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  • Jesse Arnoldson

To Debride or Not Debride, For Us That’s Not Even a Question

Why do we seek improvement? Why do we submit ourselves to critique when we know it can be unpleasant? Although uncomfortable at best, to seek out understanding of where we are weak is the only way we can find ways of becoming stronger.

This week a wonderful RN explained to me the debridement process she uses for her wound care patients. It sounded awful and painful, the process of removing dead, damaged or infected tissue away from the wound so that the wound can better heal. Quite a few patients needed it almost every time they came in to make sure that progress was not hindered by the wrong kind of tissue building up.

This image stuck with me as we carried out one of our annual assessments for a group in Oregon. The difference between the clinic last year and this year was night and day, amazing progress had been made. However, as perfection eludes everyone indiscriminately, we were able to uncover a good size list of things that needed to be worked on. As we went through the list with the doctors and administrator, it was uncomfortable at times and somewhat frustrating in others. In the end though, we all felt a huge relief as we finished the list and saw the potential to improve the clinic even more over the next year by removing the baggage found during the assessment.

I see patients each and every day submit themselves to the uncomfortable and sometimes painful because they know that it is the path to becoming better. Let’s not be afraid to understand where we are weak or where we have fallen short but rather welcome the critique.

Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection. - Kim Collins, Track & Field World Champion

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