The importance of being in the moment. Dr. Thomson explains how mindfulness is important at the patient’s bedside.
When I began work in the field, being a hospice and palliative physician full-time was the exception. The field was not yet a recognized medical specialty. The work was still grass roots. In hindsight, I realize how incredibly lucky I was to get my start at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton.
Spending almost a decade caring for hospice patients in the hospice house inpatient setting at Ohio’s Hospice provided me invaluable experience. I learned how to be a hospice physician by caring for a large number of patients with a wide variety of diagnoses, medical problems, symptom needs, and psychosocial situations. That time was very meaningful to me. I grew professionally and personally.
About 5 years ago, I was given the opportunity to step up to the role of Chief Medical Officer for Ohio’s Hospice. While mostly an administrative and leadership role, I have been able carve out time to provide direct patient care. That precious time has kept me grounded. Although I know can positively impact more patients and families by helping to educate our clinical staff, shape policies, and advocate for high quality hospice care, bedside care reminds me why I am here.
Recently reflecting on time spent caring for patients on the weekends in our Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County inpatient unit; it became very clear to me. It’s as if time stands still when I am at a patient’s bedside. In that moment, that patient and family are the most important. That feeling of mindfulness is beyond words.
I am forever grateful for the opportunities Ohio’s Hospice has provided me. It is a great honor to do the care we do.