Chapter 4: Doctors’ Perspective
“People have the impression that hospitals are straightforward, orderly places, but it’s not like that at all. There are a million moving parts and people, and it can’t be any other way. Every patient requires an enormous medical team because health care is so complex today. Every position has to be covered 24/7, and there will always be turnovers and changes. By definition, it’s a complicated beehive.”
Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, Bellevue Hospital, NYU School of Medicine
Overarching insight from physicians and nurses from face-to-face interviews.
1. The advocate must be responsible and ask the right questions if we want good information. That is difficult for civilians because so many things sabotage our ability to communicate.
2. The White Coats think that, in general, advocates can and should do much better, be more aware and better informed than we are. They note that unprepared advocates can be disruptive and cause doctors to spend valuable time trying to communicate with us.
3. Many advocates have unrealistic expectations of medicine, expecting perfection. The reality is that there are many gray areas in medicine, and we’ve got to accept that.
Source: Conquer: the patient voice. August 2021, Vol. 7. No.4. “Being a Bedside Advocate” by Kimberley Norris.