Setting Boundaries in Health Care
Do you know what you'd do if faced with an angry doctor or a nurse who repeatedly couldn't find a vein? My new post for HealthCentral looks at setting boundariesin health care situations.
"We all have a sense of boundaries on what we will accept, and what we can do and say to each other. But when you enter a health care setting, different rules apply and all of a sudden, it can be hard to know where to draw the line.
The angry dermatologist
I’ve been there myself many times over the years. One situation especially stands out as a learning opportunity for me.
I’d been referred to a dermatologist for my annual mole check. When I was shown into the doctor’s office, I very quickly knew something was wrong. He seemed grouchy and there was an edge in how he spoke to his nurse. When part of my wheelchair was blocking him, his angry gesture to get me out of the way sealed the deal. I didn’t say anything — it didn’t feel safe to do so with someone who had that level of anger.
I didn't file a complaint, but did ask my family doctor for a referral to someone else. I also suggested she not refer other patients to the angry doctor.
The dynamic between health care provider and patient has traditionally been very authoritarian. Whether this is the cringe-inducing idea about being compliant with your doctor’s orders — are you compliant in any other sphere of your life? — or submitting to painful and invasive procedures, the system is designed to step all over your personal boundaries."
Read the rest of the post on HealthCentral.