Inspired by our patients

Post date: March 14, 2019 by Erica Lorie

Since shifting from my physical therapy career two years ago, I am frequently asked if I miss patient care. My response is always the same: Nothing will ever be as rewarding -- or emotional  as first meeting a patient lying in an ICU bed after a stroke or spinal cord injury and having the incredible honor to partner with them in their rehabilitation journey so that they can return home. Oftenthey don't go home the way they hoped or envisioned, but the honor of working with them through their difficulties, helping educate them so they are empowered to be as independent as possible, and encouraging them to overcome very personal challenges was powerful work. 

I remember I started working with Chris after he went home, when he was still in a wheelchair and fully dependent but had a flicker of thumb movement. He came to see our team because he learned we had a unique program that might help him. He was determined to walk. He was one of the most dedicated, hardworking patients I have ever worked with, and he was only 17 years old. When we met, his goal was to walk for his high school graduation -- and he did! He has come so far and there is so much happiness in his life; it brings me to tears and gives me such such absolute joy

Please read a brief article and video of where he is today, featuring a part with us working together as he relearned to walk.

There are those times and memories of specific patients that are so meaningful. I wanted to share this incredible story with you about one of my most special patients, which I carry forward. 

Today, as a lean health care consultant, I still spend each day impacting health care. Instead of one step at a time with one patient, my practice is with parts of a whole, helping the organization learn new techniques and processes for reducing waste and variation, improving safety and quality that stillhas an impact for not only every patient, but also for each worker. I appreciate being able to share and teach using the experience of my earlier direct patient care.This unique lens allows me to connect more fully with the clinicians I teach.I still have the incredible honor of partnering with individuals and helping empower everyone to have a voice in making health care better.