Louise Phipps Senft Tedx Talk

Be a Champion for your Loved One in the Hospital | Louise Phipps Senft | TEDxGreatMillsWomen

Video Summary:

In her engaging and heartfelt presentation, Louise Phipps Senft recounts the life-altering experience of her 17-year-old son’s quadriplegia following a devastating beach accident. Through her narrative, she emphasizes the significance of being a trauma-informed relational advocate when navigating a medical crisis. Senft draws from her personal journey, sharing valuable insights and practical advice for individuals facing similar challenges.

Senft underscores the importance of effective communication and collaboration with medical professionals. She encourages asking medical staff to write down basic information, such as names and procedures, as the initial shock can impact decision-making. Additionally, she highlights the need to create a support system and designate a trusted person to be present during the crisis. Senft sheds light on the existence of specialized medical silos within hospitals and the crucial role of being an advocate who can navigate and bridge the gaps between these silos for the well-being of the loved one.

Continuing her discourse, Senft addresses the potential long-term impacts of trauma and the need for ongoing support. She introduces the concept of thinking like a mediator, promoting effective communication among specialists by encouraging them to translate medical jargon into understandable terms. Senft also recommends recording conversations, taking pictures of medical scans, and maintaining a journal to facilitate accurate information sharing and collaboration among specialists. Additionally, she stresses the importance of staying alert, trusting intuition, and asking questions to prevent medical errors. Senft advocates for being an extra set of eyes and actively observing any changes in the loved one’s condition. She introduces conflict transformation skills and suggests interactive engagement during doctor’s rounds, emphasizing the value of reflection and employing open questioning techniques.

Furthermore, Senft promotes creating a healing sanctuary within the hospital room, incorporating nature imagery, soothing sounds, and aromatherapy to foster a positive environment for the patient’s recovery. Expressing gratitude and inspiring hope in the medical staff are also emphasized, as Senft believes these actions can significantly contribute to the overall healing process. In her concluding remarks, Senft encourages listeners to embrace the role of a relational advocate, using their experiences to make a positive impact and improve the hospital experience for themselves and their loved ones.

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