2 thoughts on “A Prescription For Compassionate Health Care

  • December 2, 2016 at 8:09 am

    From my own experience as a patient, empathy from healthcare professionals feels very rare. This includes the mental health profession where I have frequented since a child. Very rarely have I been treated in a way that I would call empathically. I understand that people in the medical profession occaisonally have to distance themselves from their patients in order to protect themselves (and their mental health), but I feel like some make that distance too big.
    My worst experience to date happened a few weeks ago when I was forced to undergo an abortion at 8 weeks. I had never done one before, I was scared, didn’t know what to expect and more than anything I was sad and depressed for even having to make this decision in the first place. The nurse that I met with for the consultation and eventually to get the medication to end my pregnancy was very short with me right from the start. She gave very short answers to my questions (frankly I got more information from Google than I did from her) and did nothing to reassure me. When I came back during the second appointment to get the termination-pill (or whatever you want to call it) she refused to look at me or offer me any empathy or comfort for what I was going through. Other than asking me if this is really what I wanted (which they have to, she told me) she didn’t speak me, she just stared at her computer. When I left after taking the pill, I was not only feeling horrible about ending a pregnancy of a child that was wanted, but I was also feeling horrible because her treatment of me made me feel like I was a horrible person for going through this. What I needed during that time was someone to offer me comfort and make me feel like it would be okay, but instead she was just so full of judgement.
    I have a lot of bad memories in regard to my experiences with the health profession here (Sweden) and now as an adult, I very very rarely visit the doctor unless I absolutely have to for that exact reason. Like I said; I understand the need to distance yourself from a patient, but at the same time I don’t think that it should get to the point where the patient is made to feel uncomfortable and bad about asking for help in the first place, no matter what the reason is for the visit.

    Reply
    • December 2, 2016 at 8:15 am

      I am SO sorry for your experience. It made what was undoubtedly painful even moreso. Do you have supports to help you get through this? And, when you are feeling up to it, you may want to write a letter to the medical office to let the director know how they might improve services to those who come to them. Medical care is about people, not disease.

      Hugs from here,

      Edie

      Reply
 

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