Sunday, January 28, 2007

I'm not done yet.

I've been really distracted by this whole being fired thing. My friends tell me it's no big deal but to be honest, I've never had such a bad experience with a patient. There's a really good quote by Gabrial Garcia Marquez: Anger is just guilt turned inward. (well, ok, I can't remember it verbatim, but that's the gestault. JEEZ PEOPLE.)

Which had me thinking...do I just feel guilty? I reflected back on how I treated this patient and tried to see if I had done anything I felt guilty about. Ok, maybe I was a little aggressive explaining the team's plan to him, especially when he yelled at me about how he felt he needed to stay in the hospital for 3 more days to receive physical therapy even after I very patiently explained that he was medically clear, and no, physical therapy is not a reason to stay in the hospital. I am kind of an authoritative person. Some might say bossy.

In the spirit of learning a lesson when dumb things happen, I've come up with my lesson from this experience: I will be more empathetic to my patient's emotional needs. Even when those needs are totally. Fucking. Senseless. I ended up signing this patient out to one of the interns on my team, who later remarked, "Peg was trying to do the right thing. I'm just giving this guy whatever he wants."

6 comments:

gabbiana said...

Awww. I'm just a wee bitty second year, so I haven't had the pleasure of (a) helping people or (b) being mistreated by them, but I'll throw this reference out there: Remember that Simpsons episode with Stampy the elephant? And how at the end Stampy gets everything an elephant could possibly want -- he goes to a wildlife preserve! with other elephants! away from hunters! -- and he immediately starts attacking the other members of the herd? And Marge asks the warden what's going on, and he says "Well, animals are not unlike people, Mrs. Simpson. Some of them act badly because they've had a hard life, or have been mistreated... but, like people, some of them are just jerks."

Hang in there, Peg!

Anonymous said...

Don't sweat it peg! It happens to all of us, some people think that the world and all those involved in the medical profession are against them and act accordingly!

Anonymous said...

Have to comment anonymously because I don't want you tracing my blog back...but you are my sister's classmate! Crazy how the internets work, huh?

Henna said...

I am not a doctor but I sure do feel you on listening to people bitch and moan about illnesses that they have sort of caused. It's refreshing actually hearing a doctor being fed up with it, I thought you all were immune to it. I lived with my grandma for a while and all I'd ever hear about was how hard being old is because of her diabetes which she hardly tried to control. It's a good thing that I couldn't speak her language better because I've often wanted to comment that perhaps being old would have been easier if she had bothered watching what she ate and exercising when she was younger. And I am dreading on listening to the same complaints from my parents one day since they don't seem to have learned from the medical histories of their own parents. Phew! Guess you hit a nerve with me there.

$@R@T# said...

i feel its part of every profession...and agree with whatever u feel..
i hope you know the proverb
"If you are a midwife..."
(i cannot translate verbatim)
and if we put on patient's hat for a second and start blogging ..
the post can be titled ...
"Smart doctor smarter intern?"
"Dealing with a [adjective] doctor.."..and so on...
No offence meant..neither am i taking sides..

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