Exciting Times

May 1st marked the start of a special initiative that is taking place in Calgary. Thanks to front-line staff and others, including Paul Wright, a member of our Pts4Chg community, patients are breaking free of PJ Paralysis. Check out these Tweets for more information and follow the Twitter discussion on #endPJparalysis.

Are You Dancing With Your Healthcare Provider?

In this video, Sarah Krüg uses the analogy of the continuous give and take in the “Tango” to illustrate the foundation of balanced partnership and connection that can exist between patient and physician. Unfortunately, this dance may not be occurring for some patients. As one member of the Patients 4 Change community stated, “To date, there are multiple songs playing at the same time, with each one having a different beat. Suffice it to say, my feet are very sore from being stepped on.” What kind of dance do you share with your healthcare providers?

Family Presence: More of a Presence

exciting newsFamily Presence is becoming an important topic in Alberta’s healthcare system. As such, we have added a Family Presence area to our website. There you will find some new material that is hot off the press! Click here if you are looking for Family Presence tips, conversation starters and more…

Survey: Pain Patients and Treatment at Hospitals

pain treatment
Over 1250 acute or chronic pain patients participated in an online survey by Pain News Network and the International Pain Foundation that focused on hospital pain care. Based on the results obtained, many pain patients felt that the treatment they received from a hospital was far less than ideal. As one pain patient stated, “It’s so bad that I will not seek treatment in an ER or hospital unless I really feel like my life is in jeopardy. They do not get it, they do not listen, and they do not care.” Another individual wrote, “I refuse to go to ER. It will end up killing me because I know how sick I am, but I would rather die than deal with ignorant, condescending doctors and nurses.” To read more about this study’s findings, click here.

If Doctors Are Kind to Each Other, Patients Benefit Too

Negative relationships can exist between physicians and their presence can impact patient care. As Dr. Karthikesan explains, “The doctor-patient relationship paradigm depends closely on the doctor-doctor relationship. Bad and damaging cultures foster a hostile atmosphere that erodes trust, tarnishes good communication and promotes disrespect within the medical community. The role doctors play in harming each other ubiquitously affects the patient’s care, however unintentionally. The question becomes, how can the relationship between physicians be improved or as Karthikesan asks, “So what went wrong in the noblest of professions and how do we fix it?”

Click here to read the solutions proposed.

Even in Death There is Inequality

Death is often seen as the great equalizer. However, according to  Sunita Puri, this is not the case.  Drawing from her experience as a palliative physician, Puri describes how inequalities are often present throughout an individual’s life, even when they are dying.  Unfortunately, such inequalities can make such things as end-of-life care less than ideal.  As Puri states, “We need to provide all patients – not only those who enjoy socioeconomic stability – with the comfort and dignity they deserve at life’s end, regardless of the inequalities that have shaped their lives.”  Read the full article here.

How to Make the Patient the VIP

In a recent article, Thomas R. Frieden notes that public health and clinical medicine should work together but all too often, this is not the case.  As a means of addressing this situation, Frieden suggests that the two areas can be integrated effectively by making patients the VIPs of the system.  What does it mean to make the patient the VIP?  Read the article to find out.

You Said and/or Did What?

What are things a person should not do or say to someone in a wheelchair?  In this blog posting, Sarah provides some definite don’ts.

“As a wheelchair user, I’ve experienced quite a varied reaction from the able-bodied public, so I thought I’d share a few things you shouldn’t say or do to those of us who use wheels.

1. “I’m only parking here for five minutes.”

No, you’re really not. It’s a disabled bay and you don’t have a permit, so get out of my space. I need this larger bay to get my wheelchair out of my car. Move.

2. “What have you done to your leg?”

Why would you ask a stranger such a personal question? It’s extremely rude and intrusive, and why assume I’m using a wheelchair because my legs don’t work?

3. “You’re too pretty to be in a wheelchair.

Now, that’s a backhanded compliment if I’ve ever heard one. Disability doesn’t discriminate. I can still be fabulous and use a wheelchair.”

Click here to continue reading.