Good afternoon, and happy Mother’s Day to CAMPBELLSWORLD VISITORS!!!
Campbell, and I hope this day finds you feeling most awesome, and realizing that no matter your circumstance, you are truly blessed.
If you read my earlier post, Positive Perspective On the Other Side of the Help Desk Yet Again: Making Myself Whole, you know that I was admitted to Asbury Place Kingsport on May 8 after a short stay at Holston Valley Hospital.
I’m happy to say, that I’m recovering nicely, and in fact am sitting outside in a lovely patio area, enjoying the afternoon sun. However, it is this very thing, that has finally moved me to post this post.
During both my stay at Holston Valley Hospital, and now, Asbury Place, I’ve learned that the Medical Profession is, absolutely the least educated of any profession that deals with the public than any I’ve ever run across ever in my life.
During some awesome conversation with the CEO of Holston Valley Hospital however, I found that some, at least are willing to learn, and that once I am recovered, they’d very much like me to come and assist them with learning how to better interact with the disAbled public.
I’m sorry to say, that I have not as of yet, been as fortunate here at Asbury Place. While the staff is by enlarge willing to listen and learn what they need to know, it would seem that so far, the “powers that be” are not quite so receptive. I’ve reached out a couple times, and have thus far, not received any reply. That, won’t stop me, it is just going to slow me down.
It is my deep desire to help the Uneducated, Educated, learn to…
*Correctly assist disAbled persons
*Learn the function of a Guide Dog
*Learn the correct questions, to ask, and procedures to follow, and to remember to,
* LISTEN TO THE PATIENT!!!
Why is that in all Caps? Because to get outside this afternoon, after being told that I was not in any way restricted from doing so, it took nearly ten inutes to, get the techs “Helping” me to be quiet, stop trying to decide what needed doing to get us there, and LISTEN to ME! I mean, after all, I am the one who is the Guide Dog handler, and I am the one who is, Blind, and knows more about it than they obviously do, so I would think, my input would be a bit helpful.
I found that one of the two staff members was happy to learn, while the other was simply because I shushed her by raising my hand, and speaking loudly and clearly, saying, “Don’t you think it would be a good idea to listen to the patient?” Not my problem if she became offended. My problem is, that, if I do not start moving about, and using the physical therapy I’m receiving, I’m never going to become well enough to return home.
Let me describe the experience as it happened. Yesterday evening, after discussing with my nurse, my desire to get out of my room and interact with patients, and staff as I knew others did, the staff on my team took the time to walk, Campbell and I around, and show us places we could go.
Turns out they had a library, lounges, and a beautiful patio area. All for our enjoyment. So, this afternoon, after lunch, at my physical therapist’s urging, I harnessed up my pup, gathered my backpack with keyboard, and iphone packed neatly inside, and headed out.
As I was leaving my room, I stopped one of the tech assisting me this day, and asked her if she might walk with us out to the patio to see if I might find a shady spot to sit and write, while enjoying some sun, and fresh air, and working on regaining my strength. An easy request to fill, right? In their eyes, wrong?
First problem? The two staff members I’d gotten the attention of, stopped listening when they heard the words “walk outside” They began to discuss with one another how to help, where I should go and what I should do. I tolerated this for, Oh, maybe 30 seconds, and then raised my hand in a “Rest” gesture, and said, “Excuse me? Don’t you think it would be a good idea to listen to the patient?” Blessedly enough, they quieted. I explained first, that they did not need to drag a table out, they did not need to make special arrangements, they only needed to let Campbell, my guide, and I follow one of them out to this patio that a staff member had shown me the night before. Unfortunately, I only got about half way through that set of instructions before they were looking for a third staff member to assist, and yet again, making more unnecessary plans.
So, yet again, I raised my hand in a “Rest” gesture, and said, “Hello? Again, listening to the patient, just might be a really great idea.” Again, they fell blessedly quiet, but this time it was more than evident that the one staff member was a tad bit miffed at me. Oh! Well, her bad luck, is all I could think at the moment.
Keeping my composure, with some difficulty, I instructed the willing tech as to how to best assist Campbell and me, and we were off. Soon we found ourselves, comfortably seated at a lovely table, which the tech took the time to raise an umbrella over to keep off the sun, and writing this post.
I was also fortunate in that because I was outside, one of my friends, who was here visiting a patient, and we had a lovely visit.
I want to stop right here, and say, that as a whole, this experience of being sick, has not been all frustration and challenge. There are staff who know the correct questions to ask, and are more than happy to follow instructions, and learn what they’ve not been taught. I do not fault someone for not knowing what they’ve never learned, however, I do fault them mightily, when they talk over, around, at, and through me, and refuse to listen to one who knows better than do they.
Their assuming, and sometimes belittling manner is to put it quite bluntly, inappropriate, unacceptable, and in my opinion discriminative.
What is the first question you should ask anyone who is disAbled, or in some way in need?
* How can I help you?
This starts a dialog between patient and staff, that helps the patient feel unpowered, and somewhat in control of what is normally an intemedating situation.
What is the correct way to respond to the patient?
*LISTEN, and do NOT!!! Assume you know better than do they until they’ve finished, and then if you see an easier solution to whatever their need is, that fits within the parameters, of their instructions, then make “Suggestions.”
If medical professionals would only do these simple things, it would make so much difference for all.
I, am hopeful that this experience will lead to my being able to at the very least make some changes within my local medical community.
For now, I’m grateful to be here, and well enough to bring this post to you.
I am however, getting tired, and so, am going to pack up and head on inside.
We’re happy you read this, and would absolutely love your feedback.
Until next time, this is Campbell, who is disgusted with ignorant people, and his Momma Patty who is in full agreement saying…
“We have two ears, and one mouth” Blessid be.