When we were young, we were instructed to wash our hands before and after eating. We did so without giving it a second thought. In school many of us used to have a health education period. In which, we were taught about hygiene, healthy eating, mental health among many other things.
Recollect your first day at school. Everything around you was new – The building, the people and information they said. You felt scared and worried. You would have waited for the bell to ring. So, that you can rush back home – to a place and to the people you are familiar with.
As the days passed by, you started enjoying school. You made friends, developed flair towards a subject and enjoyed extracurricular classes. So, what made school life so endearing? What led to the transition in your perception about school?
The answer to all these questions can be summed up in one word – Literacy.
Patient engagement is important if you want to get the best out of your hospital stay and medical treatment in general. Here is a short primer to help you to become an active participant in maintaining your health and individualising the medical treatment to your specific needs.
“Who shall say what prospect life offers to another? Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” – Henry David Thoreau
Most often when a patient enters the room, we immediately ask them about their illness and suggest the line of treatment. And ring the bell for the next patient. All this would hardly take a few minutes (unless it is some serious condition). Our conversations are always hurried and professional to the core.
Have we ever paused and asked ourselves – Is it just a “case” who walks into the room or is it a “person” with a medical condition who requires holistic care?
A skill is the learned ability to perform an action with determined results and with good execution. Here is an approach that explains the optimum use of the head, heart and the hands to learn a skill.
Are you a doctor with a scientific approach? Or a healer who offers hope and solace? Or both? How do you strike a balance?
Last week, one of my friends brought her 89-year-old grandmother to my clinic. She had complaints that warranted invasive investigations. She came across as a strong woman and made it clear to me that she had no intentions to get admitted into a hospital either for testing or for treatment! Whenever such a patient walks through the door, I tend to change my hat from being a doctor to a healer!
Given a choice we would avoid entering any hospital. When you have a problem that needs an inpatient admission, the prospect can be unsettling and scary. Here is a short guide to help you to experience a smooth admission into a hospital.