In this week’s blog, I’m going to talk about something that I’ve been thinking about for a very long time. It’s something that I think all crosses our minds as patients, as well as healthcare practitioners. I can’t help, but to think about how technical our role is, if you are a healthcare practitioner. Whatever it is that we’re trained in, we forget the soft skills that patients desperately need. It’s in the integration of our clinical skills with our soft skills that really amplify the results for our patients. Hence, I believe that you should stand for what you believe in because it’s time to challenge the status quo.

Why We Do What We Do

To really amplify the benefits, we need to remember how to creatively describe. We have to master the two core elements of our skills together. Because, at the end of the day, why we do what we do is something we need to remember; that we’re here to make a difference in our lives.

Finally, we want to help the patient get from sick to healthy. They require that change, not simply something we can supply, such as a fix. This inner switch must be activated. Our critical duty in providing care, not only through our professional talents, but also through truly leveraging our soft skills to help them see what they need.

I only say this because I realized how critical it was when I was the patient. A patient in desperate need of compassion, empathy, and support from my doctor. And I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I had to truly consider what this clinician and this group of professionals were lacking.

Soft and Hard Abilities

I simply believe that this is the most critical aspect that we are overlooking. It is through this that soft and hard abilities are integrated. I’m desperate to speak with you about this since it’s why we practice Functional Yoga Medicine.

I was one of several practitioners I knew. We’d be in the system knowing that it’s rigged to determine where the technicians are actually providing service. We had to do what we needed to do to preserve our liabilities. As well as our function and clinical skill, in the so-called healthcare system, which is really a sick care system.

Many of us are aware of it. We are well aware of the situation. I understand, and it’s something we want to preserve. But I also know a few clinicians who have jumped ship out of desperation because they, too, have been sick. Also, they recognize the need to overhaul the entire healthcare system.

Today, we have a much more accessible holistic care system, which, in my opinion, makes things even more confusing. I’d like to bring the reality into sharper light so that we may have more educated practitioners with the soft skills. In order to provide the serious care that we all require, as patients and clinicians. This will need you to level up and understand the truth about what’s happening in our so-called healthcare system. Which is really progressive and getting increasingly broken.

My Most Recent Life Challenge

I’ll tell you about something I witnessed in real time a couple of months ago. My purpose in designing this program and platform was to remind us as practitioners why we do what we do. Also, to reignite our love for the work that requires compassion and empathy toward our patients.

I just wanted to let you know that I was admitted to the hospital with severe chronic kidney failure. I was under the care of a nephrologist. This nephrologist is someone to whom I have the utmost respect, thanks, and admiration. He’s been treating me for lupus nephritis for the past 16 years. He witnessed me performing marvels with my body. And there’s nothing we can explain in medical words, the black-and-white so-called evidence-based, but I can.

You Need Hope in Every Challenge that You Have To Face

The most vital ingredient with you: hope. This clinician gave me the hope and the soft skills I needed to fight through what my body couldn’t supply. As well as the chevalier medical treatments. But, as I found myself sick with another bout of my nephrotic condition after COVID, he had moved on 16 years later. Because of the COVID problem, he lost a lot of clinicians.

So there was this young doctor who arrived, and he was aggressive, insensitive, and really liable. And he was excellent. I can see he’s intelligent, but he lacked the soft skills necessary to effectively deliver the news and communicate with me. And he was completely off-putting to me right away.

I just wanted to let you know that, as a patient, I have high expectations. I demand greater standards because I hold myself to them as a practitioner. And if I don’t see that in other practitioners, I feel irritated that they are unable to perform the task.

Your Patient is on A Challenge

I’m frustrated when I see clinicians trying to offer care according to their timetable to perform what they’re supposed to do as technicians. However, I’m noticing a pattern of roaming practitioners. Nurses and physicians alike are unaccountable and compassionate, only there to clock in and out for the maximum salary.

Patients suffer when anything like this occurs. I was that patient who was suffering because these clinicians couldn’t care less about what was going on with me. All I was was a chart with a diagnosis. And they were doing the bare minimum to get as much done as possible.

They’d clock in and out and be paid by the hospitalists, but it’s really just another, I guess, highest-paying travel organization that hires help within the area of healthcare systems, similar to locum. Tenens is the name for a service provided by hospitalists. Hospitals pay top dollar to get these practitioners to cover what they need to cover. To have the least amount of support and care possible with the practitioners within the system so that their hospitals can run and support the sick patients who come in.

