Saturday, February 16, 2013

Two Contrasting Images: IDT Past & Present


A coworker crafted this after our last IDT.  

Among the changes experienced in hospice philosophy in recent years, as hospice work increasingly come under the influence of corporate business and its marketing emphasis, is the change in image of the interdisciplinary team meeting, or IDT.  

In former times, the IDT meeting was something like a blue collar Laundromat.  Yes, it was professional, organized and to the point.  But there was an understanding that each person was bringing in some dirty laundry, and that it would be sorted out, thrown into the washing machines, and that this would involve some noise, some agitation, some movement and chaos, on the way to ending up with clean, dried, and folded items, ready for the next day's jobs.  The way the soiled clothing arrived and the way the finished product ended up, presumed and welcomed a sometimes rough and tumble process in between.

In more recent times, and increasingly, there are different forces at work, and an image that might express the change in IDT is that of the finale of a Beauty Pageant.  The unspoken but strongly implied expectation is that there is to be a show of excellence and shiny perfection.  The attractive and beautiful surfaces are paraded upon the stage, for all to ooh and ahh.  There is niceness and tidiness from start to finish.  There is a hyper-awareness that the cameras are rolling.  We smile, but with measured propriety.  Our lines are pre-censored, and well rehearsed.  No ad lib comments will be tolerated.  No embarrassing or uncomfortable questions are to be asked.  It's not an earthy process--it's a careful performance.  Contradictory opinions and al challenges will be viewed as crass rebellion, and as undermining the status quo, which is believed to be have been dropped down whole from Corporate heaven.

Beautiful surfaces look impressive.  But I miss the realness, liveliness, and outcomes of the old washateria. 

This speaks volumes in regard to the heart of Generic Hospice.

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