I heard an interview on Good Morning America with talk show host Glen Beck. Glen had gone into the hospital for outpatient surgery and it was followed by complications that became very serious. During the interview he was outraged by the care he received in the hospital. It became so bad while he was in the hospital that he wanted to die.
The message is how do we put the “care” back in “healthcare”. We have a nursing shortage in this country and the trickle down effect is more patients and fewer nurses. I recently spoke with a woman who was wait listed for nursing school. It wasn’t about her qualifications, but they didn’t have enough instructors to teach, limiting the number of students they could accept in the program.
Having a relationship with you healthcare provider is essential. It’s easier to achieve with a doctor you see regularly, like your general practitioner. When we have a health crisis we’re often starting from square one with new medical providers and if you’re not a good advocate you may get lost in the shuffle. It’s not about will you get care, but what kind of care will you get.
Remember in “Terms of Endearment” when Shirley MacLaine began shouting for her daughters meds? I’m hoping you don’t have to get to the point of screaming, but having a voice is crucial to getting the best care. The optimal experience is to become self-empowered and ask for what you need. Unfortunately, we’re not always in a position where we can advocate for ourselves. It’s crucial that you have someone who can advocate for you and who knows you well enough so they can help you maneuver the system.
Hospitals are often on very tight financial strings and it’s time that we aided in the healthcare revolution. As patients we should be entitled to a level of care that is universal. We shouldn’t have emergency rooms with a ten hour wait. We shouldn’t have physicians who are working over eighty hours a week and expect them to be conscious both physically and spiritually. Be a part of the change and become empowered to ask for the care you want and deserve.