46 Hours Of THON

46 Hours Of THON

This past week I experienced my second THON, and just like last year, it was life-changing.

12
views

This past week I experienced my second THON. Just like last year, it was life-changing. Instead of joining a committee like last year, I was a THON chair for my sorority, Delta Zeta. This allowed me to devote my time to stand with my sisters and focus on fundraising for them. I was able to stand with them for 40 of the 46 hours. Our theme this year was "Dance like its the 90s," and I sure did! Cancer cannot touch this! Although I can't really feel like my legs today or shout at the top of my lungs, it was worth it all for the kids.

The pain I experienced was honestly terrible. I could barely stand with 6 hours left and didn't think I was going to make it, but with everyone by my side, I felt invincible. I pushed past my knees buckling, my feet burning, my legs uncontrollably swelling, all for the kids. The pain I was feeling is nothing compared to the suffering these kids endure on a day to day basis. They are my motivation today and every day. I reminded myself why I was there and kept on pushing through.

I hit many lows during those 40 hours, but thanks to Queen and my best friends, I got through. When times were tough and the pain was at its worst, I put my headphones in and put "Don't Stop Me Now" on repeat. I danced like a mad woman and looked around the BJC at the crowd. We were all dancing and still going strong. No pain or lows could ever stop me now.

I screamed at the top of my lungs for every song that was played, even if it was the fifth time "1985" was on. I even had an interview today that I had to do with absolutely no voice, but did I care? No. Because it was all for the kids. I wouldn't have wanted to sing and dance with anyone else but my best friends. I wish I could replay this weekend over and over again. It was the best time ever, especially when Mason Ramsey appeared on stage and yodeled as if his life depended on it.

Between playing heads up with the boys in Sigma Pi to eating chicken baskets at 3 A.M., I wouldn't change a thing. I am so happy I decided to stay for those 40 hours and that I chose to be with DZ the entire time. I could not picture my THON experience any other way than that. This school continues to amaze me and make me proud to be a Penn Stater. I wish everyone could experience the charisma and energy this school brings to the BJC for an amazing cause.

Thank you Penn State for giving me such a valuable experience and the best weekend of my life ever. We raised 10.6 million all for the kids!

Popular Right Now

When Patient Care Is Second To Profit, Quality Suffers As Regulations Fill The Gap

The most effective health care system in the world is crippling under the weight of ever-increasing regulation and a disconnect between delivery and management; the health of our patients are at stake and their lives are certainly worth fighting for.

1526
views

The modern U.S. health care system is highly effective and efficient at providing emergency medical care beyond that of any other country in the history of the world. However, the quality with which we provide some of the most basic of services has continued to decline over the past three decades. Simply put, the U.S. health care system has morphed into being more focused on productivity and technological advancement rather than quality patient care and cost containment. Although a capitalistic structure for macroeconomic business models is undoubtedly the most effective method to generate revenue with the most consistent quality of product (as exemplified by the U.S. economy since the industrial revolution), it appears to be largely ineffective when applied to health care where the service provided directly affects human lives. This conceptual dichotomy stems from a variety of aspects that collectively shape our perceptions of what's infecting the business of health care; each of which could be discussed ad nauseam. However, two that I'd like to touch on are that of physician involvement in the management of healthcare and the shock-wave of effects that were caused by the Medicare fee schedule.

U.S. healthcare is a $3.3 trillion industry that serves to provide 17.9% of the GDP. Integral to the delivery of that service are, undoubtedly, physicians and nurses as they are involved in its implementation on a daily basis. Why then, are the most experienced personnel in the industry almost entirely absent from the management of that system? Granted, physicians commonly go on to become hospital presidents, Chief Medical Officers, and into governmental positions, but I would argue that they should also be intricately involved in the more executive and financial positions within their individual organizations. Doing so would, not only, streamline health care delivery (as those who are providing the service are determining where resources should be allocated) but would also increase the level of trust that other health care workers have in management. In fact, a 2011 survey revealed that 56% of physicians on hospital staffs didn't trust the administration as partners because of a lack of physician leadership. Additionally, in what seems to be an exponential increase in the rate of physician burnout, even this issue may be combated due to the executive doctor now having a vested interest and influence in the growth of his or her organization.

There are a few inherent problems with doing this, however. While physicians and nurses are the primary purveyors of health care, they often-times lack the necessary business skills to effectively manage a company or organization. Educational training programs that equip physicians to fill these roles are practically non-existent, with the exception of the Alliance for Physician Leadership at UT Southwestern. This need must then be met by alternative means such as earning a non-health care MBA or simply by fostering one's own managerial skills through acquiring non-clinical experience and the ever-important aspect of networking.

