Humanism Seminar Series

Kathleen Simms

In our initial two humanism seminars, one particular anecdote employed by one of the patient educators to illustrate her experience within the hospital really stuck with me – she remarked upon how the communication board demonstrated the hospital’s attempt to provide a patient centred experience, and the ways in which that attempt fell short. Throughout my surgical rotation, I found myself paying close attention to these communication boards and found myself at times disturbed at how little effort was paid into the accuracy of these tools. In particular, I was horrified by how off the dates were at times – which not only could further confuse disoriented patients, but also demonstrated how out of date a lot of the board’s information might be. In one of the worst examples, I noticed that the date on the communication board was 5 days before the current date, which served as the basis and inspiration for this creative piece.

Like the patient who emphasized that these boards demonstrated how “little the hospital cared about them,” I too reflected on these boards as a metaphor for the patient experience in the hospital itself, and the ways in which health care workers fall short of actually caring for the individual and focusing on that person as both a participant and a recipient of care.


(Lack of) Communication Board, 2021