Recently, I have begun to notice how important it is to network and meet professionals within the field who are practicing in different areas. My expertise- rather, the area that I feel most comfortable working in is individuals experiencing anxiety. Recently, I got a case where the individual was going through multiple mental health concerns; emotional, anxiety, eating disorders, potential bariatric surgery, interrelationships, mood swings and all the internalizing that comes with this gamut. It was notably overwhelming for the patient and very quickly became overwhelming for me. Normally, I prefer to break the concerns down, focus on one area and as the patient begins learning new strategies to cope and manage, this will allow for a transfer of skills to the other areas that require attention. My hope was that as one area was worked on, it would also alleviate some concerns in other areas. However, with this particular case, I quickly realized that I would need to refer this patient to another professional to target areas of concern that were out of my competence. The patient expressed having great difficulty with change, and did not want to entertain the thought of meeting another professional. I felt that referring her out could do more harm than good. The patient, however, refused all ideas of being referred to another professional, even after explaining the purpose behind it. I knew I had to do something so that this patient could get the best care. I discussed with the patient, her doctor and my executive director. Everyone agreed that it would be best to bring in the professional onsite instead. This was not only outside the box thinking, but a first for our clinic. Essentially, we’re still following typical protocol of referring a patient to a professional, but we’re meeting the needs of the patient and where she is at right now. She was vocal in saying she will not be able to go to the other professional. In order to meet all the criteria, I discussed with the referring professional, and he agreed to come to the clinic and work with the patient. What does this mean? This means that the patient will be able to get her services in a place that she has deemed safe for her. It means that I will be able to focus my energy on her anxiety and areas that I am competent in working with. By spreading the blanket of services I am also alleviating stress which in turn means better self-care. It allows for an alliance to be built between two organizations as well. The most important factor that I feel this idea allows for is the intention behind it; well- being of a patient. This was only able to happen because professionals of different disciplines were able to come together and agree that a new approach would be needed in order to support this patient. At the end of it all, isn’t that the sole point of such services?
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA