That’s… unfortunate

A majority of my patients cannot read and know nothing about their medical care.

That’s… unfortunate.

In fact, it’s scary.

My patients have to fill out a checklist before having their MRI or CT scan. It asks numerous questions about prior procedures and certain health issues.

So many of my patients can’t fill out the questionnaire. In fact, a lot of my patients don’t even know why they are having the scans! They are here because they have an appointment. They don’t know which doctor ordered the scan, what is getting scanned, or what the particular doctor even does for them. It’s sort of the mindset that “if the doctor ordered it then I should do it”, no questions asked.

That is frightening. Those of you that have been following me know I am big on patient education. With how fast paced my department is, I don’t have the time I would like to have to educate patients. And let’s be real, at this point I can’t teach someone to read. I guess what is so disappointing to me is the fact that it’s just glossed over. It’s accepted. The lack of patient education, understanding, and participation has become the new norm. I can’t stand it. I want patients to understand what is going on. I want patients to be a part of their plan of care. I want patients to be set up for success.

Apparently, I want to live in the NCLEX world where everything is perfect and everything runs smoothly.

I want my patients to be happy and healthy. Sometimes I feel like I am being unrealistic.


5 thoughts on “That’s… unfortunate

  1. Fred, I share your frustration! Just do what you can with the time you have with the patients. A simple explanation of what you are scanning might be enough, and add please ask your doctor for more information. I agree, patient education is a necessity! 📚Christine


  2. Thank you for writing about this! This is an area of great concern to me, as well. It IS glossed-over. I tutor low-literate adults, many of whom have a laundry list of health issues. Very few of them have advocates. There is a lot of misunderstanding, mis-pronunciation, and mis-spelling of their ailments, diagnoses, and treatments. Many of them are ill-equipped for taking preventive measures, and may be deprived of the dignity, respect, and options that better educated and empowered individuals can demand.


    1. I see the problems everyday. Some of my patients don’t even know what they are diagnosed with. They just do as they are told by the doctor. Medicine has to step up and realize we have an obligation to make sure our patients understand as much as possible about their health.

      Liked by 1 person

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