In this article an infectious diseases pharmacist discusses pride and antimicrobial stewardship.
Authored By: Timothy P. Gauthier, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCIDP
Article Posted: 8 January 2022
The Oxford Dictionary defines pride as a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired. Pride can cause people to agree, disagree, or change their mind. It can cause them to pause or move quickly. It can be a force to be reckoned with when navigating the social challenges of “appropriate” antimicrobial drug use, which is not always black and white.
Here, I will discuss five ways in which pride is important for antimicrobial stewards, to review how it is a critical factor for antimicrobial stewardship.
It is necessary to recognize pride as we try to negotiate with people from other specialties, professions, or personality types. If it is a major driving factor in the decision making process of a colleague, we cannot account for it if we do not first identify it. Antimicrobial stewards need to be aware of pride so they can look for and find it.
When antimicrobial stewards encounter pride we need to be careful not to overlook it and give it the consideration it merits. If someone is proud of something then it matters to them. We need to respect what matters to our peers as we try to work with them and influence their antibiotic prescribing practices.
Antimicrobial stewards should embrace pride. We should be proud that we are fighting an honorable battle to preserve antibiotics for future generations. We should be proud that our mission is to help other people live healthier lives. We should be proud that by bringing people together we create synergistic efforts which benefit all involved parties.
When pride is identified it can be used to form or strengthen bonds. This is not just between you and another person but through validating pride it can bring others together as well. Antimicrobial stewards should endorse pride that aligns with good antimicrobial prescribing principles.
Not everyone is outwardly proud or thinks about why they should be proud. Antimicrobial stewards should remind their colleagues that they should be proud when they are good stewards. That safe and rational use practices are worth being proud of. That learning new interventions, developing new tools, and having functional stewardship efforts should make us proud because it makes us better able to serve our patients, peers, and society as a whole.
Pride is not something that many people speak about openly, but it is very important. Antimicrobial prescribing practices are not completely based in science. Practicing medicine is a bit of an art form. As we aim to be good antimicrobial stewards we need to recognize social factors that can impact clinical decision making, and that includes pride.
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