Gunnar A. Cerda, BCC, is the Manager of Pastoral Care for OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital in Delaware, Ohio.
On my way back home from the APC Annual Conference, I was reflecting on the plenary keynote regarding Patient Experience. Dr. James Merlino (Cleveland Clinic) invited us to frame patient experience not simply as customer service, but as an empathetic response to the situation and feelings the patient is experiencing. In other words, our role can be significant when we engage with patients, families, staff, etc. from a touch point of understanding their experience while they are within our care, instead of through a survey after discharge.
I was also reflecting on a recent PlainViews article written by Sue Wintz (May 21, 2014 Vol. 11. No. 9), about the language we use. Sue was referencing the militaristic language of “battling” an illness, and the “struggle” and suggested that there might be more helpful words that we could use.