Friday, July 30, 2010

I Need Your Help

Hi all, a quick question for all of ya.

Prompt: Medical interviewer from hell

Could you please tell me about a few bad experiences you've had with health care workers (e.g. nurses, doctors, etc)? Is there anything you wished that health care workers would do/address?

Please leave your answers as a comment to this post (or you may email me). Your answer need not be very personal/specific. Anonymous comments are encouraged.


P.S. I'm gathering bad experiences from people to give to a dinner speaker of an event I'm organizing. Hopefully, this will help med students become better and more empathic when interacting with any and all patients.


Anonymous said...

I can list several:

When my brother once received his inoculations he was very upset (he was very young) and crying. He was making it difficult for the nurse, so when she finally did give the shot she launched the needle into his arm like it was a dart, let it hang there for a second, and THEN gave him the shot. I know she was pissed at my brother, but it was still a sadistic thing to do.

I had a pretty good primary care physician when I was a teen. However, when I told her about my depression she just prescribed a med and that was it. No referral to a psychologist, etc. I realize now that that wasn't the right way to go.

I told you about my experience with my primary care physician when I was a young teen, so feel free to use that, anonymously.

I really wish something could be done about wait times (doesn't everybody?), but I don't know that health care workers really have control over that. In all I'm actually happy with the treatment I've received all throughout my life. I've had some pretty good doctors, nurses and NP's look after me.

Jake said...

Can't say that I've had much experience. Generally I've been healthy. Since I was about 8 I've always had several sore throats a year, mostly during the fall and winter. Only until my doctor retired and I went to another did he suggest that I finally have my tonsils removed - after the first appointment, that is.

Absolutely ridiculous that I went for 10 years with the same problem, wasted much money on it and finally did someone make a better decision. I can't say that it has solved the problem entirely, although made it much better.

I also find it ridiculous how expensive it is when I go to the big city doctors. I was living in a bigger city for a while and sought out an annual exam, the appointment cost me $300, when it only would have cost about $120 in my hometown. Luckily, insurance paid for it.

Don't get me started on health insurance and socialized medicine and all, because that isn't what you asked for, but the drastic price difference can't be justifiable.

Anonymous said...

After miscarriage #3, multiple tests ( simple blood work to genetic testing to hystosalpingogram -spelled wrong i know) all turned out normal, no identifiable cause for the miscarriages. The Infertility Specialist said what amounted to "the brain a powerful organ and controls our body in ways not understood", what I heard was, "I subconsciously caused my miscarriages". Good news is pregnancy #4 was successful and that baby is in college and wants to become a doctor herself.

naturgesetz said...

I've been trying to think of bad experiences, and so far al I've been able to come up with is having to wait up to an hour beyond the scheduled appointment time before the former primary care physician was free. He was a good doctor and had a pleasant manner, but I never understood why he couldn't schedule his patients more realistically.

Just within the past couple of weeks I've read of a new system some doctors are beginning to use. It involves doing most things — exams and acute care office visits — on a walk-in basis. Apparently it works. The fear doctors seem to have is that they will have a lot of "down time," but it doesn't happen. After all, people who call for an appointment are usually ready to be seen, so they're just as happy, if not more so, to be told, "Come on in," as to be told, "The doctor will see you at 3:45 on Wednesday of the week after next."

Word verification: verse :) !!!

Anonymous said...

A lot of women are treated as though any thing that's wrong with them, it HAS to all be in their heads, if the cause of whats wrong with them isn't easily diagnosed. Which is completely demoralizing and made me stop going to doctors. When i finally had a diagnosis I went back to the doctor that said my symptoms were all in my head, and showed him the paper work from Mayo Clinic. Did i receive an appology? Nope! What he said is that they can be wrong, and he stood by his answer!

I have heard this complaint from many women. And this wasnt the first time it happened to me either.

Biki said...

I've heard many horror stories about trans people being treated worse than animals. Often being denied treatment. Here is a recent occurance for you to read....

Anonymous said...

Staff needs to communicate with patients that are alone in exam rooms when there are delays.

After showing up to an appt on time, actually early to do their paperwork. waited 30min in waiting room after my scheduled appt, then shown to exam room where I waited another 45 minutes before seeing the dr. in this entire time NOT ONE person came by to check on me or advise me of what was going on. When I spoke with the dr. about this he though I was out of line. Here he is over an hour late to a scheduled appt and he thinks I am out of line mentioning that fact .....

Seth said...

I don't remember much but I do recall that Mom was once taken to the emergency room, where she was placed on a gurney laying in THE HALLWAY for 2 hours, never seen by any doctor or even a nurse except the original triage, and at which point she got up and left (and they still send her collections for the bill). Gah!!

Oh, and nothing huge, but the nurse when I go to my doctor, has the worst manners ever.

Scene: (me seated in exam room)

Nurse comes in to take vitals:

Curt "Hello"

I meekly and obediently roll up my sleeve for bp, she takes my pulse and looks blankly at me until I open my mouth for the thermometer, then gets up and walks out and closes the door.

That's it, one word between us.


Later she comes in and says "ready?" when she comes back in to draw blood. Not nasty just impersonal question. Then she insists she is going to try for a stick in my arm, despite me telling her to just go for a butterfly needle on the hand. (I have notoriusly difficult veins). After 3 attempts, I again suggest she try the butterfly in the hand. (which promptly works)

Now, I don't mind being poked and prodded at all, they can have multiple trys if it makes them happy in their perverse phleboto-sadistic ways. LOL.

But still... a little bit of warmth or caring, no?


Seth said...

Oh, and if you go back several months in my blog (I'll try and find the link to the post) I describe a visit to a neurologist (I think) - and the fact he did absolutely nothing except 1 or 2 basic reflext tests and then promptly looked at me and said "well, I have nothing. I don't know".