July 13th, 2007 | You're Being (Web) Paged
We will all at one point become a patient. Even as nurses, flipping to the other side of the bed can be difficult. Perhaps this is why we have earned the old wives tale of making “bad” patients. But I am often humbled, and angered, at the experiences patients endure.
The New York Times has a 14 part series on being a patient. (You may have to register to read the series, but it’s free) Part 1 was surprising to me because it focuses on the multitude of treatment options that are now offered to patients and how many patients just want to be told which one to choose. But if your treatment options are trying to balance life and death, perhaps needing an expert to tell you what would be best is all you want. Part 2 should be required reading for all health care professionals. Sometimes in our pursuit of learning we easily forget that a human being is on the other side of the lesson. And should good health care come at a higher price? Apparently it does, because Part 7 illustrates that if you have the extra cash, your doctor has the extra time. And any nurse can tell you that the hospital meal is a patient’s biggest concern.
Best of all, patients are blogging. Like Kerri, who blogs about her diabetes. There’s Jeanne who writes about her experiences and thoughts on her breast cancer and melanoma. The Impatient Patient discusses her struggles with infertility (and her new German Shepard puppy that is just way too cute). Or visit Manu who discusses his kidney transplant and other issues surrounding transplantation.