Influence in the PMC/OB Clinical Setting

When one looks up the word influence, a list of synonyms can be found.
Control, domination, and force are near the top of the list.
Impact, repercussion, and pressure are also listed.
When it comes to serving patients in a PMC/OB clinical setting where we engage in patient decision-making, we need to be mindful of the influence we have on the young women we serve.

Could a patient perceive an advocate as controlling or forceful?

Do we have a good understanding of how we really sound to the patient “under pressure”?

Have we asked patients what our influence in their lives should look like in our clinical setting?

Have we researched all of the ways we’ve influenced the patients we serve?

Sparrow Solutions Group believes in serving patients holistically. That holistic approach includes serving them spiritually, emotionally, physically, and socially. In doing so, we recognize the opportunity to influence them in each of these areas.

How do you keep each of the listed areas free of your bias?

Free of force, control, or domination.

I recently spoke on the spiritual component of healthcare, particularly tied to ultrasound imaging, at the Heartbeat International Conference. In serving patients and providing confirmation of pregnancy through imaging, we have ample opportunity to address their spiritual needs and how the two are connected. In the session, I found that less than 25% of those serving in the PMC/OB clinical setting were aware of what the standard is for addressing the spiritual health of a patient.

How can we use a standard to influence or impact them spiritually?

There are many articles written that point to the link between the overall health of an individual and their spiritual health. One example of such a link is “The FICA Spiritual History Tool © developed by Dr. Puchalski and a group of primary care physicians to help physicians and other healthcare professionals address spiritual issues with patients.” Spiritual histories are taken as part of the regular work-up during an annual exam or new patient visit but can also be taken as part of follow-up visits as appropriate. The FICA tool serves as a guide for conversations in the clinical setting. The acronym FICA can help structure questions in taking a spiritual history by healthcare professionals.

In serving young women, men, and families, you have many opportunities to influence their lives. My recommendation is that you and your team take a look at how influence is defined by your team members. Create a message that all can use stating how your organization influences.

You might want to do a team exercise for a week or two to find out what influence means to them. I’m going to suggest one way to accomplish this, but you may have another.

Post a large poster board or sticky note on the wall with the phrase:

We are positioned to influence the young women we serve.

I believe we do this by _________________________ (choose from the words listed).

You can build your list of options for defining Influence by pulling from the on-line thesaurus. It will be interesting to see what your staff and volunteers think influence means to your organization. Have fun!

Keep us posted; it is helpful to know how others influence.


Connie Ambrecht
Founder & CEO
Sparrow Solutions Group



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