Healthcare Issues, Be Persistent with Your Doctor

Doctors are Human Beings Just Like their Patients

Be an informed patient, know your rights, feel free to question your doctor and communicate
Be an informed patient, know your rights, feel free to question your doctor and communicate

Never Allow a Doctor to Shove You to the Side

Do you consider your Primary Physician a god?

I started my nursing career in the mid 1960s. Things have sure changed, including attitudes about doctors. Back in the 1960s, I remember that the instructors trained the nurses to treat the doctors like gods.

The nurse always got up while very busy and gave them their chair. The nurse was at the disposal of the doctor. The nurse never, ever questioned the doctor when he wrote an order or told the nurse to do something. If the doctor told the nurse to do something and it was the wrong thing to do, guess whom the doctor blamed for the mistake. It was not the doctor.

Doctors and Nurses Make Mistakes Too

Nurses are the eyes and ears for the doctor. They know the patient better then the doctor knows their patient. Nurses stand alert to catch medical errors and most all nurses now pose questions to the doctor about medication and treatment orders he/she wrote.

If the doctor's orders do not sound right, the nurse is within her rights to refuse to administer a medication until he or she consults the doctor and questions the doctor. Years ago, a nurse or patient never thought about questioning a doctor.

Some nurses and laypersons still feel this way about doctors. They believe that the doctor is never wrong. What I discovered many years ago was that doctors are a person like any other person, except for the education they received. Doctors put their pants on just like everyone else. They make mistakes.

Doctors have more knowledge and experience, however; they are no better than I am. As a new nurse, I came to the obvious conclusion; doctors are not gods, by any means. No one should put a doctor on a pedestal as some people still manage to do.

Take Control of your Own Health

People must take control of their own health. No one will take full control of personal health issues except for the patient. It is the patient's responsibility to question the doctor about medications, drug side effects, signs and symptoms of medications, illnesses and disease processes.

It is the patient's responsibility to tell the doctor what is bothering them. Never permit the doctor to brush off legitimate concerns. It is the responsibility of the doctor to follow through on any concerns the patient presents.

The physician is responsible for diagnosing illnesses and to talk with the patient about what is troubling them. The patient should never allow the doctor to tell them they are imagining the concerns and the concerns are all in their head.

I have heard many a doctor say this to patients, because they were in a hurry and did not want to take the time they should with the patient, or maybe the doctor did not know the answer, so brushed the question off.

All in the Mind

In the 1980s, I had some symptoms, and even though I was a nurse, I did not have a clue what was wrong with me. Some days I hurt all over with stabbing like pains. One day my right ankle has intermittent stabbing pain. Tomorrow, this ankle pain will likely go away.

The next day pain may appear in my neck. This scattered unpredictable pain was enough for me to have to use an over the counter pain relief. I talked about this with my physician, and he wrote me off, as though I was a hypochondriac.

He ordered a stronger pain medication to take when the pain got too intense. In other words, my doctor did not have a clue what was wrong with me, so just ordered a pain pill to mask the discomfort. When I could not stand the pain anymore, after almost a year, I changed doctors and saw a holistic M.D.

This new doctor did some blood work and said I had symptoms of Fibromyalgia. This doctor explained that he would know more when the blood work came back.

At these times I was not a nurse, I was like any other person without a medical background. I had heard very little about Fibromyalgia, so I had to educate myself. Now days I have found that when a doctor cannot give the patient a definitive diagnosis, they dismiss the patient's concerns.

This doctor did some tests to confirm his diagnosis was correct. He was right and told me I did not need pain pills, and cared for the fibromyalgia nutritionally. For the first time in months, I was feeling better. I have had barely any pain or problems since I switched my diet. This was twenty years ago.

The bottom line is if the patient is not getting answers from the doctor, perhaps it is time to find a new doctor who will communicate. Find a doctor that declares he or she will put your needs foremost.

Times have Changed

In these days it is now the responsibility of everyone to take control of his or her own health. If the patient does not do this no one else will, including the doctor. A form of learning comes along with this control. Read and find out as much as you can about the diagnosis, your doctor has given. Become informed and take control of your health.

The ideal patient researches their diagnoses and medications, work with their doctor and keeps communication lines open with their doctor. The ideal patient knows what the side effects are of each medication they are taking. It is all right for the patient to disagree with the doctor if they feel strong enough about an issue.

If I was Busy, No Doctor Got My Chair

As my career years passed, I learned as a nurse, I was important and refused to give my chair up for any doctor, if I was, busy and in the middle of time sensitive work.

If a patient's doctor treated me with ultimate respect and was nice, I would offer my chair for him or her. This kind of doctor generally recognized my job as important and refused to interfere with what I was doing.

It is impossible for the doctor to know everything. The doctor learns everyday just as the layperson. The bottom line is every person must take control of his or her own health, be an informed patient, communicate with the doctor and ask questions.

References

Personal Experience

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