Saturday, December 22, 2012

The unsung heroes of modern medicine

We need to take a minute to remember a few things about our medical care. We see our doctors and nurses but what about everyone else?
  • If you go to the doctor for a routine appointment, there is a receptionist and nurse and a doctor at the minimum.
  • If you are sent for blood work, there is also the lab tech who draws your blood but also the people in the lab who test your blood.
  • If you get an x-ray, there is the person who takes the x-ray plus the radiologist who reads them. Plus there are the people who maintain the machines.
  • If you go for chemo, there is a receptionist, a nurse to take your vitals and draw blood, a medical oncologist to review your blood counts and recommend chemo doses, the nurse who gives you the infusion, the pharmacist who got all your meds ready.
  • If you go for radiation, there is a receptionist, a radiation tech who gives you the radiation, a radiologist who reads your latest CT scan, a nurse who checks in on your and your radiation oncologist who supervises your care.
  • If you have an operation there is an anesthesiologist, several nurses, assistant surgeon, etc.
  • If you come to the hospital in an ambulance, there will be some EMTs, trauma nurses, a social worker, maybe a respiratory therapist, and more.
  • What about residents in training, hospitalists who manage your care why you are an in patient?
  • Never mind everyone else at the hospital or medical center who make the food, clean the rooms, coordinate care, schedule procedures, (wake you up to take your vitals in the middle of the night), and more.
Modern medicine is no longer about you and your doctor and the nurse. There are many other people who work to make sure everything is running correctly and patients get the care they need.

We often forget those in the background. This article made me remember them all. We shoudl take a moment to thank them all.

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