How Can Health Care Workers Inspire Patients?

​Gilbert Salinas, Director of Patient-Centered Care at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, CA

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:

  • Describe the range of emotions a patient can experience after an injury.
  • Explain how different members of a health care team can contribute to a positive patient experience.
  • Discuss the role of compassion in health care.

Description: We hear a lot of horror stories in health care. A middle-aged man sits in a waiting room for four hours without getting attention. A medication error harms an elderly woman. A child dies because his condition was not properly relayed up a chain of command.

What about when a patient has a great experience? Why don’t we hear those stories?

This, in fact, is one of those stories. This is the story of Gilbert Salinas, a patient who was inspired to become a patient advocate because of the wonderful care he received almost 20 years ago. It is the story of a nurse holding a hand, a physician pulling up a chair, and a therapist helping a paralyzed man reclaim a life. It is a story full of positive energy – and lessons for students and health care professionals everywhere.
 Discussion Questions:
  1. Have you ever been in the hospital because of an injury or an illness? Did you understand everything the clinicians said to you? If not, what hindered your understanding and what could have helped you in that situation?
  2. How did Melba, Luis, and Julie all contribute to a better patient experience for Gilbert?
  3. Gilbert believes Melba, Luis, and Julie represent what the face of health care should look like. What do you want your health care system to look like? How is your ideal different than what you typically see?
  4. Like Gilbert, are you passionate about the work you do? Why or why not?
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