I was doing due diligence and had scheduled to have a dermatology full body scan as there were a few places that appeared questionable. Sure enough there was a basal cell carcinoma on my chest. This was removed and I was sent on my way. However, after four days, instead of showing signs of healing, a red, raised, angry circle began to form around the incision site. It was Friday and I realized I needed to have the doctor look at it. I called the doctor’s office in the early afternoon and was told that while she was not in, the MA (Medical Assistant) would call me back. By 4:30, I knew it was not going to happen. In fact, when I called the office back, the phones had already been turned over to the answering service!
Concerned, I took myself to the Walk In clinic where they confirmed it was infected and started me on oral antibiotics. I was both mentally and physically relieved.
I did hear from the MA on Monday morning when she said she would be happy to see me. I explained that it was no longer necessary and why. She was most apologetic. I shared my concern as to the manner in which this was handled by both the front desk and herself and asked that this situation be shared with the staff so that another patient might not experience what I had. Because while I knew that this could not wait till Monday, another patient might have waited the whole weekend, where it would have festered, gotten worse and possibly gone septic. Worse, another patient might have decided to walk away from the practice and the doctor without sharing the issue and allowing them to improve and correct their patient care.
Having sat on both sides of the medical arena as a healthcare professional and as a patient, I knew I had a responsibility to share my experience and ask that procedures be refined so that best practices were in place and patients would not experience what I had.
As children our parents taught us that actions have consequences and taught us right from wrong. As adults those rules still apply. More importantly as Christians we are called to hold each other accountable and to help one another through times where our judgement may be skewed. Romans 14:12 speaks to personal accountable “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God”. 1 Corinthians 12 teaches us to be accountable to each other as we are part of the same body of Christ with each other needs belonging to the other. As such, we much encourage each to grow “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).
While there are a myriad of ways to help each other: some between family and friends, church members, and community outreach; patient and healthcare professionals provide mutually beneficial opportunities to hold one other accountable. Words spoken with mutual respect, faith, education and even a dose of humor can go a long way to making a wrong a right.
“…So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Have your recently experienced a problem with a healthcare practice? Did you walk away frustrated with your needs unmet? If not, how did you handle your situation?
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