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:: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 ::

Xtreme Team 2003 to Carle Hospital

This summer has been crazy for me. I have been under a high amount of stress throughout the CPE experience.

CPE is not a controllable experience; you never know what will happen next.

Just today I realized that I have a paradigm for dealing with CPE that could relieve most of the stress. I will apply the Xtreme Team model to CPE.

How is CPE like the Xtreme Team?

- Different Language: No, it's not Latvian (or Lithuanian, Russian, Estonian, Finnish or Swedish). But a quote from a meeting I was at shows that it is: "She's a 85 yr. old who came in with an acute MI. Had a cabbage times 4 about 10 years back. Right now she's recovering from a PE but looks like she might be borderline for CHF. She'll be DC'd in the next 48 to 72."

Yeah, it's English. But... yeah...

- You Never Know What's Next: On the Xtreme Team, we were told not to worry about what was going to happen next. They weren't going to tell us, and when they told us, it would be in the form of a clue we had to solve. So I set my mind not to worry about what would happen. I would just do whatever I was doing until the next round came along. And after the initial stress of culture shock, it worked well. I actually almost became too passive.

This summer, in the hospital, somehow I expected a little more control. I didn't embrace the mystery of the whole thing and the randomness of it all. From here on out, I hope to look at every day as an adventure. I won't assume I know what's going on any more.

- Self-Examination: During the Xtreme Team, we journaled our experiences and had meeting times where we discussed what had taken place during the day. We do the same thing in CPE. It's called "group" and we use "verbatims" to work it out.

- Learning Creative, New Ways of Dealing With New Situations: The Xtreme Team was always presenting us with new situations we had to work through. We often had to be creative in how we solved problems and approached people. Sometime maybe I'll tell the story about the playground with the mis-cut lumber.

This summer, at the hospital, I have not been looking creatively. I've been locked in the mode of "this is what a chaplain does" and I rarely look outside the box to see the rest of life. That's going to change.

- Travel At Strange Times: The Xtreme Team gave us all sorts of crazy travel adventures. Leaving a small town 6 Km from the Russian border at 2:30 in the morning to take a bus back to Riga was only one of the various modes of transportation we took at strange times.

And this summer I get paged when I'm on call, and I whine about it. At least I know where I'm going and how long it takes to get there and I have a reliable automobile!

Therefore I, M Squared T, (being of somewhat sound mind and body) declare CPE this summer to be the Xtreme Team 2003 to Carle Hospital! Hopefully, that will make the process an adventure instead of drudgery.

:: Matt 7/22/2003 09:23:00 PM :: permalink :: ::
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