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How should MDs treat you…when you’re the PATIENT?

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Being on the opposite side of the bedside can be challenging.

When you go from being the caregiver to the one being cared for, how do you want to be treated? Better yet, how do you want to be spoken to?

It’s a real hot topic for many healthcare professionals, not just nurses. I’ve discovered over the course of my education that physicians have many of the same concerns.

When your physician needs to discuss your care, how do you want him or her to speak with you? Do you want him or her to spell everything out? Or can he or she talk to you as if you are colleagues? We all know that physicians speak to us very differently when in “work mode.”

When the physician assumes the wrong approach, it’s amazing the reactions you can get.

Those who are spoken to in “work mode” get offended that the physician might not be telling them everything. Those who choose to have everything spelled out for them get offended that the physician may be misjudging their education and knowledge level. Either way, we get offended!

If you were one of the offended, would you stop the physician and ask him or her to approach you differently? Or would you ride it out?

I think I’m a middle-of-the-road kind of nurse. I want things spelled out for me, but as they are being spelled out I think subconsciously I’d be offended (it makes no sense, but that’s how my mind works).

I think we as healthcare professionals over-analyze the playing field when it comes to wearing the “patient” shoes. Going from being in control to being controlled makes us a tad uncomfortable.

I’m willing to admit to the control theory. I hate not being in control–especially when it comes to my health!!

What about you–would you prefer to be spoken to as a layman or a colleague?

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2 Responses to How should MDs treat you…when you’re the PATIENT?

  1. RCRN

    Physician walks into exam room. Does not introduce himself (First office visit for me). Discusses my history with assistant. Tells me I’m scheduled for “procedure” in one week, but need to have a stress test first. WAIT A MINUTE!! What procedure, why a stress test, how ’bout talking to ME?? Discussed procedure, preop testing, prep, recovery time. Fast forward to follow up OV: Doc says “When do you want your hysterectomy?”. I say, “Don’t I have any options and what did the procedure reveal?”. Will see new physician this Tuesday!

  2. renee0270

    I prefer as a colleague, but if it’s all spelled out I don’t mind – I use it for an example on how to explain something to my patients/parents. I do know I’ve floored a few clinic staff by asking a technical question after one of their simplistic explanations.

    What I do hate is a condecending attitude with the simple explanation.

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