Monday, July 06, 2015

Focus on dignity and respect for patients

Everybody knows your dignity goes out the window in the hospital--those backless gowns (ask for two and put one on backwards to cover your fanny), people calling you sweetie and hon (or "youngster," the WORST for older people), ignoring people who can't articulate needs quickly and clearly, on and on.

My mother, who suffered from dementia, was once in the hosp with a urinary infection and they got sick of taking her to the john, so they told her to just go in her pants and they would clean it up later. She was crying because she didn't want to.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a big woo teaching hospital in Boston, has done pretty well in cutting physical injuries to patients and is now zeroing in on emotional injuries.

"Emotional harms can erode trust," says the doc in charge of this initiative.

When patients evaluate care, sure enough, they tend to focus on emotional slights.

Thy started a database of emotion complaints similar to the physical hard one. They defined emotional harm as failure to respect the patient as a person. Inlcuded were things not resulting from lack of respect, such as the person requiring a colostomy bag.

I remember once being hospitalized and refusing to get weighed. I did not require medication based on weight. I have found--over time--that the first-thing weigh-in tends to slant every comment and treatment toward weight. They put on the white board that I refused to get weighed. This was supposedly to alert new caregivers coming on, but one took it as a challenge--she used the scale in the bed to weigh me and then triumphantly announced my weight.

Well,, good for you, honey--I never went to that hosp again.

No comments: