Monday, February 18, 2013

Reflections on the Last Two Weeks

It's hard to believe that we've been gone for two weeks. Today (it's Sunday the 17th as I write this) we spent a lovely afternoon having a long leisurely outdoor lunch hosted by Nigel and Dee (Hospice Wits CEO and his wife and my host and hostess). We ate at their outdoor bowling club (not like our American bowling).

Many of our previous Hospice Wits visitors were there including Bev, Dorcus, Ntombi, Penny, Patrick, and Ritta. Joy, marketing manager was also there with her family. It was a delightful afternoon.

We all remarked how fast these two weeks have gone. I can see the sadness in our Hospice Wits's colleagues faces. I can already feel my own beginning telltale signs of starting the saying goodbye process. This disengagement is always difficult. I feel so at home here, surrounded by friends doing similar work. At lunch we were talking about a patient Susan, Terri, and I saw with Penny last week who was admitted to the IPU in Soweto the end of the week. It was nice to be able to confirm what Penny was telling Dorcus and Bev about this patient's primary caregiver.

We've accomplished so much. We spent two half days with their leadership team sharing leadership best practices and reviewing resources available to hospice staff including our Learn Center. I don't believe I told you that Suncoast Hospice donated 6 laptops to Hospice Wits. We brought them in our luggage. These laptops will be placed in the Soweto and Johannesburg offices so staff can access the Learn Center and the Internet (for additional resources).

By the end of Monday we will have provided a day of education to all clinical staff at both locations. By the end of Tuesday we will have made visits with the homecare sisters at both locations. We also spent a day making visits in Soweto with Penny, their social worker.

We have provided support activities, team building, and a powerful activity that reinforced the connection to and importance of all their employees.

We've learned a lot also. I have pictures of a clinical room used for counseling of adults and children I'd like for us to replicate. The walls are painted using nature scenes and mythology to assist with connecting to the symbolic aspects of therapy. I have ideas of how we might use such a room on our campuses.

I have facilitated discussions with the staff and leadership team about how to continue enhancing our partnership. I'll be sharing these suggestions with all of you. First and foremost they'd like to communicate directly with their Suncoast Hospice counterparts. Much more to come.

We will send a few more posts before we leave.

Wish us well during our final three days here. We travel Wednesday night arriving back in Tampa around noon on Thursday. Another 24 hours or so of travel... Susan, Terri, and I will be back to work on Monday the 25th.

Know that we've done a great job representing all of you during these two and a half weeks.



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