September 18, 2006
Communiction is key
Because I have a BBA (bachelor of business administration) I am aware of the differences in how administration and librarians speak, and of what is important to each. Clinicians fall somewhere in the middle. While it is important to be able to communicate with hospital administrators and “proving your library’s worth” in terms they understand and care about it’s equally important to “prove your worth” to physicians.
We’ve developed a script of sorts at My Place of Work. We acknowledge that physicians are the experts at diagnosing and treating patients. We then explain to them that we are experts at finding, evaluating and disseminating information. We tell them that we are here to help them by doing what we do best – finding information. This allows them to spend their time most wisely doing what they do best – practicing medicine.
This makes sense to the doctors. We’ve had a lot of positive response to this “script”. We acknowledge their strengths, we acknowledge our strengths and in a dozen words or show how our strengths cannot help but work together to help the patient.
Medical librarians are a critical component of the patient care experience. As a profession we need to stop being satisfied with letting our work speak for ourselves. We need to speak up and speak out and let those people who we can make a difference for and who could make a difference for us know who we are and what we do.