Thursday, February 22, 2018

Humans, Not Patients

If you have not already noticed, health care has slowly grown into somewhat of a "factory" of patients, ruled by corporations, insurance companies and "BIG Pharma", and not exactly in that order. Humans have become just another number in the world of "conveyor-belt" medicine.

Long waits, short visits, and scripted, impersonal care have become commonplace in medical clinics all over the country, and in the meantime, antidepressants and/or anti-anxiety medications are on the medication list of over 10% of the American population over age 12. As a matter of fact, there is a medication to fix every ailment now, especially in a world of 15 minute visits where only one concern can be addressed at a time. This leaves just enough room to "stamp" you with an ICD-10 label and to prescribe the newest "band-aid" pharmaceutical for that one problem and to send you on your way.

Merriam Webster defines the term "health" as "the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit", but how can we as health care providers promote this soundness of body, mind, and spirit when we only have 15 minutes to address such a complex myriad of systems and interconnections?

We cannot blame everything on the industry of health care, however, when many health providers are unhappy and frustrated. We have a job as health providers, whether Nurse Practitioner, Doctor, Physician Assistant, etc, to care for those who entrust us with their most precious assets! This does not mean being judgmental, condescending, authoritative, and just plain rude! Instead we should open our ears and listen to concerns as if we are caring for family and friends! We have a big job to do and it is imperative that we do it wholeheartedly and to the best of our ability!

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