16 August 2010

And this is a SLOW week!

Another week has ended and, because it is summer vacation time and post transfer season, my clinic has been operating at a slower pace. I enjoy the occasional slumps, because they give me time to accomplish administrative work I’ve been putting in my “round tuit” file, catch up on journal reading and reflect a bit on what I’m doing.

Today’s reflection highlighted the virtual practice, of which I am part, and the global resources I enjoy. In my former U.S. practice, if I wished to discuss a case, I usually walked down a hall to speak with a fellow medical provider. Occasionally, I would phone a colleague about a particular patient but, almost certainly, that colleague was someone I would see face to face within a short time to continue the collaboration.

Most of my postings with the U.S. Foreign Service have been as a single provider, so when I require consultation, I pick up a phone to call medical staff people in Washington, D.C. or in another country. For example, this week I’ve collaborated by phone or e-mail with colleagues in Washington, Budapest and Kyiv. I’ve also discussed medical-supply problems with colleagues in Islamabad, Pretoria and Abu Dhabi, and worked through an administrative question with my counterpart in Bucharest. And this is a slow week!

I admit I am impressed with how truly universal and “virtual” this form of practice is. I take it for granted that the diabetes expert I rely on is in Jakarta, the neurologist is in Frankfurt and the pediatric guru is in Budapest. And, like a city toss, next year we could all be in a different location, but still readily available to each other and the patients we serve.

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

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