This picture has sort of a “Twilight Zone” feel to it.
I’m not sure if it’s the masks, but I get the feeling the baby is about to be taken for “indoctrination”.
Rod Serling is standing just out of camera range.
Then again, maybe it’s the perfect hair and make-up on the new mother.
Lord knows that would only happen in the Twilight Zone!
Nurses, here’s a chance to take care of each other and have some fun in the process. The idea comes from POPT over at Pixel One, Purl Two. The details are at Secret Pal For Nurses. I’m already signed up. Join the fun!
You read about the responsibilities of health care providers to their patients. Safety. Efficient service. Empathy. Confidentiality. Courtesy. Continuity of care.
What you rarely see are the responsibilities of patients to health care providers.
What exactly do the patients owe us?
The majority of readers are probably health care providers, but we are all patients at one time or another.
Here’s a look from both sides of the gurney.
The health care provider must provide safe, appropriate care.
- The patient is responsible for giving a complete medical history along with an accurate medication list or bringing someone with them to the ER/appointment who does have that information.
The health care provider must provide efficient care in a timely manner.
- The patient is responsible for being at their appointments on time. They are responsible for understanding that in an emergency department, there are no guarantees as to wait times, that sicker patients will be seen first and “sicker” is defined by the triage nurse/emergency staff. Most emergency rooms have this information posted on the walls. In two languages.
The health care provider must be able to empathize with the patient’s concerns/anxiety.
- The patient is responsible for letting their health care provider know what they need – HCPs aren’t mind readers. They must also understand that there are other patients in the emergency department/office and that the time available to spend with a patient is finite.
The health care provider must protect the patient’s confidentiality.
- The patient is responsible for staying in their room/area and not asking about the condition of other patients. They are also responsible for bringing only the necessary visitors with them and not the entire clan.
The health care provider must provide for continuity of care.
- The patient is responsible for making the follow up appointments and keeping the appointments as advised. They are responsible for taking their medications as prescribed and informing their HCP of any problems/issues that will prevent that.
The health care provider must treat the patient with courtesy.
- The patient is responsible for being able to give their undivided attention to the HCP during their exam. This means no cell phone or text messaging, no chatting with friends while the HCP is trying to interview you.
Good health care is a team effort. The patient is the reason for the team. The health care provider and the patient have a responsibility to contribute to productive interactions.
When the patient doesn’t understand their role in the health care environment, it is up to us to empower them, to let them know what they can expect and what is expected of them.
Patient empowerment. Another word for patient advocacy? Sounds like a nursing function to me, but all of us are patient advocates.
I guess all the above can be filed down to one concept.