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happy hour for health care workers

All health professionals will have to participate in some sort of mandatory professional development from time to time.  Whether it’s an organization-wide initiative to “change the culture” or a departmental meeting to cover someone’s ass, the unavoidable reality is that most of the concepts advanced in these sessions require a certain openness of mind that only alcohol can provide.

Fortunately, meetings are held at times when you won’t be caring for patients afterwards; sometimes they even occupy entire days where you could be taking care of patients.  If you can’t drink during the actual meeting because it would be frowned upon, keep track of your score for afterwards.

The following is a helpful guide to which moments are the most opportune for expanding your consciousness:

• Drink every time “patient centered” is used to mean “satisfies an insurance company mandate.”
• Drink every time a new, unfamiliar acronym is used.
• Drink every time someone says “core value” when they mean “new rule.”
• Drink every time the solution to a problem is a new form to be filled out.
• Drink every time “technology” is used in the abstract.
• Drink every time someone who has never used a new computer program or piece of equipment talks about how great it is.
• Drink every time someone reads off a slide.
• Drink every time the airline industry is mentioned.
• Drink every time an outside consultant cannot answer a question about your organization.
• Drink every time someone in the audience answers a question that the speaker should know the answer to.
• Drink every time that a problem everyone in your department is painfully aware of becomes a revelation to someone in senior management.
• Drink every time you’re reminded to say “Joint Commission” not “Jay-Ko.”
• Drink every time you can’t resist the urge to text one of your co-workers in the room about something that was just said.
• Drink if the words “Press Ganey” are even thought of.
• Drink if you are told how important you are to the organization and if what you do matters.
• Drink when you are instructed on how to answer the phone appropriately.
• Drink if a 1980s produced safety or instructional video is played.
• Drink if another damn Swiss cheese model is thrown in your face

Some extra “drink” additions from fans!

  • “Meaningful use”
  • “Door to (anything) time”
  • “Throughput”
  • “Length of stay”
  • “EMR improvement”
  • “Mandatory screening question”
  • “We all have to do more with less”

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Dr. Laughingstone
Dr. Laughingstone divides his time between a gritty urban community health center under a bridge in a decaying major American city, a mission outpost in the dark heart of deepest Africa, and other offensive clichés. He's writing a novel and releasing it one chapter at a time at Trousseau Syndrome; it is just as funny as his Gomerblog articles but it also has other great stuff like sex, violence, and religious proselytization. You can also follow him on Twitter @matthew_loftus if you’re a real glutton for punishment.