Whole-Person Care: It’s Not Just for Patients!

Editor’s Note:  Elisa Greene, Pharm.D., professor at the Belmont School of Pharmacy, works at Siloam for 20 hours per week to provide medicine management and patient education.  She also precepts 4th year pharmacy students who are completing a clinical rotation at Siloam.  Below is an excerpt from Siloam Family Health Center’s newsletter, Healing Waters, where Debbie Barnett interviews Dr. Greene about the impact these rotations have had on her students.

Dr. Elisa Greene shares…

“The life changing experiences and worldview shifts that the students report reflect more on the collective experience of Siloam and the mission and the vision and the people here, rather than on me or the pharmacy component.  

“Initially my services and role here were immature, as I was still trying to get my feet on the ground and figure out where I fit in at Siloam.  So it certainly wasn’t me that provided many of the dramatic wow-moments they have had during their rotation.  It was a result of being at Siloam and working with the team here.  

“I think life lessons are just as important as the clinical lessons.  You can always read about the latest drug or side effects and read through counseling points.  But those skills of communicating and caring and seeing people as a whole person and not just a problem are invaluable.  Interacting with co-workers is a skill that can never be taught in the classroom.  

“A lot of students have remarked about the Wednesday clinical meetings and are stunned that people are so collegial and so respectful of one another’s skills.  There are no power-plays and no passive-aggressive comments or rudeness to one another.  I think many of them have seen that as the norm in their previous workplaces and this has really impacted them.  They have said to me, ‘These people say the love Jesus and they’re actually acting like they mean it!  And they even like each other, too!’“

“Until coming to Siloam, I hadn’t really thought about my students beyond the classroom.  I am tasked with teaching them things they need to know professionally.  But that is not the whole sum of my role in their life.  They come here and they still have personal problems and challenges – either in gaps in their learning or things that are going on outside their professional and academic lives.  They come here as a whole person and I think that the whole-person patient care that’s important to Siloam has opened my eyes to see that the students are whole people, too.”

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