Respecting Patients


There has been a lot of press about a news story that came out recently.  Basically, during a routine colonoscopy, the patient accidentally had his phone recording, and happened to hear some very insulting remarks being made by the anesthesiologist during his procedure.  The things that were said were pretty outrageous, but unfortunately it is not too uncommon in many medical settings to hear negative comments about patients at times.  There were many things wrong with this case, including that the physician was making inappropriate comments, no one tried to protect the patient, and the physician made comments about billing for diagnoses that weren't present.

This case is a good reminder that it is our job as healthcare providers to protect our patients, and not just because you could lose money over it.  Working in the medical field day after day can be exhausting and sometimes it is easier to complain and rant then to just keep the frustrations in.  Whether it's the late patient, the difficult patient, or a drug seeker, it is not our job to judge the person who comes to us for help.  Even if you're not the initiator, you can help to be a positive influence in your workplace.

A story like this gives medical providers a bad wrap, and makes patients even more skeptical about whether we are really there to help them.  Especially if a patient is going under for a procedure, there's a good chance they are nervous about it, and the focus needs to be on "doing no harm" at all times, even when it's hard.  I hope you keep this in mind when you are out in clinic or hospitals and let's be more aware of how we are treating our patients.