The Feeling Of Entitlement

It is a sad truth that the appreciative patient is a dying breed. In its place, we have the more apparently-educated, demanding patient (and family!). Since when was public healthcare industry a service industry?

Everyone has a right to the best clinical practice possible within the realms of material constraints.

What people don’t have a right to… is a demand for an update on their family member at 10pm from the on-call doctor at a time he’s trying to set IV lines for sick patients who need IV antibiotics, expecting him to drop everything to cater to their whims. Persistently. Incessantly. Such that he’s getting 2-3 calls from the nurses in the course of trying to look for a vein (renal failure patient, y’see).

A patient’s right to know and his right to proper healthcare doesn’t mean he gets to demand additional service at the cost of depriving other patients.

Next, some patients behave as though their allowing us to draw blood from them is a bestowment.

Yes, uncle, if you would keep your O2 mask on, take your medications and stop smoking in the toilet with your pneumoina + COPD exacerbation, maybe we can stop going “wtf look at these horrendous ABG results… increase the O2 and recheck ABG”.

The doctor doesn’t enjoy taking bloods. Well, some do, it’s a bit cathartic at times, but for the most part it’s just brainless extra work.

So please, the spoiled patients out there, the doctor-patient relationship is not just a consumer-provider relationship, so stop acting like you own the hospital just because you pay a modicum of money (J. works in a C-class ward).

P.S. Insulting your blood taking person (doctor/nurse/phlebotomist) by commenting on their inexperience/lousy skills can be painful.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by cheekysalsera on September 10, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Your first question really made me laugh. Isn’t healthcare a service industry, regardless of whether it’s private or public..?

    I suppose the title is due to your view that these patients – and such annoyingly, painfully difficult ones they sound like, too – feel they are entitled to what they see as “better” service than what they currently get. However, it does also sound like you feel entitled to better things from them. Things such as understanding, kindness..?

    Reply

  2. No.

    No.

    Reply

  3. Posted by cheekysalsera on September 10, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    Why is it not a service industry?

    About the patients + family.. Well, I hope for your sake that incidents like these are closer to being exceptions. Then again, you are the one holding the needles, not them. Don’t let them needle you =P

    Reply

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