Gratitude and insights

Photo: Mia Berg, Knäbäckshusen
Photo: Mia Berg, Knäbäckshusen

Right now, I could not be more grateful or proud! My very dear comrade in arms within patient safety in the US, Mr Thomas Dahlborg, recently published his whistle blowing insights in this article for fiercehealthcare.com. The article treats the subject on how decision makers all over the world need to start listening in at grass root level. Guess who the ”Swedish advocate for patient safety” is?! Thomas was apparently inspired by none other than PP! I stand truly humble and grateful.

In the article Thomas mentions the difficulties PP experienced in the beginning, when many health care employed people came to our aid, wanting to be part of our work for patient safety. Little by little though, reality kicked in and in the end, keeping your job is more important than volunteering in a cause that might compromise you with your employers. And quite rightfully so! We fully have to except how people will always prioritize the need to put food on the table.

Which of course is the root of almost all the problems within patient safety work – people are afraid. Afraid to tell. Afraid to blow the whistle because we all know what might happen then.

Apparently, PP is not the only one experiencing this phenomenon, Thomas goes on by giving two more examples of health care professionals, who are also quite knocked down by the fact that no matter how loud they yell, they are still not listened to by the ones in power. Universal problem needing resolution.

Our work has got to be like the relentless waves, slowly disintegrating a log on the beach, breaking it down piece by piece.

Leaders. Start. Listening.

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5 Replies to “Gratitude and insights”

  1. You should not address the leaders; they are all too involved. You need to address the public to get them to start investigating by help from outside authorities. And not all of these are free from corruption and all are due to be tricked by doctor’s as almost nobody can question a doctor’s words. There are groups however who can. The last one, the specialized nurses, are on their way to be taken out of Swedish health care system today. Other groups have been taken out before.
    One research tells about how doctors did physiotherapist to be a female profession.
    ”Anders Ottosson is a junior research fellow at Department of Historical studies, Gothenburg University, Sweden. 2005 he took his PhD in history by defending a thesis analyzing the professionalization and de-professionalization process of the Physiotherapy profession in Sweden during 1813-1934. Main focus of his thesis was to explain why and how the Physiotherapy profession changed, from having been a highly esteemed, scientifically ambitious and autonomous profession, practiced male-upper class or noblemen officers, into a low-paid semi-profession on the “backyard” of the medical sciences, dominated by a female workforce. Point of departure was a governmental investigation dated 1930 recommending the Swedish parliament to prohibit men from becoming physiotherapists.”

    In the 70’s psychologists had an important role in Swedish mental hospitals as provider of knowledge to doctor’s and all healthcare personal the behavioral perspective on mental illness. They were close to the group and the patients functioning as mentors. One of those therapists has written a book about his work, ”Vansinnets makt” that is a benchmark about the problems connected to caring for the mentally ill. Today doctors with a strict biological/ genetic perspective on mental illness has taken total control over psychiatry in Sweden. Nurses who should have professional freedom to provide support to their patients built on nursing theorists like Joyce Travelbee – who wrote “Human to Human Relationship Model” already in 1966 – with support and mentorship from psychologists, are today in a role silently dependent on doctors handing out medication to patients seen as defect individuals after suffering traumatic events. Many of those on heavy medication could live a normal life with the right support. No psychologists are available for them in most units.
    Professor, psychiatrist and psychotherapist Johan Cullberg wrote in 2009 in ”The journal of the Swedish psychiatry” of the risk of mistreating people with dissociative trauma-related illness. This knowledge is available in many countries but not applied in Sweden. How it will end up with all the traumatized people we received recently when we have not been able to help raped, bullied and otherwise traumatized people before, is beyond imagination. The risk is that many will end up as ”care packages” deposited on lifelong medication that only benefits the pharmaceutical industry and the prescribing doctor.
    http://www.svenskpsykiatri.se/documents/2009/SP4_2009.pdf (sid. 59-60)