When I’m dealing with a patient, I constantly keep in mind that the patient is a partner with me. Just like a practitioner who levels. So, with whom I must be honest about their current situation, I must truly involve them in their own treatment. Aside from that, nothing happens.

We Need Soft Skills

A sense of hope has been linked to improved physical health, health behavior, and health outcomes in eight global epidemiological studies. Being a great clinician with amazing skill is what we focus on when we get didactic education.

We must keep in mind that the patients we serve are human beings with multiple layers of needs. To truly offer care, we need soft skills. Also, combining our clinical competence with our self-care or soft skills needs a fine art and balance. And we must realize that this is where the miracles happen, delivering our care.

Unfortunately, that is not something we are taught. It isn’t something that is held to high standards in the healthcare system, but it is something that some of us professionals possess and appreciate the value of.

That is why some doctors have terrible bedside demeanor. While some of us have excellent bedside manners, we require both. To truly offer the care that the patient requires, we need both clinical and soft abilities. Clinical abilities are required in addition to soft skills. I’m just really hoping for those of you who recognize that soft skills may help you provide better care. And want to understand all the tactics and resources available outside of the constrained healthcare system.

Challenge Yourself to Bring Out the Best in You

I encourage you to think about pushing the boundaries of what’s expected of you. Not just performing the bare minimum, but doing everything you can to reclaim ownership of our expertise and skills. To remember why we got into this area in the first place, and we’ve lost it in the midst of the healthcare system. Being truly ground down, trying to suit the requirements of our third-party counterparts.

What we should expect as technicians on the job, as well as what we should remember as human beings offering care. I’m hoping that when the two come together, miracles will happen and healing will be possible. And that’s something we value strongly in the field of functional yoga medicine, holistic medicine, and the integration of the two. Of course, skills are important, but so are our self-skills.

Remember to Deliver the Message

I just wanted to let you know that this specific young doctor, who lacked soft skills, told me everything that was going on, regurgitating, what was going on in my labs, and what was going on in my kidneys, at face value. It wasn’t exactly what I needed to hear at the time. I really needed sympathy and empathy, something to hold onto so that I could stay strong when my body was giving up and failing me, when my kidneys were failing me, and I was exhausted from all of the symptoms I was experiencing.

I needed this clinician to be the hero who came to my rescue and assured me that everything would be fine. And I don’t mean you should do it at the risk of your liability, but there are instances when we need to deliver the message in a way that satisfies the patient and offers them hope without jeopardizing your liability. And I know that many of you desire to develop this skill, but sometimes we’re stumped as to how to give the terrible news while maintaining the ounce of optimism that the patient requires to boost the healing process.

An Example

As a patient of this clinician, I was so overwhelmed by his insensitivity that it needed a lot of patience and understanding to know what he was saying. I wanted to see the positive aspects of him.

I was working so hard to find the good in him, but he didn’t exhibit it until the very last minute. And he was brief all the way to the end, making it difficult for me to distinguish between what I needed and what he was saying to me, and I couldn’t help but become enraged. That was not what I needed to heal in this moment of difficulty.

After several contacts with this physician, I concluded that he was utterly unconscious of his negative attitude toward me as I attempted to be the person I needed to be. He believed he needed to be this doctor’s patient, where he could lecture a patient based on his knowledge.

I can tell you that’s pretty much everything he knew and was interested in serving or doing at the time. And preserving the line as a doctor with a patient and talking down to me was the line he didn’t want to cross. He only wanted to finish the job and return home to his wife and children. And that was the end of it. And on the other side, I felt useless and powerless.

Keep On Going

I had to coach myself through this process, and I can only picture a patient who doesn’t know what I know about what I need, the hopes and expectations, and truly the language he was saying to me in order to comprehend what it took for me to heal. And he was speaking to me in a depressing tone, as if he were preparing me for the worst-case situation. It was utterly pointless.

I hope I’m making myself clear, but I think in the name of talking to our patients, we talk about our expertise vocabulary, and I’ve done it in our healthcare context as well. I’m fully aware that the patient needs to grasp what’s going on, but you can only see that everything you’re seeing is going over their heads, and you have no idea how to tone it down to bring them up to speed.

