How did I get started on this work?
Why am I passionate about making hospital-practice work available to East Asian Medicine Practitioners/Licensed Acupuncturists?
Why do I want EAMPs/L.Ac.s to be available in hospitals and medical centers?
Well, it's personal. And, personal stories are hard to share. So, while I recorded this video for our spring fundraiser at much prompting from colleagues and some family, I never wrote a blogpost to accompany this video. Until now.
With the community growing the past several months and several major steps for hospital practice work being announced in the past 60 days, it seems like a good time. These major steps that have taken years of work from members of the profession and their advocates--the BLS occupational code (Jan. 1st, 2018), the Joint Commission Pain Standard (Jan 2018), and the VA Handbook Occupational/Staffing Code (Feb 2018).
Here is my "WHY" (4 minutes):
So how did I get started in all this?
When I was in grad school, there was the troop surge in the Iraq war. And my brother was one of those soldiers.
As I sat in class learning about Traditional Chinese medicine, I was thinking about how what I was learning could help my family and friends who were deployed.
And, I learned that East Asian medicine is a non-drug non-surgery option for pain management.
And, it decreases stress. And, it improves sleep. So, thereby, it helps increase resiliency.
As it turns out, if you can improve sleep quality, decrease stress, and decrease pain you can decrease the probability of post-traumatic stress from becoming PTSD.
East Asian medicine complements conventional medical care.
So, how do we get East Asian medicine into the hospital system? How do we get East Asian medicine to those who need it?
By working in the conventional medical system. By having Acupuncturists work in hospitals, medical centers, VAs, and military treatment facilities.
There have been barriers to working in hospitals, the first of which is that we are new to the system.
So, often, each time an Acupuncturist is hired into a system, they are the first or one of the first for that facility. So, the problem of reinventing the wheel is common.
Instead of existing in silos, this Project endeavors to create connections community, and share wisdom.
The hospital handbook project provides a ladder over the barrier and makes landing on the other side with your hospital sponsor a little softer. You still need to get up and get moving; and I believe your clinic and your program will be better poised for success because you have learned from the wisdom of others.
This is what the Hospital Practice Handbook Project living resource aims to do.
I wish these resources had been available to me when I started hospital practice. And I hope, by getting these resources published and collaborative projects funded, that this resource will be available to hospital practice acupuncturists and their sponsors.