Difficult Conversations Podcast

Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician

Episode 102 | August 4, 2020

I'm Here - Communication and the Patient Experience

Marcus Engle

Author, Healthcare Speaker, CPXP

Marcus Engel

The two most compassionate words any human being can say to another person is “I’m here.” Today’s episode is a story of tragedy, triumph, and success. My special guest is Marcus Engel, who was hit by a drunk driver, every bone in his face crushed, has permanent and total sight loss in both eyes, and endured over 300 hours of reconstructive facial surgery. Yet today, he is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Notre Dame, author of three books, certified patient experience professional, and certified speaking professional.

Marcus takes us through his uplifting journey from the beginning. It starts in 1993, as a college student driving back from a hockey game with friends when the accident happened and what has transpired throughout his life and career. There are two women he encounters in the hospital that forever changed his life. The first one is a Patient Care Tech, named Jennifer, who held his hand when he first arrived at the hospital. The other one is Barb, his first ICU nurse after his very first 25-hour major facial reconstruction surgery. Both of these women said special words to him that was so genuine and humble, and these words deeply impacted his life and helped him realize that simple human presence is the cornerstone of caregiving and it’s the foundation of our humanity. Amazingly, two decades later, after speaking at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital, he finally got to meet Jennifer, hold hands with her and thank her, at the very hospital that saved his life. There are more stories to be told. If you’re looking for some extraordinary, uplifting inspiration today, download this episode now!

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