As a physician, all you can do is continue to speak in your native tongue and hope that they understand you are constrained by time. We have to go on, and you have to clock out at some point, but it’s irritating for you as a doctor when the patients want so much from you.

Increase the Sensitivity

I’ve experienced both sides of the argument. As a result, I’d like to increase the sensitivity in this instance. And I want us to work together to understand what we’re up against, and to equip you with the knowledge you need to stand up for what you believe in and sometimes pick the correct path. In the domain of competence, in a field where what is right and incorrect is so heavily evaluated.

We don’t always know what’s right and what’s wrong, and there’s no accountability for work ethics or caring for our roles. We have so much pressing against our heels that if we don’t complete and see all of the patients for whom we are accountable, we will be in a bind as well. As a result, we occasionally have to complete our hours and obligations within the allotted time.

It’s difficult to go above and beyond that. And that is exactly what education allows us to achieve. And it prepares us to know all we need to do our jobs, but it lacks the understanding and doesn’t truly teach us how to maneuver and stay flexible and productive at the same time, offering soft skills to patients who need them.

Fight Like the Warrior You Are

I just believe that sensitivity, compassion, and empathy go a long way toward assisting each individual in their recovery. Because, at the end of the day, we’re here to help the people on the other side.

Because we are not robots, patients require both soft and clinical abilities. We can’t just function. When you’re sick, you have a lot of emotional needs. And let me tell you, no matter how smart I think I am or how much I think I know as a patient, I don’t. I’m clinging to desperation and the essentials. My emotions overwhelm me to the point where I may be overwhelming my clinician, whether consciously or unconsciously. And I want the clinicians to fight like the warriors they are.

What Are Soft Talents?

As a result, I’m speaking to those of you who are facing a lot of challenges, but I truly want to train you to remember why you do what you do. And only a smidgeon of it comes from gaining self-skills. I’m not expecting much, but sometimes the patient just needs an ounce, just enough to cling onto the hope that they require in order to recover, because what matters more than our knowledge is whether we are qualified or not. Our soft skills are what we can give from our expertise.

I just want you to remember that, as well as your soft talents. What exactly are they? It’s the mindset with which you provide care. It’s your capacity to express what you know to the patient in the way that they need to hear it, without over-arching and over-extending, and without giving false hope, but in a way that’s wrapped in love and compassion and easy to understand.

Empathy vs. Sympathy

I constantly want you to consider what you would say if it were your daughter, your mother, or your sister. How would you convey this news in a way that gives them hope while simultaneously giving them the bad news? I want you to have extremely soft skills that include empathy.

Empathy isn’t the same as sympathy. Like, sure, it’s hard, isn’t it? But you can do it when you’re giving the patient the words and the bad news and just being there for them? As a clinician, you may simply give them all they need to summon the will and fortitude to keep fighting.

The work ethic is about providing a little bit extra for those patients that require it, as well as determining who requires it and who does not. However, in order to distinguish with caution, you must also be cautious. While managing your time on the job, you must make judgments, clinical ones that are often difficult. You must also have faith in what you’re delivering at the time and maintain flexibility.

All of them are soft skills. You must be able to problem solve in the present, as well as critically analyze your skill set and whether or not there was any miscommunication.

If the patient is becoming difficult, you’ll need to be able to manage conflicts as well. As healthcare practitioners, you are role models for patients who look to you for hope and understanding, as well as to guide them with knowledge and abilities, and you have a lot on the line.

I Challenge You

I just want you to keep in mind that if you signed up for this, these are some skills you can develop and use to truly perform these services. The next time you look at a patient, remember the person in front of you, not the record, the diagnoses, the ailment, or all of your to-do lists. They have the same needs as you and your family. 

I challenge and encourage you to advance in your clinical practice. If you’re not sure how to accomplish this or what it means, I’d like to invite you to our Functional Yoga Medicine Training Series, where I’d like to really up level you as a clinician, so you can really magnify your profession, go far beyond what you’re doing now, and dream about the possibilities.

If that’s you, CLICK HERE to learn more about Functional Yoga Medicine! Join me to make all the difference in the work that you do, and really amplify the results for your patients. 

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Thank you so much for joining me in this blog! I hope you learned something. I’ll see you next time!