Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Negative feedback from Healthcare Services

A good friend of the family just had a heart attack not too long ago and he shared his experiences at the hospital that I found a bit discerning.

"I was resting in the emergency room, after almost all of my test results and x-rays came back negative, the emergency room physician was telling me that it was quite normal to over react after having experienced one heart attack and was apparently getting ready to pronounce me fit, the nurse came in with the results of my latest round of blood tests showing that I had indeed experienced a heart attack. The physician got up and left. The nurse said that he would come back and brief me on my condition. He didn't. They kept me overnight before transferring me to Inova Fairfax for an angioplasty. The nurse explained everything to me but again said that the doctor would brief me the following morning before being transferred on what was going to happen. I wasn't transferred until late that afternoon, but the doctor never showed. He may have been embarrassed but I wasn't upset. I thought it was laughable. Nobody's perfect.
There was one thing that did piss me off, though. The nurse that admitted me was friendly and courteous. After asking me a lot of questions, she went over to a terminal and started entering information and scheduling tests. A black nurse came in and sat near and started asking questions about me. I couldn't hear them clearly but they were not facing me but kept turning and looking at me. At one point the white nurse shook her head and said loud enough for me to hear her clearly, "He doesn't have any insurance." The black nurse questioned this and the white nurse stood up and asked loudly, "Do you have any insurance?' I responded with the names of my insurances. Instead of asking me when she was asking me all of the other questions or when it first occurred to her, she made assumptions based presumably on my race and age that determined what tests and other care I was to receive. I'm still ticked off about that. I don't think that she necessarily disliked black people. It's just that racial and other stereotypes are a common part of people's decision process."

This is the reason that we stray away from Healthcare because we are judged and the feedback that we want to receive is negative. This is what further draws us to the internet because we get the answers that we have questions to, we get the support groups and we are not discriminated because the only thing that the other person can see is their own screen and not the color of our skin. Positive feedback from the internet and self-reliance to care for our own health is where we have evolved.


At 3:55 PM, Blogger Tara Michele said...

That's a horrible story - no one should be treated that way. But to further your point about how race shouldn't factor into the quality of care, why does it matter what race the nurses are?

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Liudmila said...

I know for sure that there are many more untelled stories like this. and it is trully one of the many reasons why people do not seek medical care when it is needed.


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