Friday, December 3, 2010

Thoughts on chaperones

When I hear the word 'chaperone', I think of young ladies in the 19th century who were not allowed in the presence of a male who was not a relation without a chaperone. Or of a parent or teacher who chaperones a school dance. Or of an escort through a business office to make sure the visitors don't stray.

But what about medical chaperones? The kind who is in the room when a male doctor does an exam on a female patient. Do we need those? I don't know. If I am wide awake and able to speak up if I feel the doctor is inappropriate, I usually am comfortable without a chaperone in the room. I don't feel this as much of an issue. Also, usually if there is any kind of internal exam often there is someone else in the room to pass instruments, swabs, and other thingies.

I think I am more concerned when I am sedated and helpless and couldn't speak up. I think I assume that while I am unconscious in surgery, there are multiple people pretty much at all times and while I am in recovery, waking up, there are nurses near by and you are openly visible as they want to monitor you.

If I am lucky enough to be hospitalized, I keep my room door shut at all times. I hate it when people walk by and look into my room. Now does this mean I am taking a risk because someone in passing can't see in to make sure I am safe?

I think this isn't just a matter of patient safety but also of comfort level. I need my privacy to be respected. I prefer to be in private and am usually comfortable that way. But on the other hand, what about safety too? Where do you want to draw the line and what are your expectations? You decide.

1 comment:

nancyspoint said...

I kinda like it when there is a female in the room with me during an exam given by a male doctor. I am more uneasy when having surgery (like I did yesterday to receive my implants) because I wonder what they might be saying about me when I'm out. Pretty ridiculous to worry about that, but.... In the hospital, I like my door closed too.