Monday, October 7, 2013

Professionalism expected

No matter why we end up in a medical facility we expect professionalism in return as we bare our bodies and medical secrets to receive care. We expect zipped lips and snicker free countenances.

I know I have been a moron at times when really stressed and at an appointment. I am sure there have been those who struggle for a straight face in front of me. And then I hope they store those moments in the memories of ridiculous patients and not share them....

I also know my doctors talk about me. This I do not mind. I like it when my doctors compare notes on me because my ailments are overlapping and due to some of them, and toss in a few medical allergies and sensitivities, I am not eligible for other treatments and doctors are forced to be creative in my care at times.

However at all times, I expect professionalism. I expect to be treated as a human being with respect as any other human being.

Then I hear these stories. A study done on hospitalists in Chicago showing unprofessional behavior and 2/3s were guilty of it. Did you know that every time a doctor orders a test as urgent when it isn't, that is unprofessional? Everyone needs to wait their turn except when it is truly urgent. This is a note to all who have benefited from jumping line.... If all tests were urgent, none would be.

The unprofessional behaviors fell into four larger categories, which accounted for 76% of survey variance:
  • Making fun of others
  • Learning environment (for example, texting during conferences or not correcting a patient who mistakes a student for a doctor)
  • Workload management (for example, celebrating a blocked admission or coming to work sick)
  • Time pressure (for example, backing up a resident's note without being confident about the content of the documentation)
We can say 'hmpf that didn't happen to me'.... 'I am not a hospitalist I don't need to worry'.

But what if it happened to you, they made fun of you? What about this story of this woman who worked at the hospital and went in for surgery. Look what happened to her while she was sedated.
They painted a mustache on her and added  yellow tears down her face. If that was me, I would actually file a lawsuit. Something I have never done before.

Professionalism is one of the most important things we expect from our doctors. Its right up there with a good bedside manner and a knowledge of your ailments.

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