    Today doctors are free from pressure from male psychotherapists and psychologists and they are now taking on the remaining threat to their sovereignty – well educated Swedish nurses by the use of terror. In a recent action in the EU parliament they tried to lower the education level from university level to secondary school level after German model.
    http://www.utredarna.nu/susanna/2013/10/10/i-ett-svep-sankte-eu-kraven-for-vad-en-svensk-sjukskoterska-ska-kunna/
    Since 1977 there has been an ongoing work to level up the nursing profession in Sweden. Vård 77 – was a reform right in time in the change of the educational system to research mode and the coming of the Internet.
    http://www.omvardnadsmagasinet.se/artikel.phtml?id=333
    One aim with the lift of the nursing profession, besides the need for specialized nursing care, has been to provide more security for patients as it is well known there are doctors who is dysfunctional and someone need to be able to address such problems in a respectful and secure way. Nurses are good at caring for doctors although doctors don’t always understand this. The Karolinska Institute of Stockholm has tried to stop the educational lift for registered nurses to the extent they lost the right to examine nurses in 2008 due to low scientific level. Since about 15 years Karolinska has begun to import registered nurses from countries with lower education without proper check of either nursing or language skills. Today Swedish nurses are leaving in masses, the system is getting weaker from day to day and many doctors throughout the country is aware of the dangers for anyone trying to blow the whistle.
    Sweden is no longer an isolated and stable place. Strong forces have invaded the healthcare system. One is doctor’s from abroad familiar with the Swedish naivety ready to take on Swedish colleagues as where they bowling balls to strike. Many of those are men with another perspective on women’s right to speak their mind and Swedish nurse’s professional freedom than solid head doctors who has left their positions in attempt to protest against unethical political decisions. Another is the pharmacologic industry which professor Peter Götzsche, head of the Nordic Cochrane institute has spoken out about in two books. He sees the connection between doctor’s and the pharmacologic industry to be more criminal than the mafia.
    http://www.adlibris.com/se/bok/deadly-medicines-and-organised-crime-9781846198847
    http://www.adlibris.com/se/bok/deadly-psychiatry-and-organised-denial-9788771596236

    There is a black hole in the system and an acute need to put a spotlight on the Swedish healthcare system, to start regular testing of all authorized groups, to start independent evaluation of students from all forms of healthcare education including the universities and including those who return från studies in other countries, to slow down all processes to prevent hasty decisions to make unchangeable changes, to start listening to ALL groups and even to silence the most charming and well speaking doctors. There is a strong need of an independent investigation and we are in the last hour. The male physiotherapists were taken out in the 30’s, the psychologists in the 80’s and today the best nurses are leaving for Norway or leaving their profession for good. When they are gone there will be no healthcare in Sweden.
    Doctors are trustworthy only if they work in professional cooperation with other strong professions, not as solo artists creating their own little heaven surrounded by silenced, bowing nurses, distant physiotherapists and with psychologists replaced with ”undersköterskor med KBT-kompetens”; that is personnel educated at secondary level with a course in KBT.

    Before all those has left that had the education and experience to see the gap that has opened like a black hole in Swedish healthcare, something needs to be done. No leader or doctor inside the system can do anything. It’s too dangerous.

    1. I agree! And think that one is irrespective of the other though – we can address both groups – leaders and the public. I try my hardest to engage the public and mostly the injured, the people who have been damaged in the health care system and their families, through PP and thus create a united, strong voice to be reckoned with.

  2. In 2015, I wrote up my own medical patient safety case study as a neuroscientist and patient living in the U.S. having undergone 12 brain shunt surgeries for hydrocephalus, and facing unexplained chronic menigitis now from some of the preventable complications. There was a TEDx speaker who shared his case in 2012. I hope to take this to a new level. I am also an mHealth pioneer (1997 design of the DiaCeph Test). Yet my technology solution, like most mobile medical apps today, are sidelined due to U.S. FDA outdated regulations. Please share if you like. http:/wp.me/poW1N-68

    1. Wow! I am so sorry to hear of your health issues and what you have gone through. But I also admire your tenacity, which in my belief is the best weapon in the struggle for a health care system, in need of making amends. I will most definitely take a look at your case study and would be happy to publish with your consent! Maybe you would even consider writing an introduction to the article yourself? I will e-mail you. Thank you so much for sharing! It means a lot to all struggling with the systems, trust me. //Regards, Mia

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