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Our Jobs in Medicine Are Shifting -- Can Telemedicine Shift With Them?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Mon, May 02, 2016 @ 07:30 AM



Karen's job title is Registered Nurse.

Her job description includes (among many other things): 

  • Perform physical exams and health histories.
  • Provide health promotion, counseling and education.
  • Administer medications, wound care, and numerous other personalized interventions.

So when she comes in at 10pm on a Saturday night and she notices something -- a medication gap or a sobbing littler sister or a new way of wrapping a woung that promotes healing -- she could shrug and say, "That's not my job."

But for Karen to be truly satisfied, for medicine to change, and for her patients to receive the best care they can, she will look at her job differently. And she will choose a more holistic definition of what her job is all about.  

As the world gets more interconnected, and demands on performance increase, our job descriptions and titles are not our jobs. This isn't necessarily about doing more. We've all been doing more over the past years, and it doesn't really change anything -- it just burns us out. In fact, it's precisely this kind of burnout that leads us to get overwhelmed and push back the only way we know how, with "That's not my job." 

The alternative is to look at the purpose and intention behind our work and doing what it takes to accomplish that, even if the techniques and tactics are unfamiliar or unorthodox.

For instance, new programs are being spearheaded that teach police officers ways to deal with the mentally ill and "defuse potentially violent encounters before force becomes necessary." These programs have been successful. But one barrier has certainly been the minority of officers who take one look at this more holistic stance on policing, and say, "That's not my job." They see their job in a narrower way -- one that involves encountering a situation and using force if necessary. 

That's why Karen, the Registered Nurse, is certainly attentive to taking care of herself and not grinding herself into the ground. But she sees her job as caring for patients. And so she learns new technologies, is part of a pilot program that does home visits, she's constantly collaborating with providers across the continuum of care, and yes, she's there with a hug for the sobbing little sister. 

Our jobs are constatly shifting -- both what is in the job description, and what it really means to do our jobs well. We need the tools, space, and support to do our jobs, not just carry out our job description. And that's what we intend for iClickCare to be. 


If part of your job is doing healthcare collaboration in complex settings, we can help. Learn about how hybrid store-and-forward telemedicine can support you.

ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

Tags: telemedicine, good medicine

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