If pigs could fly

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Gary Tetz
Gary Tetz

Forget all the bad news of late. It doesn't matter. Not now that pig bladder has been found to hold healing promise for diabetic foot ulcers.

Seriously, it's absolutely true. I read about it in a noted long-term care journal named McKnight's. I won't delve too deeply into how it all works, because it gets kind of sciencey and complicated. But in super-dumbed-down layman's terms, it simply requires creating an “extracellular matrix”—and, I hope, getting the informed consent of the pig. 

I would like very much to meet the bold researcher who not only had the idea, but the willingness to say it out loud. I'm a timid Canadian, and sometimes it requires significant bravery and a shot of Fireball even to speak. So I can't imagine the sort of courage required to say, “Maybe we should try pig bladder.”

Beyond explaining what “extracellular matrix” means, that intrepid scientist could teach us a lot. There are simply times in life and long-term care when we must each have the courage of our convictions, and the alacrity to champion an unlikely cause or theory.

Who knows what similar wacky, laughter-inducing ideas could solve the challenges in our profession? Having trouble with your QAPI process? Maybe you should try some pig bladder. Feeling squeezed by narrowing networks? Maybe a little pig bladder would help. Staffing shortage? Pig bladder. Low census? Definitely more pig bladder. It's like cow bell — you can never have too much.

Obviously, I'm not speaking literally, because that would be silly, not to mention messy and unpleasant. But the point is that for every challenge, there's a ludicrous-sounding solution waiting to be embraced. So why not be the “pig bladder” person in your organization, willing to blurt out any ridiculous idea for the good of the cause?

And finally, to all you pigs out there, listen to me very carefully. I realize you don't think you can fly. But from what I've been reading lately, now might be a good time to learn.

Things I Think is written by Gary Tetz, a national Silver Medalist and regional Gold Medal winner in the Association of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) awards program. He has amused, informed and sometimes befuddled long-term care readers worldwide since his debut with the former SNALF.com at the end of a previous century. He is a multimedia consultant for Consonus Healthcare Services in Portland, OR.


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Things I Think

Things I Think is written by longtime industry columnist Gary Tetz, who resides in Portland, OR. Since his debut with SNALF.com at the end of a previous century, he has continued to amuse, inform and sometimes befuddle long-term care readers worldwide.