When we go to the doctor for a well check or an illness, we expect that our concerns will be heard and taken seriously. For most in the medical profession, patient care is top priority. A friend of mine that happens to be a nurse has mentioned multiple times about the ongoing national healthcare provider shortage. There are too many patients and just not enough staff. That being said, many still understand the importance of their work and whole heartedly do the best that they can for those that they care for.
In some cases, it is unfortunate when those professionals decide that quota and clearing the board is their main priority. It is then that things fall in the cracks and patients do not receive the care or consideration they deserve.
Recently, a client and I were speaking of her recent health struggles. She happened to mention that upon receiving her diagnosis, she had many questions regarding her options of care and possible effects of the illness. For months, she was told that they would tell her more after more tests. After six months, she still had no answers and very little information aside from what she was able to find on Google. She was depressed and felt like nobody would listen or care enough to explain. She then finally began treatments, and the side effects were too much for her to bare. She constantly reached out to all of her treatment team and specialists,and they all reassured her it comes with the territory and that it would be okay. She felt powerless and didn’t want to go on. She couldn’t keep food down, lost a dangerous amount of weight and was in unbelievable pain.
She made the decision to get a second opinion knowing that it may upset her current team of doctors. Upon seeing specialists in a different network, she found that the quality of care and feeling of security was immediately better. She did a few tests with them and went through treatments. She was advised of all the available options as well as the pros and cons of each. Her doctors and advocates reached out regularly and took each concern or question she had seriously. She was given all of the information she needed and more. She was given a nutritionist and other resources to help regain her strength. She has completed her treatments and is getting better every day. Now she wonders why she didn’t do something sooner.
Every health care facility in the United States is required to hand out and visibly post the Patient’s Rights and Responsibilities. The items on these documents on not mere suggestions. Every patient has a right to be heard and to be taken seriously. Every patient has the right to speak up, get another opinion, or question the care they are being offered or given. It’s important that every single patient knows these rights and demands to be involved in her health plans.
Although the medical profession can be hit or miss, it is still the PRACTICE of medicine for a reason. We want to give a special thanks to all of those who care for their patients to the best of their ability each and every day. We appreciate all that you do.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you know anyone who went through something similar?