The Opening General Session Keynote Address was given by Suzanne Gordon, who was fantastic! She’s a journalist and a patient safety advocate, focusing on problem-solving communication issues between doctors, nurses, and patients.
Some of the highlights from her speech:
No one knows what nurses do. No one talks about it, including us. There is barely media portrayal of nurses on television (shout out to Nurse Jackie, even if she’s an addict). Physicians generate money, and nurses are looked at as costing money. But what we do every single day saves everyone money. And we all need to be talking about that. She stressed that we have to start talking about the good work that we do. She talked about how we make the difference between life and death every single day. We prevent medical errors, we educated patient’s, we educate physicians and residents, we give patient’s comfort and dignity, and we are central to healthcare.
One of my favorite things she said that I’m SOOOOOOO guilty of is that when we call a physician, we always say “I’m so sorry to bother you Dr. xxxx. But I’m calling you about your patient xxxx” She emphasized that we have to stop apologizing for calling physician’s and start calling it OUR PATIENT. I loved that.