13 August 2010

health care - contrasts

I work at a large inpatient psychiatric facility. As readers may surmise, of late, I've also been spending a lot of time at a large medical hospital. I can't help but find myself intrigued with the contrasts.

Attentiveness to care is one of the most glaring, as it were. At the medical facility, staff conducting routine checks on patients take time to speak with patients, they ask after their well-being, and respond to concerns about some fresh malady.

In contrast, where I work, there are many staff [not all] who seem to take umbrage about "being forced" to conduct a census, where all they do is fill in a check mark or an "X" on a pre-printed list to account for a patient on the unit. Forget about the niceties of taking a second to acknowledge the patient's presence.

I wonder how different my workplace might be if those who behave as if speaking to a patient is a demeaning imposition, actually took the time to show concern for the folks they are charged with taking care of.

Another contrast is the presence of numerous clinical specialists walking about and on the units ~ and on different work shifts ~ and speaking directly with patients about their current medical condition. In less than a week, I have been present on four separate occasions when different doctors actually came and spoke with my friend - at some length - about steps being taken in his care. One of the docs was a management level administrator in her discipline. I have observed this happening with other patients as well.

In contrast, unless the clinician is assigned to the unit, it is uncommon for specialists to speak with patients about their care or treatment. Even rarer for managerial personnel to show up on the patient wards at all.

Again, if they took they time, how might it affect the quality of care provided to the patients were I work? Just wondering.

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