January 4th, 2021 — A veritable cornucopia of misunderstandings, stray needles, and boundary issues.
January 26th, 2021 — Boundaries and empathy don’t have to be in an either/or opposition to each other; creatively making safety (even out of bad situations) allows them to be both/and.
January 30th, 2021 — One of the things you learn as a community acupuncturist is what an amazingly wide range of relationships people have to their bodies, their emotions, and to acupuncture itself. Here we have a perceived adverse event that apparently ended a patient’s relationship with acupuncture, and an objectively verified adverse event requiring medical attention that *didn’t*.
April 7th, 2021 — Psycho-emotional triggers aren’t listed in the Clean Needle Technique Manual as an adverse event related to acupuncture, but according to our AERD data, they’re more common than fainting (which is listed).
March 12th, 2021 — Patients and potential patients in altered states represent an interesting category of interactions for community acupuncturists. Altered states are sometimes, but not always, a reason why it might not be safe to offer a treatment to that person at that time.
April 12th, 2021 — There’s always a dynamic tension between safety and access. You can’t treat someone if you can’t treat them *safely* -- which means unfortunately you can’t treat everyone. Even though, as a community acupuncturist, you want to treat everyone.
May 21st, 2021 — Approaching safety issues from a structural and a trauma-informed perspective requires significantly more effort and more communication than the approach of “something scary happened, let’s find somebody to blame!”
May 21st, 2021 — A drama in six episodes about boundaries, communication, organization and self care.
May 22nd, 2021 — Or, the 20/20 hindsight version. This incident clearly demonstrates the dynamic tension between safety and access, and I kind of hate that.
November 15th, 2021 — So many safety issues involve figuring out where the line is, why it’s in that particular place and not somewhere else, and what to do when somebody crosses it.
January 21st, 2022 — Mercury retrograde indicates a period of “review and reflection”, particularly in relationship to challenges that have come up in the past. We seem to be having a review of past safety incidents -- not all safety incidents, just the epic ones!
March 21st, 2023 — This particular incident is pretty irresistible as a teachable moment because nowhere in our materials on trauma informed care do we really dig into how bureaucracy can function as a trauma trigger, especially for low income people, and I bet there are a lot of people who don’t really understand how that works.
March 21st, 2023 — As passionate as I am about trauma informed care, it was definitely not my goal to put on a demonstration of the need for it.
March 21st, 2023 — In general, when somebody gets triggered by bureaucracy the way I did, the best case scenario for what happens next is NOTHING. The person gets overwhelmed and flees the scene, and that’s all. Maybe they pull themselves together to try again another day. It’s more likely, though, that what follows is punitive consequences in some form or another, from the bureaucracy itself.
May 22nd, 2023 — Legally, we’re responsible for managing adverse events in our practices, not just avoiding mistakes. Lots of acupuncturists are confused about that. Insisting that safety incidents only happen as a result of bad practitioners (see also, “undertrained physical therapists”) does everybody a disservice.