Week 1 Blog Post

The encounter I will discuss for this assignment is the birth of my nephew. My sister had preeclampsia during her pregnancy and she had a very frustrating and busy pregnancy. From the frequent doctor’s appointments and emergency room visits to her final appointment with her OBGYN, she was dissatisfied with her treatment by the medical staff. Everyone was crass and very to the point. She was often upset that they lacked empathy and failed to inform her of all the things that are typical and expected to happen with her condition. She carried her child until she was 32 weeks and then she had such severe swelling and high blood pressure from her condition that her OBGYN informed her that they were going to induce labor by the end of her 34th week of pregnancy.

With such an urgent tone, she had no choice but to have faith in her doctor’s decision and hope that everything would go smoothly. She was not informed of the possible complications that could arise from this procedure and since it was her first child, she did not know which questions she needed to ask. After a very painful and unsuccessful induction process, she ended up having to be rushed into an emergency cesarean procedure and had her son after 26 hours of intense labor. To an extent, you are appreciative and understanding of the medical staff’s decision to take such quick and urgent precautions to have her deliver her child before the anticipated due date. Waiting until she was full-term could have been dangerous for both my sister and her child. Their decision to take the chance and induce pregnancy early was something that took careful consideration from her OBGYN and their knowledge and experience is something you can be appreciative of. Although, there are many ways in which the nursing staff could have been more helpful and informative and there are a lot of ways in which the doctors were crass and unhelpful. They did not help her understand the procedures from the perspective of the patient and the fact that this was the mother’s first child, the staff did not take much time to explain the possible outcomes. It is likely that my sister, or any patient, would feel more comfortable had the doctor spent more time communicating with their patient.

After watching the Vanishing Oath, it is very obvious that a person’s medical experiences are perceived and understood very differently by all involved audiences. Watching the video made me conscious of all the times I have been frustrated in an urgent care or emergency room and having to wait for an extremely quick discussion with a physician to ultimately feel dissatisfied by the encounter. Watching the video gave me a new perspective that has given me empathy and appreciation for all that physicians have to go through on a daily basis. Although, it is clear that physicians have an extremely difficult time keeping up with the workload, it is still hard to understand why doctor’s cannot spend their brief patient care sessions helping the patient to understand their situation.

2 thoughts on “Week 1 Blog Post

  1. Hey Angela,

    I hope your sister and nephew are doing well! I agree with everything you said about the biomedical system. I have not personally experienced such a scary, frustrating experience within the system. I agree that doctors could be more helpful when you are unsure about what routes to take regarding your health. They often only tell you what they think would be best, but that doesn’t always align with what a patient might hold to be true. It’s nice that in the American biomedical system a patient can have faith that their doctors are doing what is medically best for them in a situation. However, I agree that communicating all possible outcomes for a situation is the best thing a medical professional can do.

    I also agree with your opinion of the Vanishing Oath film. The film helped me as well to see that while we only correspond with the doctor, the doctor is meeting with many patients throughout the day. The film made me more empathetic to physicians, while still validating what I had felt many times at the doctor’s office. Your blog post was really well written and you made a lot of valid points.

  2. Angela,

    I’m sorry to hear about your sister’s pregnancy experience — both the health issues she dealt with and also the frustrating encounters with the medical professionals.

    I have numerous family members in the medical field, so I’ve been lucky to be have their knowledge at hand when I need it. Your sister’s story opens my eyes to what can happen when you deal with medical staff who don’t take the time to carefully explain things to you, especially when you’re bringing a child into the world; that alone is overwhelming by itself. I feel that they definitely should have made sure to go over what she should expect throughout the pregnancy and delivery with preeclampsia.

    I think an issue in our medical system is that sometimes when doctors and nurses deal with one situation so often, they can forget that their patient may have absolutely no clue what that means for them or what they should expect. I think it is awesome that we are able to trust our doctors to do the right thing. But, it can be very frustrating and disheartening when you have an unpleasant experience with people who have your life in their hands.

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