Menders: Lead from Within with Dr. Nicola De Paul

25. Use caregiving as a model for team development with Jennifer O'Brien

September 24, 2022 Dr. Nicola De Paul Season 1 Episode 25
Menders: Lead from Within with Dr. Nicola De Paul
25. Use caregiving as a model for team development with Jennifer O'Brien
Show Notes

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and speak with Jennifer O’Brien. It was a pleasure and a personally moving experience for me. I hope you enjoy listening!

After spending her career in healthcare as a changemaker and traveling executive, Jennifer became a family caregiver to her late husband Bob, a palliative care physician. 

Now Jennifer is using her experiences on both sides of the healthcare experience to advocate for greater awareness of the tremendous lift family caregivers make when caring for their loved ones. Jennifer advocates for greater inclusivity and respect for family caregivers as they play a clinician-extending role on our healthcare teams. She even wrote a position description to help us all better understand the full extent of what family caregivers do. It’s worth a read! And perhaps most importantly, Jennifer reminds us that as clinicians we are also human and caregivers for our aging parents, ill spouses, and injured children. 

Jennifer draws on her intimate experience of palliative care to reflect on the power of reimagining teamwork from the palliative care perspective across healthcare disciplines. And she brings us back to the core values of the healing profession: To care for the ill. To deliver babies. And to comfort the dying. 

Listen to find out: 

  • How focusing on her self-care through art led her to unexpectedly publish a book, the Hospice doctor’s widow.
  • Why reimagining teamwork has the power to breathe new life into day-to-day clinical interactions.
  • And how recommitting to our core values may just transform healthcare!

I hope this conversation inspires you to take the time to dig deep, connect with your values and elevate the members of our healthcare community who are less visible.

My favorite quotable moment from this episode!

“I wished that on my computer screen every morning, a little dashboard would pop up that would say, “we cared for this many patients yesterday, we delivered this many babies, and we comforted this many dying people.” 

Jennifer O’Brien (Menders, episode 25)

Additional Resources: 

You can find Jennifer O’Brien at The Hospice Doctor’s Widow 

Family Caregiver Position Description