Whole-person care starts with trust among team members

Primary Care Preceptorship

Stephanie Couch, VMS-IV, works with a patient while on her clinical rotation at Siloam Family Health Center.

Stephanie Couch is a fourth year medical student from Vanderbilt who recently spent a month doing a clinical rotation at Siloam.  She writes…

Although I have learned several things during my time at Siloam, the most profound is the need for providers to care for each other in order to provide whole-person care to their patients. The working environment at Siloam is unlike anywhere I have worked so far in medical school. Not only because the staff treat me differently, but the way they treat each other is unique. The nurses, techs, volunteers, and providers are all equals as people and each of them asks the others about things going on in their lives. I have seen a little of this in other clinics, but never to the extent that it occurs at Siloam. These interactions build trust between everyone in the clinic, which is necessary for successful whole-person care.

Without trusting that the next person can continue caring for the patient well, the various aspects for approaching care would not be used significantly. I don’t know if whole-person patient care spilled over into whole-person office care or the other way around, but I suspect caring for each other in this manner allows providers to care for the patients’ whole persons. This experience has demonstrated for me the kinds of interactions I want to have with staff in my practice in order to build the trust needed for whole-person care.

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