When the Doctor Becomes the Patient

Last week I had elbow surgery. It was a bit urgent although not an emergency nor life threatening. Though I have enjoyed a healthy existence for most of my life, I always use an experience such as hospitalization, illness or surgery to learn lessons I can take back to our patients and clients. This time was no different. Although all went well with the surgery and recovery, the post operative phase was short on information and support as to how to best manage the condition. For example, I was told to wear loose fitting clothes to the hospital yet on release it was clear that only the baggiest of the largest sized shirts would likely fit over the substantial cast on my arm. Fortunately, on the way home, the weather was not particularly cold and the winter coat I wore to the procedure managed to serve as a “one size fits all” layer to get me home. Then came the search through my closet for a shirt to wear for the next week to work. Although the experience at the hospital was professional and exemplary, there was little consideration for “The Big Picture” or in other words helping me, the patient, with expectations as to how to get through the next week. There were other aspects of the recovery which also left me guessing. As a doctor, I am certain that I am more comfortable than most with such situations so I can only imagine how it would be for an uninformed patient.
In the field of medicine we become so involved with the disease we often forget there is a patient and client or family that is connected to it. In our zeal to diagnose, heal and cure we sometimes don’t focus on the details that are so important once the patient leaves. “What should we expect when he gets home? When will she get back to her normal activity? Is it ok for her to jump up? How long before the cough goes away? How soon before the condition improves? When do we start medication? When can she eat?” These are just a few of the questions that we naturally have after our pet companion is hospitalized. As much as I would like to think that no one leaves the Brockton Animal Hospital with questions unanswered, I know that is not the case. We can always do better and we need your help to do so. Please help us to help you. If you ever have questions or concerns regarding your pet’s condition that were not answered let us know. Sometimes it looks a bit daunting here in the front office, so we may have to call you after hours. But that is part of being thorough and keeping you in the loop. It is the way that things work the best. Once again, thank you for putting your trust in us.

Posted on December 5th, 2019 in Hospital News | Comments Off on When the Doctor Becomes the Patient
Posted by wronald_cp