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Privileged Presence: Personal Stories of Connections in Health Care

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Privileged Presence is a collection of more than 50 stories that capture both the medical and emotional aspects of the health care experience through tales from those who have been there, and offers powerful messages about the essential ingredients of “good” health care: respect, compassion, collaboration, open and honest communication, family involvement, and flexibility and responsiveness to individuals and their needs. This updated second edition uses real-world experiences recounted by patients and their families, nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals to illustrate what works and what doesn’t and what increases or diminishes people’s sense of confidence and well-being.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“These are the people who bear witness to what is miraculous and what is wrong with health care. . . . Once you’ve had the privilege of reading this book, pass it on—it’s the best book you will ever give as a gift.”  —Nancy DiVenere, president, Parent to Parent USA

“Should be required reading for all health care professionals, especially students. Underlying the quiet dignity of each story is a powerful message about how to become a more skillful clinician.”  —William Schwab, MD, professor, department of family medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

“The 'privileged presence' of this book’s title runs full circle, from the patients, family members, and caregivers who tell their stories of pain, healing, cruelty, and kindness in medical care, to their narrators, to the reader who is invited to witness their intimacies.”  —Michael Rowe, PhD, Yale University school of medicine, and author, The Book of Jesse

"Privileged Presence is a sometimes sobering and sometimes heartening reflection of the variability of the healthcare experience. [...] it is an invitation to healthcare professionals to dare to recognise themselves in the stories, good and bad, to rise to the challenge to replicate what they do well and to have the courage to identify what they need to change. It is an invitation to self improvement and personal insight. It works as a learning tool because the stories evoke feelings which, in turn, influence behaviour in ways which facts and data alone cannot. Privileged Presence is a timeless manual for all in healthcare in that it both challenges and sustains." —Margaret Murphy, patient advocate, External Lead Advior, World Health Organization for Patient Safety Program

"What a privilege it is to read Priviliged Presence. This book taught me volumes about the opportunities we all have to make real connections during some of the most difficult times of our lives. These remarkable true stories are sometimes cautionary, often inspiring, and never less than totally frank. I can't imagine that there's anyone seeking or involved in healthcare who wouldn't benefit from reading and discussing these candid and thoughtful accounts." —Will Schwalbe, author, The End of Your Life Book Club

"I found myself pulled into the fabric of these stories, relating as a mom, a caregiver, and a widow and reliving many of my own personal experiences. Some stories are agonizing and tender, offer hope or describe simple human kindness, and some pull back the veil on areas in healthcare that absolutely need to change. As I finished the book, I felt a resolve to be part of improving what can become better and applaud the courage and compassion of those who dare to embrace the humanness of healthcare. I hope that the next healthcare worker who delivers care to my children, my parents, or to me has read this book." —Sue Sheridan, Director of Patient Engagement, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780923521967
  • Publisher: Bull Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 745,390
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Liz Crocker has worked in teaching, broadcasting, and journalism. She has owned and run a children’s bookstore since 1978 and now has an environmental business with five stores across Canada. She is the vice president of the Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Bev Johnson is the president and CEO of the Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care. She is a nurse who has provided on-site technical assistance and training to more than 100 hospitals in North America and worked with the Association of American Medical Colleges on family-centered practice. She is the coauthor of several books and the producer of award-winning films in the field. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

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