Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Take Control of Your Care
Be in Control
At a recent program, a woman said her doctor is making her take medications that she doesn’t want to take. Another patient said that she was kept in the hospital but she didn’t want to stay.
Too often patients think they are being forced to do things by some implanted learning that they are not in control.
“If you don’t want to take your medications” I told her “don’t” but there may be consequences; from getting sicker, to losing your beloved doctor who also may say he doesn’t want to care for you if you won’t follow instructions.
After an hour long presentation, I would hope that participants understand that they are in control of their medical care. Mistakes happen, clinicians may be wrong. They need to know what’s on your mind. Why won’t you take your medication? Why do you want to leave the hospital against medical advice (AMA)? These are things you should be able to talk to your health care team about. If you can’t, you need to change who your team is.
One person said she couldn’t imagine going to see the hospital leadership with her complaints. I asked her why she thought they were so untouchable. “If you were unhappy at a hair salon or at a restaurant, if you would speak to the manager or owner, it should be no different”. Complaining or constructive feedback are two different things. Hospitals want your business. They want you to tell all your friends how wonderful your surgery went. If you are not happy, speak up. If you’re in danger, move up….the ladder to the people in charge.