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Mindful Moments

While it happens often, resulting in habituation to the amazement of the events, yesterday was one of those days that demonstrated, on multiple levels, the impact BHCs can have on a system. During my afternoon clinic, my mind was struck and in “awe” of all of these moments of impact. These moments included overhearing one of our BHCs shadowing one of the family medicine residents and the discussion of how to reach patients and stay present in their PCP visits. Another BHC made a point to remind other BHCs to make sure that we checked in on one of the providers as it was obvious they were going through a tough time. Then, as the clinic started, two handoffs came out from atypical sources, our clinic manager and reception supervisor, who were both, independently, dealing with patients that called in and were going through a tough time, prompting suicidal ideation. Our BHCs responded promptly for the call for help and after debriefing with both the clinic manager and reception supervisor, it was clear both by what they said and their demeanor, “not having a BHC here would have been unthinkable in these moments.” Then my mind reflects on another few handoffs in which a patient conveyed “I am giving this one more chance,” as they had been very frustrated with their inability to manage their chronic conditions. After hearing about their context, it was obvious what was causing the difficulties, and at the end of the visit they conveyed, “so, maybe I am not doing so bad after all?” To at the end of the day where I saw and overheard another BHC shadowing another resident and talking about tips for agenda setting and making their visits more collaborative (side note, both the BHCs that were shadowing the residents are now core BHCs that were previously our BHC interns… there was a moment of recognizing 1) their growth and development and 2) how incredible it is to have trainees progress to colleagues and how they continue to evolve our system). And, finally, as I was driving home from an afternoon clinic that saw many patients and handoffs, I took a sobering phone call from our residency director who conveyed how difficult and trying the inpatient hospital service has been, particularly for the first-year residents. While we game planned for a BHC to attend today’s afternoon rounds to check in on the residents and lead a discussion on how everyone was doing, we talked and held the experience together, as well as checked in how each of us were doing.

From the resident shadowing, to the clinic manager and reception supervisor’s crisis handoffs, to helping patients with chronic conditions, to supporting our medical colleagues that are struggling with a continued pandemic, my mind became very aware and mindful of the purpose of us being in the health system. How our simple presence and willingness to jump in creates ripples of support, collaboration, and above all, love. As usually these Stories of PCBH end with, my mind hopes it inspires and reminds people of the work they are doing. The work happens every day, every hour, every minute, every moment… and, it is life saving. My gratitude for the community that allows us to be present and share these moments. Much gratitude…

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