What’s L.O.V.E. Got to Do with It? BY CATHERINE THOMPSON, PT, PH.D., M.S.
t happened unexpectedly and, despite my healthcare background, I felt sadly unprepared for what was to follow. At the young age of 49 my husband was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that comes in many forms. With the desperate need to provide love and support to my husband and two sons while trying to comprehend this complex disease process, I began to deeply appreciate my lack of knowledge and my need for experts to help me manage this illness that was wholly altering our lives. This was before the time of interprofessional collaboration in health care. While the best doctors could not save his life, it opened the door to my appreciating the importance of teamwork for helping families cope during stressful times. It takes a team that appreciates the skills, knowledge and experience of others to tackle these daunting situations. Unsurprisingly, research supports the use of interprofessional teams to improve patient outcomes. Since that time, I have embraced interprofessional education to help prepare my students for serving families in crisis. Rockhurst’s culture encourages us to strive for excellence, pursue justice, care for the poor and marginalized, recognize the complexity of each individual, and act responsibly to better our world. This transformative culture magnifies the importance of interprofessional education and collaborative teamwork. With this in mind, I have shared key
concepts of interprofessional health care with my students in hopes that they too will appreciate the need to combine their skills, knowledge and experience with other experts for the best patient care. What’s L.O.V.E. got to do with it? I created the acronym L.O.V.E. to encourage students and others to engage in reflective practice when working collaboratively with others. L.O.V.E. stands for “Listen, Observe, Verify, and Empower.” While simplistic, the acronym L.O.V.E. is based upon Jesuit pedagogy that encourages well-informed action through a process involving experience, reflection, action, and evaluation. At this time of growing information that may or may not be accurate, L.O.V.E. reminds us to actively listen, to closely observe factors impacting a situation, to verify information through reliable sources, and, finally, to empower those who are able to take needed actions. We live in a complex world with diverse cultures, experiences, and perspectives that requires well-informed discourse. It takes teamwork and it has everything to do with love. Catherine Thomspon, PT, Ph.D., M.S., is professor of physical therapy. She is the editor of a recently published book titled Pediatric Therapy: An Interprofessional Framework for Practice. She has continually practiced as a clinician in addition to her teaching, community service and scholarship.
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