Sunday, March 29, 2009

Teaching Hospital/ity

We live in a university town with a slew of medical education programs.

Our university-connected health care is attached to a "teaching hospital" and generally comes with observers and learners accompanying the doctors, particularly for pediatric stuff. Joy's neurologist generally comes through the exam-room door like a mama duck with three or four little ped-neurologists-in-training swimming in his wake!

Joy doesn't seem to have a problem with this. She likes people, on the whole, and doesn't fuss at new faces. And I'm happy to accommodate. The world needs more pediatric neurologists, etc., and how else will they learn? I suppose that in certain circumstances I'd refuse to let my kids or myself be "practiced" on, but that really hasn't come up yet. With Rose's broken arm last year, the cast was wrapped by a student, under the careful oversight of the experienced emergency-room doc. At one point I let a student start an IV on Joy. What better subject than a kiddo who demonstrates so little fear and has a high pain tolerance? (Though if she'd missed the stick, I'd have asked for the teacher to finish the job. She did fine.)

We've opened our house to students too. Again with a university in town, the local Birth-to-Three was a natural fit for having therapists-in-training who were looking to Joy's therapists as mentor. Some of them brought some really interesting ideas and approaches, and Joy never rejected a single student.

Recently Lynda the Wonder-Woman daycare lady hooked us up with a friend of hers who also runs a home daycare and who was taking a class on inclusion of special-needs kids. She needed a lot of hours of observing such a child, at daycare and home and in therapy, to meet class requirements. We took her grocery-shopping with our family, opened our home to her, let her observe Joy at Lynda's. The world surely needs more daycare providers who have what it takes to care for and teach children like Joy!

One of our intensive autism line therapists, our House Blend baristas, has a special training role in the Agency 2 organization. We opened Joy's sessions to one of her trainees earlier this year too, training for someone else's team. The trainee connected nicely with Joy, came for quite a few sessions, expressed regret that she wasn't going to be working with Joy.

And then at the beginning of March, we suddenly wound up with a big gap in our schedule where one of the baristas had been. We thought of the new trainee... and she leaped at the chance to join us! She's been doing a great job so far. We could have limped along for weeks while Agency 2 tried to hire someone new for us and then got that person trained up from scratch. As it was, we were up and humming with a full team again remarkably quickly.

Hospitality and teaching are good things.


Casdok said...

I agree! I also let trainee's in on things. As you say how else will they learn?

mama edge said...

And the more they learn now about the families behind the diagnoses, the better the chances are that hospitals will become patient and family-centered rather than procedure-centered.

You rule.