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Centered: The Arizona K12 Center’s Executive Director, Dr. Kathy Wiebke, offers her education insights in this monthly column. My mom is in the hospital. As a result, I have spent a fair amount of time visiting her. As I sit in her room, I am amazed at three things.The amount of technology used in

Aug 23, 2018

Centered: The Arizona K12 Center’s Executive Director, Dr. Kathy Wiebke, offers her education insights in this monthly column.


My mom is in the hospital. As a result, I have spent a fair amount of time visiting her. As I sit in her room, I am amazed at three things.

The amount of technology used in hospitals and in the care of a patient is staggering. While I am not sure what it all does, I do know every machine, every piece of technology plays a role in her overall care and recovery. Our ability to create and innovate is astounding.

Hospital waiting rooms, or “Family Lounges,” could use a makeover. While I appreciate the Kleenex boxes on every side table, would it be too much to have water and an ice machine? Maybe a few more outlets for people to charge their phones. And, perhaps you could have a room for some privacy as people deal with issues around life and death.

Finally, and most importantly, I have spent most of my time observing how health care professionals interact. The level of teamwork on display throughout the day is astonishing. People can’t help each other enough. They anticipate the needs — not only of their patients, but also of their colleagues. Every professional seemingly has a direct or indirect role in my mom’s overall care. When I shared my observations with my mom’s nurse she revealed, “We have some of the hospital’s most critical patients. You can’t work on this floor if you aren’t a team player. Our patients depend on us all.”

What has been most remarkable for me to witness are rounds. They generally happen Monday through Thursday at 10 a.m. During rounds, every medical professional working with my mom shares and updates the entire team. Everyone from the medical students, dietician, physical therapists, nurses, and doctors gather for about five minutes and talk about my mom and her care. They discuss what’s been going on and their next steps.

In the quiet moments, as I watch my mom rest, I reflect on all of this and our education system. I wonder what our schools would be like if they had the latest technology needed to help every student learn. What if we had places for families to gather? What if our schools were structured so that the education professionals working inside of them could interact truly as a team? And, most importantly, what if there was a time in the day for all the educators to gather and discuss the students in their care to share what has been going on and next steps?

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