Tell Us: How Often Do Health Care Professionals Tell You the Truth?


Tell Us: How Often Do Health Care Professionals Tell You the Truth?


My brother-in-law asked my sister and I about our dad yesterday. "Do you think he's adjusted to his (ostomy) bag?"

"He doesn't talk about it like he did," I shared. "I think as much as he can adjust, he has."

The adjustment took more than two years though. Before my dad's surgery in March 2015 to remove his bladder and kidney due to cancer, the staff told him he would lead a normal life after the surgery. After the surgery, his life changed significantly and it took two years to feel like he had a somewhat normal life. We weren't prepared for the impact of the surgery because they assured us that he would golf and live as he did. He never golfed again. We really needed the truth and asked for it but they deferred.

I wonder about your experiences. Have you heard the truth from health care professionals about the impact of a diagnosis or procedure or treatment? When have professionals sugar coated the situation to you? When do you wish they would have been honest with you?

Tell us about your experiences in our comments section, below.

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I sometimes think they are not telling the TRUTH because I'm a high strung, stressed out, paranoid 24/7 Caregiver. Then I think to myself..... that the TRUTH is.... (sometimes) THEY REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON ANYWAY or to begin with or work hard enough to find out. Then they get defensive or pass it off when I bring up possibilities and ask me where I found out about a certain ailments and topics I read about. I KNOW MORE THAN THEM :) I guess a unpaid Caregiver is not labeled as a Professional (I am not a Doctor.... but I play one in real life... :)


What has shocked me is how often I believe some health care professionals do not know the truth. The only conclusion I can reach is that they are not concerned, are overworked, do not want to go the extra mile or have become hardened by their profession. \r\nHaving said that I have experienced far more omissions than commissions of telling the truth. Healthcare professionals seem to believe I have a knowledge of medical processes and procedures that could only come with a medical education. They seem stunned that I don't know what the information they gave me means or that I didn't know it before coming to see them. I would not have believed anyone who told me that I would be present with my husband in a hospital environment and not one doctor would discuss my husband's test results or a plan of action going forward or a diagnosis. Yes, I said \"diagnosis\". I have left many medical facilities without a clear idea of the results of tests, etc. If I ask I am passed on to another doctor or a PA or a nurse. One doctor will say they have no idea what is going on and one doctor will say he has about a year to live. And one hundred percent of the time the home health professionals do not have information or have so little that I end up being their source for explaining to them Robert's diagnosis, etc. I have found the home health nurses to be very forthcoming once they have the information they need. They ask questions, follow-up with notes to support their questions, etc. and when they don't know they take responsibility for getting the information.\r\nIn our case, the primary care doctor and the psychologist are fully engaged with us and they provide honest, up to date information on a consistent basis.\r\nHaving written this out I now see that I can do a better job of being assertive and asking for information that I need or requesting an explanation.