Sunday, July 31, 2005

A different point of view

Doing my clinical rotations I've become used to being in the hospital. I've gotten used to the sounds and sights -- beeping monitors, medical chatter, patients being transported from one room to another. But I got a different view of the scene today. My father was having chest pain and I took him to the hospital. It was strange sitting down in the ER as a visitor, being without the status and protection provided by my white coat. As we sat in the ER for 7 hours I was struck by how different my point of view has been. It's a much different experience waiting hours for a doctor to arrive, waiting to hear about test results, hearing your father being discussed as a room number -- "did you see the troponins for 7?" I'll have to learn from this experience -- don't keep patients and their families waiting for longer than is necessary, be honest and prompt when discussing test results. And most importantly, be cautious about having discussions in hallways and nurses stations.


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