With the spring season now upon us, we begin to notice nature changing and rebirthing itself in the form of buds on branches and stems emerging from soil. Normally a time for happiness and anticipation, this year finds many of us mired in feelings of sadness and disappointment. Coronavirus continues to monopolize all newscasts and conversations while concurrently robbing us of our health and normal life routines.
Faced with perhaps one of the greatest viral challenges of our generation, all of us as healthcare workers have been required to provide services in different ways and to care for our country and our world like never before. While exhaustion and frustration are ubiquitous, my team and I have chosen to focus our efforts on exciting opportunities for change. Just this week, I was attacked for sharing this approach to our circumstances by a critic who replied with, “Weird to say ‘exciting opportunity’ when we very likely are risking poor outcomes, and so I suggest you give pause to your wording.”
In response, I expressed my belief that positives and exciting opportunities can co-exist with challenges and misfortune. Negativity can consume us and distract us from what needs to be done; positivity always improves productivity and performance. Ultimately, remaining the same can also negatively impact patient outcomes by reducing and degrading individual and group potential to settle for mediocrity. Whereas, times like we are in can present us with a call to action, to rise out of complacency, and to force us to look at things again with a new lens.
Perhaps the pandemic has abruptly roused us from the greatest danger individuals and healthcare have always been susceptible to: the delusion of thinking we know what we are doing, that we are doing everything right, and that we are doing everything we can. In merely the smallest and most formless element of nature, we are reminded that, despite all that we have accomplished, we must continue learning and improving ourselves. We must keep getting better. And all the while never forgetting the inherent core to our existence: humanity, humankind, and the person that each individual patient is to their families and communities.
It is, therefore, with earnest that Kay and I continue forging ahead as healthcare professionals looking for exciting opportunities to learn and share our learnings through NeuroPro Education. Although our previous path has been interrupted, rather than concentrating on the cause (Coronavirus), we will instead use this as a time to evolve, develop, and produce. NeuroPro Education course curricula will be updated and reconfigured to provide the most current teaching pedagogy, content, and centering on the priority of who our patients are and what activities and roles matter most to them. Let us emerge from this chaos with a renewed energy to attend to each other and to be better than we were before.