Everyone is selfish these days! We can forgive them. But, anyone placed with the responsibility of preserving human life should know that selflessness, sacrifice, and patience are non-negotiable qualities. They are must-haves! Any obvious, deliberate negligence should not be overlooked or justified with flimsy excuses. It is your life — guard it with all diligence!
We have had encounters with (or have heard about) doctors, nurses, other health workers, or even attendants, who treat you like “shit”! They don’t care about your feelings or health needs. Many don’t care if you die! Bitter truth is, many have died. You might have lost a friend or family member. I lost my mum. Many people have died, not only because we are living in the parts of the world with a failing (or failed) health system; but, also, because many people who work in hospitals and health facility simply lack the “heart” to be caring, considerate and patient.
There are very dangerous health workers (and person that work in health facilities) out there! Watch out! Protect your life and health. Protect your family. Look out for signs. Even if it is your doctor, leave him. Fire your doctor; go somewhere else!
In this article, as a medical doctor, as an insider, I will help you know how to detect such dangerous health worker and what to do.
First, RAISE YOUR STANDARDS
You deserve to be treated right! There are some things you should look out for. You are a human being and there are some of the things you deserve. No matter where you go for health care, you should be treated with respect. All people who care for your health should do their best to provide you with:
#1. Access: Everyone who needs medical care should be able to have it. It should not matter where you live, how much money you have, what your religion is, how much status you have in the community, the color of your skin, your political beliefs, or what health problem you have.
#2. Information: You should be told about your problem and about what the different possible treatments mean for you. The person caring for you should make sure you understand what you need to do to get better, and how to prevent the problem from happening again.
#3. Choice: You should be able to choose whether or not you are treated, and how. Also, you should be able to choose where to go for treatment.
#4. Safety: You should be given the information you need to avoid harmful side effects or results of treatment. You should also be told how to prevent dangerous health problems in the future.
#5. Respect: You should always be treated with respect and courtesy.
#6. Privacy: Things that you say to a doctor, nurse or other health care worker should not be overheard by others or repeated to anyone else. Exams should be given in a way that other people cannot see your body. If there are other people who need to be in the room, you should be told who they are and why they are there. You have the right to tell them to leave if you do not want them there.
#7. Comfort: You should be made as comfortable as possible during an exam. You should also have a good place to wait and not have to wait too long.
#8. Follow-up care: If you need more care, you should be able to go back to the same person, or be given a written record of the care you have received to take to a new doctor, nurse, or health worker.
Next, WATCH OUT for the following WARNING SIGNS!
1. Lack of Confidence in Doctor’s Ability
A patient must trust their doctor. Patients are more likely to comply with their treatment plan if they have confidence in their doctor’s ability. A patient consults with a doctor because he or she believes the doctor has the ability and capacity to solve the health problem. A patient should not routinely leave the doctor’s office feeling uneasy about decisions and recommendations which are made by the doctor. If you find yourself doing that, it may be time to fire your doctor.
2. Lack of Continuity Between Visits
Some illnesses require that you will be seeing a doctor many times to help you manage your condition. With good records in your file, your doctor should be able to recall your previous visits and assess your progress. Doctors are busy and they see many patients, so it’s not always perfect. If you constantly have to repeat yourself and if you feel that your doctor isn’t following along, it may be time to fire your doctor.
3. Questions Are Not Welcome
Patients go to doctors in search of answers. Patients want to know what’s wrong, their treatment options, and what they can expect going forward. While some doctors allow a reasonable amount of time for patient questions, other doctors are unapproachable and discourage questions. If it’s difficult to have a dialogue or meaningful conversation with your doctor about your health care, it may be time to fire your doctor.
4. Doctor doesn’t keep you informed
Does your doctor share all important test results with you? Does your doctor share why a specific test is being ordered or why a specific treatment plan has been chosen over another? For example, your doctor may give you an order for a test — or your doctor may tell you why you need to have a particular test and explain what he is trying to rule out, and then give you the order for the test. If you feel uninformed more often than not, it may be time to fire your doctor.
5. Doctor Is Cold and Unsympathetic
It’s important that you understand your doctor, but it is equally important that you be understood by your doctor. Does your doctor understand how your medical condition affects various aspects of your life? Is your doctor sympathetic about your problem or is your doctor’s attitude cold and harsh? You must feel that your doctor truly cares about your well-being, otherwise it may be time to fire your doctor.
6. Excessively Long Wait to Get an Appointment
You may encounter a long waiting period when you try to set up a doctor appointment. Doctors have very busy schedules, especially specialists and surgeons. As the joke goes – I wouldn’t want to go to a doctor who will see you the next day. A busy doctor is often a popular doctor with a great reputation. However, by waiting too long for an appointment, you may be compromising your health. If the wait seems unreasonable, find another doctor.
7. Doctor Always in a Hurry
Do you have your doctor’s full attention during your appointments, or do you sense that your doctor’s mind is distracted by other matters unrelated to you? Do you feel that you’re being hurried? Has your doctor ever gone out of the room before you were able to ask all of your questions? If you are left feeling that not enough time is devoted to you during your appointments, it may be time to fire your doctor.
8. Inconvenient Location
It can be stressful and inconvenient to have to drive a long distance to see your doctor, especially if you have mobility problems. Some patients who live in rural areas have fewer options, but convenience is a factor to be considered. Where will the doctor send you for blood tests, x-rays, and other tests? What are your doctor’s hospital affiliations? Be sure your situation is either convenient or agreeable to you, otherwise you may want to find another doctor.
9. Doctor Is Not Respectful
Is your doctor harsh when speaking to you? Does your doctor consider your fears and apprehension when making decisions, or are your feelings disregarded? Does your doctor respect that your time is as important as their own, or does your doctor leave you languishing in the waiting room for unreasonably long periods of time? Do you feel respected as a person by your doctor? If not, it may be time to fire your doctor.
Follow these instructions carefully…and you will be sure to be safe-guarding your health from dangerous or inadequate health services.
SOURCES and REFERENCES:
1. Image credit: The Wall Street Journal
2. Hesperian Health Guides
3. About Health