Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why Don't You Take a Breather...

This morning I went swimming with a Master's swim group. Swimming is certainly not a strength for me but I do enjoy the challenge and benefits of it. There is so much to focus on in order to stay safe and swim efficiently. Well today, I was passed by a swimmer Blake Cooper, MD. That was not a surprise as I had been told he would be lapping us on a regular basis...or at least he would be lapping me on a regular basis. The pleasant surprise came when he took a break and saw that I swallowed water, started coughing and then began to swim again. He quickly grabbed my shoulder and said, "why don't you take a breather." Now, I really do not know Blake except seeing him during practice. His commitment to safety was impressive. Yes, I almost went on but thought, it probably took him a lot to stop someone he does not know well and no doubt he was looking after my best interest. When I think about our roles in hospitals, it is so critical that we actively look for those safety moments, acknowledge when things are safe so we continue and quickly stop each other when we see a "potentially" unsafe situation. Blake was a true unwavering advocate, a phrase our fearless CNO, Cynde Gamache has coined in the past.

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