Monday, February 15, 2010

Well, Hello Nursezilla.

I read this blog entry on the New York Times website and thought to myself, 'Hey, I recognize what they're talking about.' I didn't come away with warm fuzzies because it really is something that I've experienced and still feel significant anger on that matter. Nurses acting in an unprofessional manner is just as horrible as a doctor doing so. I'm not picking on just nurses here.

No, the beef that I have is with the medical community at large taking the attitude that they are untouchable. If you go to have medical treatment at a hospital (and at some doctor's offices this attitude is present as well), you need to have the Oliver Twist-esque stance of your hat in your hand and begging for aid. I've lost count the number of times I've been told that health care is not a right. This hasn't just been from people out in the community, but also from medical professionals. At times in the midst of my health crisis, as some type of justification of poor service.

A fine example was when I was sent to the hospital by my doctor for a nebulizer treatment and the triage nurse decided that it wasn't necessary to expedite it because while my lung function was at half of it's usual capacity my blood oxygen still looked 'ok'. I was told to wait a few minutes and that I'd start feeling better. This was after a mildly harrowing half hour drive from out here in the country to the city hospital, going directly from my doctor's office to there and with the doctor's office calling a head that I was on my way. Another nurse told me that I needed to relax and that I was just over-reacting.

Look, I can appreciate the fact that asthma can be aggravated by emotional stress. But to tell a person who was sent to you by their primary care physician that it's not really a problem is bullshit. It disgusts me because if you don't want to be treated like crap, you're either going to continue to suffer with your ailment or be told to suck it up, because you don't have a choice. There's a lot of good doctors and nurses out there. I'm not saying there isn't. There is a cultural attitude, however, that the medical profession is exempt from being required to treat patients with respect. When you're told that your health problems are not a result of a chronic condition that you can not have possibly induced in yourself, as per the evidence of your chart and medical history, but rather a result of your laziness or some other quality assigned to you by the 'professional' speaking to you (who doesn't know you from any other random person on the street), and you are expected to tolerate if not agree with this verbal abuse... Well, I've got a problem with that.

I've got a problem with the idea that parents are forced to subject their children to emotional abuse of this caliber and if they refuse, it is possible that they are going to be punished by the law for it. Not the people emotionally abusing the children but the parents who are attempting to protect them. Why do I say this? Because there are cases on record around the USA where parents are charged with child abuse because they did not bring their children to the doctor. How many of those cases are a situation where the parents were attempting to keep their children from being bullied by the medical staff who are supposed to be caring for them? I've a suspicion that this would make up a percentage of those cases that's going to show it's not an unexpected outlier.

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