Health Care's Repetitive Silliness


Health Care's Repetitive Silliness

question-mark-460869_640When my dad visited his cancer surgeon for the first time, we sat in the exam room with a nurse before the surgeon came in. The nurse's first question was, "Why are you here today?"

During each subsequent appointment, this same nurse begins each appointment with this very same question, "Why are you here today?" I suppose it's an innocent question but after each appointment we complain about that question. We want to scream, "SHOULDN'T YOU KNOW WHY WE'RE HERE?"

At his first post-surgery appointment, this same nurse asked my dad if he could leave the exam room to go to the bathroom to give a urine specimen. We looked at her dumbfounded until one of us finally said, "He has an ostomy bag." "Oh, I see," she said.

At that appointment, we wanted to add a second scream: "WHY DON'T YOU KNOW HE HAS AN OSTOMY BAG?"

When my mom was transferred back to ICU on Saturday night, a resident arrived in my mom's room to examine her. She asked why mom was here, how she was feeling, if she had eaten anything, if she drinks, smokes. I found her questions to be so inappropriate and her tone so condensing that I had to leave the room. Before I left, I asked the resident, "You know she was transferred here from another floor, right?"


Healthcare's repetitive silliness makes me crazy. It makes me doubt the competence of the professionals who will be caring for my mom. It makes me wonder if they are clueless, daft or simply socially awkward.

It doesn't have to be like this. The resident could have walked into my mom's hospital room on Saturday and said to her, "You've had a rough two weeks here. I'm going to do my best to help you get better. I've got some questions to ask that may sound silly but it's standard protocol."

Had this happened, I would have felt like we hit a home run with this resident. And, my mom would have thought, "I'm going to get the help I need."

Easy peasy.

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Also, just a note, an ostomy bag is for “number two”, not urine. People with an ostomy can still pee normally, the “poop” goes into a bag. :-) Love ya!


Agreed! Even from a person who is studying to join the \"silliness\". To play devil's advocate for just a second...and for one point. The repetitive nature, seems like silliness, but part of it is checks and balances. If we just assume info from every other health-care professional were true and correct, in all instances, errors may be over looked and then people would say, \"why did no one catch the problem\"? Nurses always report from shift to shift and transfer to transfer. It usually is behind the scenes and not where the family or patient can see it, for privacy purposes. Every time I give meds, I have to ask the person their name and date of birth, even though I have been taking care of them for the previous 8 hours and know who they are. One time, at a hospital that my Mom always goes to, a doctor was worried about her \"chronically dislocated hip\". He transferred her to the aging care unit for a consult with the very same doctors who were involved with the hip for years and who finally left it dislocated! He would not believe me and must have thought that she had broken it or dislocated it and I didn't take her to get care! I am still annoyed to this day, but I realize he was advocating for my Mom and providing a check by not just taking my word for it. However, it would have been nice to have a history in the hospital computer, made by these orthopedic doctors, for someone to check! How much info and detail can be stored for other HCP, I do not know.


I TOTALLY feel your pain! Mom REFUSES to answer these questions anymore. She just says \"It's in the records/paperwork\". It is extremely frustrating. I have to constantly remind myself that there are normally TONS of mistakes in medical records, and instead of guessing what is correct, they just ask all of the questions over and over again. It doesn't help much!


I would get \"why did you feel you needed to bring him to the E.R.?\" I wanted to scream \"Because he doesn't act like this when he's ok! Because I know when he has a bad UTI!! I'm with my Grandpa every minute of every day!! I know when something is wrong!!!!! As if bringing him to the E.R. was on a whim.


Oh, Denise, I'm so sorry for what you and your parents are going through right now!

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