A month ago when we spoke about Patient’s rights, a lot of Doctors almost had my head. In fact, I felt like ducking my head and getting invisible bodyguards whenever I had an encounter with them.
This has led to a strong need to clarify this. The fact that we have a Patient’s Bill of Rights in no way implies that there is a fight against Doctors (Healthcare Providers/Medical Practitioners) or a plea for the citizens to begin to sue their Doctors.
NO!!! This is not so at all, alternatively, it is an outcry, a proclamation and plea for people to be more aware of their Rights. A wake up call indeed, for citizens to be more involved in their treatment, and more active in their care plan.
If a person is neither proactive nor informed/knowledgeable about his/her care and just leaves it entirely in the hands of the Health Care Provider; without a doubt, I can assure you that this will be the greatest disservice they would be doing to themselves.
I have come to realize that most Medical Practitioners seem to prefer and indeed enjoy seeing/consulting knowledgeable Patients. It is argued that this class of Patients make medicine interesting and less routine/monotonous for “Doctors” thus making it more enjoyable as they (the Patients) ask pertinent questions and always seem to have a comeback to whatever the Doctors/Healthcare Providers/Medical Practitioners have to say. This could also be advantageous to the Medical Practitioners/Doctors as this class of Patients tend to remind/alert them (the “Doctors”) of certain procedures or side effects that they sometimes encounter when a particular treatment is administered.
In addition, due to the myriad of questions the Patient is asking, the Doctor is extra careful when attending to such Patients and consequently; takes no risk whatsoever whilst consulting (administering medications or conducting procedures on) such Patients.
On the other hand, Patients who are not involved in their care or knowledgeable about it are at the greatest risk.
Not paying attention to one’s care could imply or lead to such individual having no clue/idea to what drugs they react to or what side effects they encounter whenever certain medications are administered. Hence, such Patients are at a greater risk, as a generic care is given to them. Thus, their care plan/treatment/ consultation with Doctors may just seem monotonous and consequently less attention is paid to them.
This is so because the Patient in question has not alerted the Doctors to side effects or allergies that they might have encountered to certain medication in the past. Alerting the Doctors/Healthcare personnel to this better equips them to administer the best care possible.
You see, Patients who aren’t so knowledgeable are thus because they never really paid attention to their care. Let’s help ourselves and also help these Doctors during our consultation. We have a responsibility to pay attention to our health.
Take note, however, that knowledgeable Patients are a benefit and a burden (blessing and a curse) to Doctors.
Burden?!? Well probably because the Doctors might label us as knowledgeable questionnaires who know their Rights and as a result, they (the Doctors) know that they must bring their A-game and best foot forward when treating us. They will surely be drained with questions and probably more enlightened after our consultation.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be a blessing to Doctors because I am knowledgeable about my health and pay attention to my care.
Which would you rather be?
Till next time….
By Adesola Osuntoki