Here’s a blog-worthy comment from the power-commenter of the week, Karen Overturf. Someone* get this woman a blog, she’s got something to say!
We’re still discussing how to bring the “delivery system” into the “person-centered community” mindset, right?
So much of what was the “medical” mindset was our world placing the physician and supporting staff on a pedestal. I still hear it, when I suggest to people that they make an effort to find out and understand what is best for them. The thought still is, “they have so much modern knowledge at their disposal, they know what’s best.” It’s probably a main reason why we ended up with cold, clinical facilities and regulations that pay by the disease and treatments.
Heavens! “They” are human beings! “They” are well trained, to be sure, but “they” have just as many insecurities as you and I do. Once in awhile, one of “them” may not hear you out, and insist you have no idea what’s best for you, but for the most part, “they’re” happy not to have the heavy responsibility of trying to fit you into one of the boxes they have on “their” shelf.
Let’s start with educating ourselves. Learn how to discuss the issues that are important to you with your physician. Know how busy your physician is, and be willing to share what you’ve learned with him or her. Be considerate, and give yourself enough time in your appointments to allow for emergencies your physician may face (and take your favorite new book by Dr. Thomas). Know when seeing the PA is good enough, and when you should just ask the nurse a question. And, of course, know when you need 911.
Then, when it comes time to choose a facility for your care, watch how they do their work. See if they will enlist you as a care partner. Do they ask you to alert someone if something doesn’t seem quite right? If they don’t, keep looking. The smaller the number of people they care for in any one unit, the more personal the care will be.
My doctor reads 200 plus pages of lab reports every evening, after her office hours. That is absolutely amazing! She deserves my consideration of her as a person.
Let’s look at our providers as people first. They’re just like us, but we trust them as friends who can help us in our time of need. They, in turn, will trust us as friends, too. When the talk turns to what to do, our needs will come first.
The start to change is to change ourselves. Forgive me, but I must repeat. Don’t settle for less.
*By someone, I mean us of course. Shoot us an email Karen if you’re interested in signing up for your own blog.