Hey everyone! I know it’s been a while since I last posted, but I have had to undergo knee surgery. The good news is that I am now finally on the road to recovery and here I am again.
So, in my last post, I talked about how I decided to challenge myself, by spending 3 months abroad, touring various parts of the US and being completely off my medication, as this was my way of taking back control of my life. My next post will be the continuation of my tour of the US , but I thought that I would make this post about how with a little bit more effort, doctors could improve the way that they communicate with patients, especially with those who have been diagnosed with a long term or chronic illness such as RA.
The one hard and fast rule that all NHS trusts have is ‘ putting the patient first’. As a former healthcare professional, the first thing I was taught, was how important it is to communicate properly with patients, as this is vital to their care. Being on the other side of things as a patient, receiving treatment for a chronic condition on a daily basis, has helped me gain an insight as to how doctors treat patients.
For the past 10 years I have been attending a specialist orthopaedic hospital for treatment due to my severe RA. At this hospital, the doctors, consultants, nurses and the various other healthcare professionals always go out of their way to ensure that I receive the best care possible.
During my appointments, the staff are always very friendly; they have been very easy to talk to and they really take the time to listen to what I have to say. I am always reviewed by every member of the team, so that they are all on the same page with regard to what stage my treatment has come to. The three things that staff at this hospital do, that I find really stand out are:
1 – Body language – they are sitting in such a way that I feel like they are really listening to what I am saying.
2 – The consultant or another member of the team always repeats what I have said, as this is their way of confirming that the information I have provided is correct.
3 – The consultant or another member of the team ensures that the basic assessments are carried out, so that a proper plan of care can be drawn up and any changes in my condition are noted. Also, at times, multiple members of the team have been in the room, so that any treatment that has been proposed is pre-agreed too by all the various members of the medical team involved with my care.
Whenever I am at the hospital receiving treatment, I automatically tend to switch to the healthcare professional in me, so at times I have been very critical of the way that the doctors have spoken to me and am not usually easily impressed by medical staff. However, as this hospital treats and cares for patients with long term and chronic illnesses, the staff at the hospital have always been very patient with me and for the most part have always been very understanding. I tend to ask a lot of questions, as I guess that I am still not used to being on the other side of things.
What I have learnt is that it’s okay to ask as many questions as needed and it’s also completely normal to make sure that any information provided has been noted down. It’s also completely normal to ask the doctor to repeat what he or she has been told so that the doctor can confirm that they have understood everything that the patient has said, after all it is the doctor’s job to ensure that the best possible care is provided.
That’s it for now, stay tuned for my next post 🙂
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(Any opinions expressed in Anoushka’s blog are not necessarily shared by Arthur’s Place. Nothing that you read in Anoushka’s blog constitutes medical advice.)