Sharon Ufberg, DC asks, “How can we become true deliverers of healthcare in an integrative setting rather than the mimickers of a medical model that waits for both the arrival of the sick and more critically the onset of illness itself?”
During a discussion recently with my dear colleague, esteemed acupuncturist Basia Kielczynska, at the Center for Health and Healing, we wrestled with the trouble of continuing to use the terminology “delivery” of integrative health care in today’s medical system.
It seems ironic that people still refer to dispensing advice, medical examinations, diagnostic testing and treatment as delivering care. The only aspect that is truly delivered is the sick patient to the doorstep of the treating practitioner, diagnostic clinic or hospital.
We lamented together about how much more sense it makes to have a person who is ill stay home in their own bed surrounded by their loved ones. We agreed that round-the-clock care under the watchful eyes of family and friends, with the comfort, familiarity, and feeling of security in their own space must reduce the stress and anxiety on a person already battling an illness.
The picture of the local healer/practitioner making a house call and delivering care to the patient in an environment where others can be a part of the process and administer the antidotes for recovery paints a much more receptive path to a complete and swift recovery.
Clearly many sophisticated, diagnostic tests and complex procedures cannot be done at home- these advances in medicine do save lives and their appropriate place should not be diminished. However, there is an enormous amount of health care that is not dependent on anything more than the patient and practitioner spending some time together.
How much more realistic and clear an image would we see if we were able to visit a person in their own environment? How much less anxiety would there be in our patient’s faces and would we feel in their pulse? It is often not until a second or third visit do we begin to witness the patient without an overlay of nervousness or anticipation in the tone of their body or expression on their face. Our impressions and ongoing diagnoses are dependent on how we, the practitioners, see a lucid picture or scenario. How much less obscured would that first impression be if we got to visit the patient in a more relaxed, less anxious setting?
To deliver is to also convey, transport, distribute, carry, bring or set free. How can we become true deliverers of healthcare in an integrative setting rather than the mimickers of a medical model that waits for both the arrival of the sick and more critically the onset of illness itself?
Let’s begin to administer and deliver methods of healing that not only encourages patient recovery from illness but also supports an opportunity for people to stay well.
How do we make the therapeutic environment a more secure place for patients to go and how do we help make that space where we deliver our treatment one wherein the patient can still feel in control?
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