[Semi-Interactive Podcast] 21, Healthcare

Today’s podcast about healthcare was the first in a planned series that bella and I will do. bella’s broadcasts typically involve hir crafting while talking with the audience, and sometimes the “witch-hut on the edge of town” gets into lively discussions, so joining a call while sie crafts and I search for the things we talk about to show on the VOD is a good dynamic that we’re planning to do on a weekly basis.

We covered some excellent ground about healthcare in this episode.

One point I feel especially glad that we were able to cover was that healthcare organizations – hospitals, clinics, and more – aren’t particularly terrible compared to any other organization I’ve worked in. Most companies are under-funded in technology, it’s just that when you go to a supermarket or another company, insufficient, convoluted, and challenging software programs don’t affect your healthcare. I imagine there are some healthcare providers with more updated systems, but from my four years of healthcare IT experience, and bella’s healthcare experience, I think this theory helps to explain why healthcare – especially in the US – is so convoluted.

It’s easier to maintain a failing system than budget upgrades or replacements.

My experiences through the American Healthcare System have been particularly uncommon, but through my experiences that I’ve documented as thoroughly as I could over the years, I’ve come to realize many aspects about myself and others. My pain tolerance has increased to a degree to which I can endure many mild things that might otherwise have stopped me before. Getting frustrated over minor things doesn’t phase me as much now, and I’m able to navigate my way through complex emotional problems, even if I’m not the most interested in dealing with overly challenging problems.

My experiences with healthcare IT emergencies are a good example of this.

You first have to determine if this issue is truly an emergency. Is this a patient care issue? More broadly speaking, is this something affecting reputation, branding, or the ability to do things? Being late, technical mishaps, and other problems aren’t critical, but the more you can iron out the better. If we’ve then determined that the problem is something that we need to fix quickly, then we fix it. We follow the processes, and if there are problems in the process, then we work through the emergency situation first, then address process improvement later. This is all fairly sterile, as it should be. With sufficient methods for troubleshooting computers, I can troubleshoot myriad other computer and non-computer issues.

What I can’t troubleshoot are deeply tragic, highly emotional issues.

These are better suited for people that are – as I’ve noted during the podcast and elsewhere – professionals in medical departments. I feel like people like myself, either as broadcasters of mental or physical health topics, or if we’re friends, work best as instigators for going in the right direction. We might talk about, say, your physical health issues, and then I might help come up with a plan. If your experiences are similar to mine, you might even use my frameworks when you talk to a doctor. But I can’t write you a prescription for medication. With how personal broadcasts can be, where we as broadcasters talk directly with audiences, there are temptations to accidentally or purposefully become stand-ins for doctors.

This is where I’m starting to notice a degree of kayfabe in myself.

It’s not kayfabe in the sense that on the mic I’m not Zombiepaper, but I’m a different version of Zombiepaper – maybe more professional or more self-aware? Short of censoring parts of the podcast, what we say stays. When we talked today about topics that might have been misconstrued, I proactively clarified to avoid any context becoming lost. Actions like this of over-clarification are performances that we don’t need to do in non-broadcast environments. I can speak academically about these topics in private with many people, one-on-one, but as soon as we shift to one/two-to-many, that’s when some degree of shifting perspective akin to kayfabe kicks in.

I note that because it’s an interesting attitude change for me.

I believe there are many areas of broadcasting that we all need to practice on our way to becoming, maybe, as successful as we want. bella broadcasts to make products for hir store, and broadcasting that process is an excellent way to show the creation process, as we talked about during the Materialism podcast. Hir broadcasts are one of my favorite on Twitch, so joining hir for conversations like this is great because we can drum up more interest in what sie is working on and have lively discussions.

Here’s some context about how I prepare for podcasts, in general.

The most important thing is getting passionate about a topic. For bella and I, we are passionate about many topics, so conversing is easy. If the podcast guests/hosts[g’hosts] aren’t passionate, then the podcasts tend to be boring and short. With a topic like healthcare, we’re so invested in the topic that we forgot many aspects that I want to do going forward, like taking breaks every two hours. After we pick the topic, what I’m trying to do is consider if the podcast is structured or loose. Structured podcasts like the Materialism podcast have a document that I refer to so we keep notes about what we want to discuss. Looser podcasts like today’s are us bouncing ideas off each other.

Even with looser podcasts, I do like to talk about scopes.

bella was cool with me talking at length about my own healthcare, and for others, we might talk about what we do and don’t feel comfortable talking about. This is also the time to do specific research about topics we might want to cover so we can speak intelligently about those topics/sub-topics. With all that said, I think today’s podcast went well because we had strong energy all the way through. We conveyed good information. We had fun!

I want to do more podcasts like this!

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: Writing about podcasting is a good way to assess how the podcast went, in the moment, so that when I think about how this podcast slots into the other podcast episodes, I can both have today’s experience along with the context of future experiences.
Related: Semi-Interactive Podcast essays, Sober Living essays, and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: Template
Written On: 2021 November 12 [11:20pm to 11:54pm]
Last Edited: 2021 November 12 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]


My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.