Carole Lauren is a 44 year old mother of two, a wife, and a school teacher by profession. Her story began 21 months ago when she had a cerebrovascular accident that left her hemiplegic. Almost two years passed since the event. Carole regained most of the lost function in her left leg, ankle, and foot. However, she still has limited function in her left arm and hand. She also has difficulty organizing her thoughts and read her message from a paper. Her story is about a journey through the health care system.
Since the stroke, Carole has received care from multiple healthcare providers - some were better than others and she met many great people, but her overall care experience “could ...view middle of the document...
Going through years of training can make a person competitive and blind and deaf to the patients’ needs. Working in an environment where sickness and death are always around the corner can make a lot of people numb. Simple human emotions - anger, envy, competitiveness - get into play every day regardless of one’s education or position. Some can put them aside and some cannot.
Was this patient just that unfortunate? Perhaps. Perhaps her therapists were not funded to talk to each other but could they have talked anyways? Yes, but they chose not to. And to me, that is against the medical ethical principles because it compromises patient care. This was just one of the examples. What about the primary care physician who doesn’t get to see patient’s chart and doesn’t know what to do with the patient after the discharge. I hope she learnt from Carol’s experience.
I was glad to learn that Carol educated herself and was able to become her own “care coordinator”. What if she didn’t? She could have been left hemiplegic for life. She would have become a burden on her family and on the healthcare system.
I realize that my take on this story is bitter, and it is mostly because I hear the same story over and over again. Even I, myself, had a similar experience and felt I was just a chart number. Sure, most care providers were competent but there was no team work. Everyone was great on their own but uncoordinated and uncooperative. I understand that long hours and understaffing issues are a common problem, but the relationship between the patients and care providers is built on trust and nothing can qualify as an excuse for breaking this trust.
Changes must be made to address all issues from Carole’s story. Although the problem seems clear to me, reflecting on what has happened from the comfort of my living room is different from the real life. ...