Difficult Conversations Podcast

Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician

Episode 108 | September 8, 2020

Learning to Get on the Same Page As Your Doctor

Elizabeth Poret-Christ

Director of Programming - The Orsini Way

Elizabeth Poret-Christ

Welcome to the Difficult Conversations – Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician with Dr. Anthony Orsini. Our special guest today is Elizabeth Poret-Christ. Liz is a dear friend of Dr. Orsini and Director of Programming at The Orsini Way, where she’s involved in all aspects of marketing, scheduling, and teaching. As Dr. Orsini states “Without Liz, The Orsini Way would not exist”. Liz has several personal stories to share today, and what’s so amazing about Liz, is the way she took every one of her experiences, good and bad, and found a way to turn them into a positive. Dr. Orsini keeps his promise about two things, that you will be inspired, and you will learn communication techniques that will help you in your personal lives.

Liz shares with us how she became involved in the Parent Advisory Committee at her local teaching hospital that led her to meet Dr. Orsini. She tells us the story about when her husband was critically ill in an ICU in Florida, and the difficult conversations she had with some doctors. You will be shocked to hear about one particularly bad conversation she had with a surgeon when her husband was close to death. You will learn why Liz repeats to herself often, “How do I help the next person from not having to experience that kind of things that I went through?” Dr. Orsini believes that physicians, nurses, and healthcare professionals are especially compassionate, but sometimes it’s difficult to convey that compassion, and that’s what Liz and Dr. Orsini teach at The Orsini Way. When Liz and her husband got back home to NJ after 23 days in the hospital, they met with a surgeon that took over her husband’s case. Liz discusses his sharp contrast in communication skills compared to the first surgeon and how comforting he was to her husband. With just a few words, the surgeon said something so astounding to them that he made them instantly feel less afraid. Liz shares her experience with us about giving bad news, from the patient’s point of view. Having been on both sides of the conversation, she gives advice to the person who is receiving the tragic news and tips on what they should expect from the doctor, nurse or first responder. Dr. Orsini says, “This is why I love communication. It’s so powerful. By changing one word, by doing something just a little differently, you can make a real difference in people’s lives.” If you enjoyed this episode, please hit the subscribe button to find out more about what we do and how we teach communication. Go ahead and download this episode now!

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