Patient Engagement, Shared Decision Making, & NOT ‘Fixing’- On Becoming a Better Nurse Coach

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stephanieSeveral years ago I became certified as an Intrinsic Coach®.  It was certainly one of the more challenging courses I’ve ever pursued, and I still don’t consider myself the best of nurse coaches.  Why?  My best guess is that as a well-seasoned RN and Health Educator, my work environments have always emphasized “fixing the problem” for people.  After all, don’t most patients visit physicians, hospitals, etc. to pursue that?  To this day I envision a “fix it switch” in my brain that I turn off before starting a client coaching session.  As I learned in Intrinsic Coaching, I make a conscious choice to regard each person as capable, creative, and complete (not lacking).

I consider coaching to be similar to “patient engagement” and “patient-centric care”, terms that have become quite popular in recent months.  This article addresses “patient-centric” care, which I think involves patient engagement, and ultimately coaching, too.  The author’s first of 5 critical elements is “there must be buy-in from providers”.  Just as coaching was something I thought I should know how to do, getting buy-in from providers because it’s the right thing to do will be just as difficult.  Medical providers who have been around for a few years probably don’t have the innate skills to acknowledge and demonstrate what’s included in a technique like shared decision making (SDM).  I believe that  SDM is critical before any patient engagement or patient centric care can happen.  Shouldn’t it precede the first element for provider buy-in?

And shouldn’t patients, caregivers, and other health care practitioners also be invited to the discussion table?

About Stephanie

Innovative and resourceful, my approach with clients is to address “whole-person well-being” (mind, body, spirit), arriving at the CAUSE of ill health, rather than continuing to only treat the symptoms.  With over 30 years as an RN and Health Educator, I help clients to understand that the health of our mind, body and spirit interact for a truer picture of our overall health.  My professional skills are varied and extensive, and I listen to the individual client concerns. I believe in collaborating with a variety of health practitioners, offering options, and respecting individual choice. Together we use an Integrative Health approach (conventional medicine + alternative therapies + self-care) to address such issues as chronic disease, lifestyle change, navigation through the medical system, and accessing information about a client’s healthcare choices.  Contact:

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One Response to Patient Engagement, Shared Decision Making, & NOT ‘Fixing’- On Becoming a Better Nurse Coach

  1. Great guest post!
    The points made about coaching are the reasons I love it too. I view the current medical model as “fixing” problems, treating and/or attacking disease, trying to treat symptoms. But getting at the underlying cause- treating the whole person- engaging them in the process…. not acting like we have all the answers and can “fix” things… that is when real effective progress is made. I keep thinking, writing, saying- adults don’t want to be “told” what to do. What happens when we are told? We rebel. We don’t want to be controlled. We know best. So coaching is great because there is no telling- there is only partnering… with the clients best interests at heart.

    Thanks so much!

What are your thoughts?