depression, from trauma to overall health concerns; the work done reflected the work done daily in primary care. Clearly, people were tired, and the energy was one that reflected the hard work that had been completed. As I made my way to the last medical pod, I found a BHC intern and FM resident talking about a shared visit. Trying to not make it obvious that I was eavesdropping, I heard both the intern and resident passionately talking about the work they were able to do with a patient. There was a moment where my mind looked down at my watch, as the passion, enthusiasm, and conviction in both of their voices reflected a first of the day conversation, not a 5:15 PM Friday conversation. I have no idea how long they sat together discussing the visit, and, as I walked out my mind smiled and said, “the work of primary care is inspiring, contagious, and beautiful.”
What an afternoon, what a moment, what a thing we get to do within healthcare and PCBH. Throughout the weekend my mind kept saying, “nothing was unique or special about Friday; actually, was a pretty typical moment at CHCW.” And, maybe that is the true transcending realization; the work done each day throughout our clinics and with our communities is always incredible. While tiring and challenging most days, the ever-present love and care that the team provides and willingness/vulnerability shown by patients prompts tranquility and inspiration for the next moment… As always, my gratitude for this community that breaths these experiences into existence and creates a space for stories, vulnerabilities, and incredible moments to be shared… my gratitude and, lol, CANNOT wait for Phoenix next year as Boise was truly healing for the spirit… what another Friday and moment of PCBH….