Insights From Wapiti

Advice, news and thought leadership from our experts.

It’s All Small Stuff- Guest Blogger Dr. B. Judge

(Dr. B. Judge is a Wapiti provider who regularly contributes to his facility’s newsletter. With his permission, we are sharing his latest article.)

★ We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” The problem is, it’s all small stuff. Especially, when it comes to delivering care in the ED at AKH. Consider all the “small stuff” that we encounter daily.

★ The whimpering 3-year-old who presents with a fever of 103°F at 2 AM, and whose mother is in tears. The 54-year-old male smoker with crushing chest pain from yet another STEMI, and is yelling, “I’m going to die!” The despondent 16-year-old female with an abusive father and nowhere to go. The agitated and confused 81-year-old female with stage IV breast cancer who won’t live to see the following week. The precipitous delivery of a multiparous female with a history of stimulant abuse and no prenatal care, who is screaming from the throes of labor. Dealing with a cranky specialist to find definitive care for a patient. Ensuring that you’ve “checked all the boxes” in caring for your patient in septic shock, and whose family is upset because it took multiple attempts to establish an IV. And the list goes on and on…but I think you get the idea.

★ Whether a patient’s health-related issue is minor or life-threatening, we deal with it all. What may seem minor to us, might be of real concern to others. The trick is, to not let other’s emotions or problems become yours.

★ Here is some advice* on how to be there for others Free CME What Should Clinicians Know About Palliative Psychopharmacology? 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits (Free) How Bodily Integrity Is a Core Ethical Value in Care of Persons Experiencing Homelessness 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits (Free) How Should Clinicians Ally with Patients Whose Health Is Unlikely to Be Improved by Even Numerous Clinical Encounters? 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits (Free) Four Ways to Limit Use of Force in Care of Persons Experiencing Homelessness 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits (Free) STAY INFORMED Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital Emergency Department Newsletter, January/February 2024 Vol 6. No. 1/2 January/February 2024 without depleting your resiliency and burning out:

★ 1) See other’s emotions/situation as a symptom, and not as a problem to get rid of;
★ 2) Empathy is imagining what it must be like to be in your patient’s situation i.e. try to remember a time when you felt the same way;
★ 3) Incorporate reflective listening into your practice. Patients who are struggling emotionally or with a situation want to feel understood;
★ 4) Validate your patient’s reason for coming to the emergency department, as well as your own emotions. Remember, other’s emotions can stir up emotions in each of us;
★ 5) The emotions of others are not your responsibility, because you can’t control how someone feels.
★ Finally, and perhaps a bit tongue-in-cheek, while it’s all small stuff, try not to sweat it.
★ *From “How to Be There for Others Without Burning Out” by Ilene Strauss Cohen, Ph.D. Available at ★ Bryan Judge, MD (