As a Medical Office Professional, Stay Mindful
I have written several posts on incorporating the eastern spiritual teaching of “mindfulness” into healthier patterns of living, eating and interpersonal relationships. Today, I found a very interesting article by author and health coach, Riva Greenberg entitled, “10 Tips For Mindfulness: The Healing Power Doctors Forget”. The piece talks about the lack of mindfulness the author seems to find increasingly common in doctors’ offices. As many of you will ultimately be working in these offices, I thought it was very pertinent to your education. Read the article to learn how you can infuse your work in the healthcare field with the benefits of mindful thought.
4 Responses to “As a Medical Office Professional, Stay Mindful”
It is astounding to me that patients are treated in the manner described in this article – but, not surprising. I consider myself lucky as can be to have found – after years of “trial and error” – physicians who sincerely take the time to really listen to me and who even call me after certain treatments to make sure I am feeling better. I am saddened to think of how many people are not as fortunate and hopeful that our Allen School graduates – so many of whom are just the most caring and lovely individuals – will serve as beacon lights to their co-workers and employers upon entering the medical field.
This really hit home for us. After spending a month in two different hospitals with very little mindful care, we were convinced that I MUST stay by his side to make sure his needs were met. I stayed out of the way and helped with tasks that he needed (thus saving nurses to do other work). Whenever a doctor would come in (once a day), we would have a list of questions. The doc would stay .one foot out the door desperately trying to answer our questions as fast as he could as he really wanted out of there. We didn’t feel like we were being taken care of & we never really felt like our questions were being answered. We hated the evening pressure sessions as we waited for the doc to show to do his “painful duty” but we weren’t going to give up on understanding what was going on in my husband’s health just to satisfy a mindless doctor.
When my husband was transferred to UCSF the patient/nurse ratio was the same but a totally different atmosphere. Docs came in and asked if we had any questions, they answered them thoroughly, came back later and asked again. No one acted like they were too busy for us and we were made to feel like my husband’s life was important. On top of that, my husband’s anxiety level went WAY down & I am convinced, that kindness, compassion and mindfulness contributed to a speedier recovery than anyone had ever anticipated.
The situations mentioned in this article are all to real. As Donna stated in her comment “astounding….but not surprising”. I believe it’s just one more reason, why it is so important for the patients to be more involved in their own health care. They must act as their own advocates, and remain diligent when it comes to getting the answers they need. Too often we may feel “intimidated” by the physician, and that may prevent some from questioning their motives, treatments, or even attitudes. In order to give and receive the best care possible, the physician and patient must have a solid, trusting relationship. It may take seeing several different physicians before this relationship is established, but I believe in the end, it will be well worth it. I agree with Shell Swift that “kindness, compassion, and mindfulness” do contribute to a quicker recovery, and overall well-being.
I recently experienced this in the ER and the physicians office. I was in an auto accident and had to be taken to driven to the hospital by ambulance. Upon my arrive everyone seemed to be friendly. They greeted me and began the information cycle immedately. I had a good conversation with the attending physician doing my stitches. The admitting nurse was also quite nice. My main concern came when I didnt get any immediate attention to my back pain. I had to make repeated comments about how bad it was aching. I didnt get any treatment in the ER, I only got a pill upon discharge. I remained in pain for 3 days and only had pain meds for relief. I was totally upset with the way this issues ended up. I thought care should have been given once the chief complaint was mentioned. I wont go to this hospital anymore for any reason!!! I’m still having this back pain and it only worsens when no medication is taking. I have to attend physical therapy to try and strengthen my back again. When we are in this field of service we should never take what a patient say’s for granted.