Well, sports fans, we have just finished the baseball season and are in the peak of football and ice hockey season. For any team to be successful there must be communication and recognition for all players who make up the TEAM. We have recently heard that some baseball teams are tearing down, returning to the basics and starting over with a new vision and no STARS. Have you read the book or seen the movie “Moneyball?” The premise is that individuals rise above their own weakness/obstacle and find strength to rise above them and succeed as a TEAM. The team was not made up of STARS; in fact most of the players were perceived by other teams to be non or poor achievers, but they as a TEAM were successful! I mention this because when you are undergoing fertility treatment, you start questioning yourself, your past decisions, and “the obstacles;” you can only see failure depending on how long you have been pursuing this Goal.
If we use the analogy of a team sport, the doctor is the Head Coach it is his/her responsibility to put the game plan together and supervise all the Assistant Coaches, communicating the specific needs for this Game (individual cycle.) The Assistant Coaches, medical staff (nurses, medical assistants, ultra-sonographers,) take the game plan, begin the training process, order the necessary tests, perform and monitor data, and return the data to the Head Coach. Communication is necessary between all players; this is an ongoing process, of tweaking this play or that player, developing a plan that overrides known and potential obstacles; blocked tubes, low sperm count. The Quarterback (embryology) takes the Ball (eggs and sperm) and nurtures the resulting embryos, reading their potential, and calling the play for optimal results. At exactly the right time he passes the Ball (embryos) to the Head Coach (doctor) and Receiver (you) for the hoped for Touch down (pregnancy.)
Always remember that you are not just a passive Receiver; you are a part of the TEAM and need to be involved in the game plan. You need to keep scheduled appointments, follow up on obtaining records that have been have requested, complete the pre-screening tests in a timely manner, and inform us of changes in your insurance coverage. This is very important at this time of year and in the early months of the next year. Gather your support team together, family, friends, and when necessary co-workers. Realize that this process is a series of Scrimmages you need to prepare for. Major sports teams need to take time off at intervals to gather their strength and prepare to do battle again. It increases their stamina and prevents burnout. We would like to tell you that you will only have victories but even the most successful TEAMS need to step back and regroup.
Whether participating in a team sport or running a marathon there are a number of people who work behind the scenes and don’t get the glory or recognition at that winning moment but are in every play up to the Goal. The insurance department, billing department, and the receptionists work very hard to provide timely information and decrease stress when possible. Imagine the chaos if your treatment was started, and you had no insurance authorization or coverage. Or you came to have your treatment monitoring and the offices were closed or no appointment was scheduled. These departments are the Referees; they know the rules of the game and keep the TEAM on course.
The best TEAMS are only as strong as their weakest link; let’s all work together for a TOUCH DOWN!
If you do not follow sports, another analogy eloquently is made: “It takes a Village.”
Mrs. Susan Beckman has been the Clinical Nurse Manager, Donor Coordinator and Study Coordinator at InVia Fertility Specialists for the past six years. Sue came to InVia Fertility with more than 30 years of nursing experience in Stroke Rehabilitation, General Medicine /Surgical, Cardiology and Maternal/Child nursing. The last 23 years of her career have been focused on women’s health. She was a staff nurse on a busy Maternity Unit, with a focus on high-risk labor and delivery, patient & staff education/program development, as progressed through the clinical ladders to become the Clinical Nurse Manager. Sue find the challenges of working with couples through the many phases of their reproductive life to be extremely rewarding as it draws on the skills that she has personally and professionally developed over the course of her career.