Labels – Definition – A classifying phrase or name applied to a person or thing, especially one that is inaccurate or restrictive.
In healthcare, we seem to be focused on labels, labels that denote profession, that denote positions, that denote relationships; labels that overtly indicate power or covertly undermine the power of others
Alongside the labels that we use we also use words and terms interchangeably is it treatment we deliver or is it care ? is the care compassionate ? what’s the different difference between compassion and empathy ? where is the line drawn? What’s the definition? what’s the label?
We also talk about personalisation, personalised care, the importance of what matters to you, but often those concepts, intentions, values are subsumed by a huge system, that is focused on outcomes, numbers, targets, finance, workforce, patient, flow and reputation.
No one enters the hospital, a care home, residential home, a dentist or a GP surgery or any care setting without a slight sense of discomfort and anticipation. Sense of discomfort of fear of vulnerability may be accentuated by the reason for going to get treatment, is it a routine procedure or its potentially life saving surgery or treatment. Generally people receiving care are out of their comfort zone. Especially if they are thrust into a world of clinical treatment based procedure and protocol, that is delivered in an unfamiliar location.
People are people they need to be welcomed to a care setting they need people who will take the time to talk to them. explore their fears and vulnerabilities They want someone to wrap care and compassion around them, a sense of warmth of belonging of importance, when a person enters the hospital setting, whether as a patient family member, a person who is important to the person receiving care or a visitor who may be a neighbour or a colleague they need and they must be welcomed.
The word welcome, comes from the from an old English word, which had its origin meaning as “a wished for visitor”.In the future in health and social care we need to get rid of the labels be clear about the language and Welcome everyone who comes to our organisations whether they are patients, carers, relatives, neighbours, friends or colleagues as well as the plethora of staff and ensure we have the desire to welcome people to the label less location and for all to be a “wished for visitor”.