The Community that is Healthcare
-Written by Rahul Mody
The other day I had a bad toothache and a really bad taste in my mouth. And so, like any normal person would, I headed to the dentist. While getting it checked up, the dentist told me that I was mistaken and that the pain in my teeth was actually possibly due to a sinus infection for which I had to consult an ENT specialist. At the doctors office, I had to give a sample of my mucus for a sinus culture. As the nurse provided me all the material and guided me through the process, a group of medical students passed by and we began conversing. I agreed to help them out with some practice of history taking. After the results came back from the lab, I was diagnosed with acute bacterial sinusitis for which I had to go to the Pharmacy where I met this lovely Pharmacist with a very cool name. She gave me the prescribed antibiotics and within a few weeks I was all fine again. I have no money left in my bank account but this whole process got me thinking about how tightly linked the medical community really is. How each person, each department played such a huge role in making the whole process go so smooth and precise. It showed me that healthcare is not the culmination of hard work of just an individual. And to become a healthcare worker doesn’t just mean fulfilling your duty but rather, appreciating and working in harmony with everyone else as well.
There are a lot of times where some healthcare departments feel undervalued or alone. Some classic examples are nurses, dentists, and the like. They work and studied extremely hard to achieve the position they are currently in. Yet we never stop to think about the amount of impact they hold in the entire healthcare system. The community that is healthcare relies so heavily on each person performing their duty to the best of their abilities. Even one missing link in this great chain may cause the whole system to fall apart. This sort of inter professional collaboration represents a joint effort that allows health care professionals to communicate together and provide expert opinions on how to achieve a common goal. This not only allows for a more holistic outcome but also improves awareness, accountability, reliability, speed, and overall quality as well.
Interrelationships in the healthcare community doesn’t just begin when you become a working professional. It starts from an educational level itself. Learning and nurturing how to work along fellow medical students, professors, making use of all the resources available to you harbours a sort of interdependence. You may rely on your classmates for notes, assignments, understanding topics, or simply even motivation. Further, these skills are put to test and enhanced when you come to a more professional setting. Inter professional collaboration allows each professional to focus on patient improvement in the most efficient way possible. This makes it better to provide large number of patients with personalised care catered to their needs and schedule. Sharing of information among a large number of departments makes it easier to access data and ultimately create more effective treatment plans. This also creates a highly positive working environment despite the demanding hours and workload.
The healthcare community is like a functioning society in itself. Most hospitals have interdependent systems set up based on the aforementioned information. No department in the medical community can be considered lesser than another. Because they all add value in their own way with their own individual efforts that ultimately results in the best quality of care. And as we further work and enhance this sort of interrelationship in health care, the healthcare system as a whole will surely improve. As Charles Darwin once said, “Those who have learned to collaborate and improve most effectively have prevailed.”