Pharmacy Board of Australia - The pursuit of professionalism - new podcast episode
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The pursuit of professionalism - new podcast episode

31 Mar 2021

In this fortnight’s Taking care episode, Tash Miles is joined by Dr Gerald Hickson, founder of the United States based Vanderbilt Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy. 

Key points

  • Founder of the Vanderbilt Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy, Dr Gerald Hickson, talks about his work to make medicine kinder and safer.
  • Dr Hickson emphasises the importance of having and articulating strong values and listening to the experiences of practitioners, patients and their networks.
  • We explore how does a crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic, affects processes and the need for core values in healthcare delivery.

Dr Hickson has worked extensively collecting feedback and reports from leaders, team members, patients and their families in healthcare settings. Today, he is exploring professionalism: what it means, why it’s critical in all contexts and, most importantly, how the pursuit of professionalism keeps practitioners effective and patients safe.

‘Patient safety occurs because we have intentionally designed systems, because we are constantly working to make them better. But we can’t do that if patients don’t speak up, if staff don’t speak up when they are facing things in the workplace that are not right.’

His research has shown the power of teams and bringing groups together to identify issues and resolve them. This contributes to improving process and efficiencies in healthcare delivery, especially when underpinned by strong, meaningful values that are communicated frequently and consistently.

‘Values, values, values … it all comes back to values. It’s about having them stated. It’s about having them on the wall. It’s about having them distilled down,’ Dr Hickson said.

This has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Processes had to be rethought, teams had to change the way they practise to cope with the strain on the system. Practitioners needed greater support, too, and having the stable foundation of good practice made adapting easier and more effective.

Listen to the full episode.

Learn more about Dr Hickson’s work for the Vanderbilt University Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy.

Did you know?

The Taking care podcast series offers professional and consumer perspectives on current issues and answers some frequently asked questions about public safety in healthcare. Download and listen to the latest Taking care episode today. Ahpra releases a new episode fortnightly, discussing current topics and the latest issues affecting safe healthcare in Australia. You can also listen and subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and by searching ‘Taking Care’ in your podcast player.

Contact us

  • For media enquiries, phone (03) 8708 9200. 
  • If you have questions or feedback about the podcast, email [email protected]
  • For registration enquiries, please phone 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 3 9285 3010 (overseas callers).
Page reviewed 31/03/2021