Just finished my talk at the OHA conference -Great partnerships working together on clinical assessment research. http://t.co/dbIGzhpnu2
Submitted by Stu Ducklow, father of Stella Ducklow who is a regular #MindVine blogger and Peer Support Specialist at Ontario Shores.
Like most parents, we thought our first-born child was extraordinary, and we hovered over her as much as any helicopter parent.
She seemed to need more attention than most. When she nearly died of anaphylactic shock at age 4, we sought help from specialists ranging from a pediatric immunologist to Reiki practitioners. When eczema kept her from sleeping, we covered her with creams and dosed her with prescription meds. When she was hospitalized for asthma, we gave away our four cats.
The advancements in digital and virtual health are increasing at an exponential rate within healthcare internationally. I believe whether we are comfortable with the idea or not, the time has arrived to start embracing technology. Its use is beginning to advance and transform healthcare faster than perhaps we can keep up with at times. Some have remarked these advancements are permanently changing healthcare delivery as we know it. Why is this happening? How do these changes impact healthcare settings? What does it mean for healthcare providers? What does it mean for patients?
I have the privilege to be part of the team at Ontario Shores, an organization which is committed to the provision of exemplary mental health care and which has recently been recognized for the use of technology to enhance quality of care and patient safety.
Working in an environment where technology continues to grow and becomes further integrated into day-to-day practice, has driven me to reflect on the above questions often and I am starting to define the answers, at least locally at Ontario Shores. I believe we are reaching a point in healthcare, if we have not yet done so, where incorporating technology in care is no longer just an option but an expectation from service users and providers. This transformation has the capacity to advance quality and safety in care, increase accessibility, reduce costs, increase patient choice, enhance patient self-care and improve the overall experience for patients and their families.
I started my nursing career working with elderly female women in various stages of deteriorating illnesses. The majority of these women had been living with some form of dementia, while others were living with the effects of Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and various other debilitating conditions. Many of these women had been unsuccessfully managed in nursing homes and transferred to our hospital unit for more specialized care.
It was not the dream job I had envisioned. I had a far more glamorous idea about what my nursing career was going to look like. I worked with seasoned nurses who were quite content, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage to make it to the end of the first week.
In addition to meeting the needs of the living, I was responsible for the needs of the expired. I had to prepare the body before the arrival of the funeral director. Under the tutelage of these skilled nurses, I developed and honed the necessary skills required.
As far as the nursing tasks were concerned, it was pretty straight forward. What wasn’t so clear was the human drama that played out before my eyes.