Become a Patient Advocate

    Do you reside in the Edmonton area?
    Are you a caring, empathetic, compassionate individual who is looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of others?

If your answer to the above questions is “Yes,” the Open Arms Patient Advocacy society is looking for you. Click here to read more about this exciting opportunity.

What is empathy?


The paramedics who were driving a dying woman to the hospital took a detour, and in so doing fulfilled her final wish.

“Sometimes it is not the drugs/training/skills – sometimes all you need is empathy to make a difference!”

Click here to read this heartwarming story.

A Day in the Life

As part of Patient & Family Centred Care Week, which goes from November 6th-10th, 2017 and Change Day, which occurs on November 17th, 2017, the Calgary Zone of Alberta Health Services has initiated a “Lived Experience” activity. For one day, healthcare professionals will walk in the shoes of a patient as a way of gaining greater insight, understanding, and compassion for what it is their patients live each and every day.

Click on the image below to see what shoes Paul and some other healthcare professionals will be walking in.

Canada Offers A Healing Hand

In the wake of President Trump’s recent travel ban, which prohibits individuals from seven countries from entering the United States, Canada has extended a helping hand. In particular, recognizing that some of these banned individuals are children requiring medical attention, these children may be obtaining the treatment they require in Canada. 

As Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s Health Minister, states:

“Canada is a country that has always looked into ways it could reach out and support vulnerable people around the world.”
(Canada Will Offer Healthcare To Critically Ill Children Affected By Trump’s Muslim Ban)

Could Painkillers be Reducing More Than Our Pain?

tylenol

Have you noticed that you have become less empathetic? Are you feeling less compassion and sympathy towards others? While some might attribute this to societal issues such as our fast-paced world, and our way of being which may be seen as self-centered and self-focused, there may be another factor that needs to be considered; namely, the common pain medication we might be taking.

According to researchers at Ohio State University, acetaminophen, the main ingredient found in Tylenol, can reduce one’s empathy. As explained by Dominik Mischkowski, the author of the study,

Ultimately, these effects will need to be studied in patients who are actively experiencing pain, but they suggest that a patient taking acetaminophen may have less empathy for the sufferings and troubles of his or her child, spouse or coworker

Click here to continue reading.

Looking for Something to Read?

If you are looking for a new book to read and have an interest in how the humanity of patients and families can be maintained while under hospital care, you may wish to check out Through the Valley of Shadows by Samuel Morris Brown.
Through the valley

Using insights from cognitive psychology, Dr. Samuel Brown discusses new approaches to reduce suffering for patients and their families when they need high levels of care, including concrete strategies to apply before, during, and after a serious illness.

Click here to continue reading.

A glimpse into the life of an ICU nurse

What would it be like to be an ICU nurse? Below is the introduction to a blog post that provides some insight into this question.

We received a MET call (Medical Emergency Team) from the general ward to immediately come and assist. The patient’s name was Mr. ‘Stevens’. He was 81 and was in our hospital due to severe exacerbations of COPD. He was in acute respiration distress and had a low blood pressure. There was no time to discuss whether he should come to the intensive care unit or not. Mr Stevens had never discussed this before with his doctor, nor with his sons and in this moment of distress, it was now an option for him. The only thing that was clear was that he wanted to be relieved of his shortness of breath, his pain and his anxiety. There was no chance to talk about the consequences of the decision to enter intensive care. The urgency of the situation forced him to just accept it.

However, in his eyes you could see that he had much to say… there were words that he couldn’t get out, things he wasn’t able to say when he arrived. We all knew this when we saw him coming in to our unit. We could see the emotion, bubbling under the surface, all the feelings he wanted to express, but couldn’t any longer, simply restrained by his utter weakness in the final hours of his life.

Click here to continue reading.