In order to expound on the impacts of the Medicare fee schedule (as it pertains to the decline in the quality of healthcare), a bit of a historical backdrop is necessary. Originally devised in 1985 by Harvard Economist, William Hsiao, was commissioned by the U.S. government to measure the exact amount of work involved in each of the tasks a doctor performs. He defined work as a function of time spent, mental effort and judgement, technical skill, physical effort and stress. Overheads in training costs were also factored in. The team he assembled interviewed and surveyed physicians from approximately 24 different specialties, analyzing everything involved from 45 minutes of psychotherapy for a patient with panic attacks to a hysterectomy for a woman with cervical cancer. They determined that the hysterectomy takes 4.99 times as much work as the psychotherapy patient and used this method to evaluate thousands of other services. A relative value for everything doctors do was quantified. Congress then recommend a multiplier to convert the values into dollars and the new fee schedule was signed into law.

The fee schedule dictates which services a physician renders and governs a higher payout for more complex services than other [lesser] services. In 1992, Medicare began paying doctors accordingly and private insurance soon followed these same guidelines. Implemented as a top-down form of governance, the fee schedule is one of the primary reasons why our healthcare system has become so heavily reliant on output rather than patient care. By generating a standard that converts patient conditions to dollar signs, the focus was able to shift from patient care to generating revenue. Therefore, when the insurance companies adopted this schedule as a guideline for negotiations with physicians and hospitals, it effectively established all of health care as a business transaction instead of a service provided.

To understand what role government should play in our health care system and what the "end goal" should be, we must first understand what are the truths that we hold as self-evident and what it means for our rights to include that of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." Doctor Robert Sade, in his paper on the interactions between politics and morality with that of medicine, explained that "The concept of medical care as the patient's right is immoral because it denies the most fundamental of all rights, that of a man to his own life and the freedom of action to support it. Medical care is neither a right nor a privilege: it is a service that is provided by doctors and others to people who wish to purchase it." For a governing body to unilaterally dictate health care policy is to exalt their own reasoning and logic over that of the millions of individual minds associated with health care; be it physicians, patients, nurses, or policyholders. If we claim to desire a higher quality of patient-doctor relationships then we must keep the power of decision in the hands of those who are offering and consuming the service, namely, the doctor, nurse, and citizen.

Cover Image Credit:

RawPixel

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

It Was Better When I Didn't Know My Purpose And Was Unaware Of Dance Marathon At FSU

It was easier when I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

119
views

Do you know how we all wanted to be something when we grew up? Whether you wanted to be a pop star, veterinarian, or a doctor, you knew what you wanted to do. Well, I never had that feeling until recently. Here is a question for you though. How many of you want to pursue the profession that was your dream when you were 5 years old? If we are being honest with ourselves, we have all most likely changed our minds.

About one year ago, my mom came home and told me, "I could really see you working at Shands Children's Hospital." That left me surprised. Up until then, I had wanted to either be an Athletic Trainer or a Chiropractor. Never once did I think I had the emotional stability to work somewhere like Shands. From that day forward, it was in the back of my head. Was this really what I wanted to do? Just a couple of weeks before, I had attended Dance Marathon at FSU. The most amazing experience of my life. I had/have such a passion for helping kids.

The most impactful miracle child in my life is Marshal Fisher. Marshal had to have his leg amputated due to osteosarcoma in his right leg. Marshal made the brave decision to have the procedure done because he wanted to live his life and do what he wanted to do. Because of Marshal and his legacy, I want to be the one that helps someone chase crabs on the beach.

So here I am now, applying for the Athletic Training program at FSU in hopes of going to Physical Therapy school so that I can be around the people that I have the most passion for. Because that is my purpose. And I am completely terrified? I spent so much time going back and forth from what I wanted to do with my life that I was never really motivated because I knew I had time. Well, I am almost halfway through college, and I am so scared that obstacles will get in the way of making my dreams a reality.

But was it really better when I did not know my purpose? In the long run, no. The time I have spent since knowing my purpose has been the greatest time. I capture moments more. Whenever I meet a miracle family, I internalize the fond memory of it because those are the moments that I will hold close to my heart forever. So no, it is better to know your purpose so you can make a difference now.

Related Content

Facebook Comments