Dear Medical Professionals
Dear Medical Professionals,
Last year I spent 320 days hospitalized in four different states and this year I’ve spent it half hospitalized in one place. I grew up as a frequent patient, so it’s not like the past 14 months have sent me into a medical culture shock even though I’ve spent ten more times as much time hospitalized in the past year or so than I have ever had in any given year since I was a toddler.
With that said, there’s some tips that I would like to give medical professionals. This is for doctors, physicians assistants, nurses, nurse aides/CNA/techs and caseworkers.
- I know what I’m talking about. No, I didn’t go to medical school or nursing school, but I had the most comprehensive medical education you can get – trial by fire as a patient for 26.5 years. That means I know what the hell I’m saying 99.9% of the time. The other .1% is when I’m too sick/medicated to talk.
- If I think a lab result is off, I get more worried about the fact YOU aren’t worried than the actual lab value itself.
- On a similar note, some things are always going to be off. Learn what they are.
- I have Vulcan hearing. I can hear you talking about me when you’re right outside my door and I have no problem reporting you to a supervisor. No problem at all.
- Read the damn chart! This is my biggest pet peeve when it comes to anything medical related. The covering doctor last weekend thought I was in here for a simple UTI – which it would be, if I didn’t have the extensive renal history that I have. A “simple” infection isn’t really “simple” and you can’t really throw a five day course of low dose Bactrim.
- When I say I’m allergic to latex, that means please don’t bring me any latex products, including but not limited to catheters. That was a very close call Thursday.
- Last but not least, most of the time what something means, I’m actually testing you. By asking you to explain something (the more complicated the better) tells me both what kind of doctor you are and how good of a doctor you are. I grade you by how you explain things (especially using medical jargon).
Just some things to take in consideration.