People with Brain Injury Need to Be True Partners in Their Care

Some of the obstacles for professionals from my viewpoint right now would be too many silos, too many people operating in their own silo of their own treatment expertise area. We talk about multidisciplinary teams, and yes we all have them. At the same time, when you went to look at the outcome for an individual that we serve you have paradigm in operation that talks about the holistic approach. I say new, it's been around for a long, long time. And it's talked about philosophically in lots of articles. However, the question is, do we really do that everyday on the floor in working with the individuals that we serve, and do we ever get out of our own silos? The example I gave earlier about the nurse, who in her silo believes the medication needs to be given at 9 o'clock, the counselor who believes that the individual must accomplish these homework tasks by next session. And, is that real? And so the question becomes have you engaged them in a partnership as opposed to operating within your own silo or of your own profession, and your own belief systems,and your own values and your judgments related to the treatment as opposed to incorporating the patient's values and judgments into treatment. Treatment team is held every week where we have the entire team in there looking at all the different aspects of the treatment. We have the psychiatrist talking about the medications, the neurologist talking about the brain injury, internal medicine talking about any medical issues that may be a part of any current problems or issues. We have the neuropsychologist and his identification of, you know, neuro issues associated with that patient, speech language, occupational therapy, rec therapy, and job coach. One of the things that we're missing that I am striving for right now is to,in light of what I'm saying, is pull the patient in every week. And I've spoken to different professionals about this, and there are some that do it, and there are some that don't, and I think that it is more important that more of us do that. Because, again, if you're going to pull the patient in as a partner, they would need to be at the meeting of which you're talking about them would seem logical to me.

Healthcare professionals often talk philosophically about the importance of the holistic approach to helping people with TBI, but do their actions match their words?

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Posted on BrainLine November 7, 2012. Reviewed December 25, 2017.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Erica Queen, BrainLine, and Dan Edblom.