Speaking up—say what you should say

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Patients tend to believe their opinion doesn’t count when they enter a medical facility and that they are under the control of the healthcare professionals in charge. This in fact could not be further from the truth. The more you speak up during the consultation, the better it is for your course of treatment.

A patient should be completely honest during any and every interaction with a clinical provider—be it a physician, nurse, or lab technician. The more you disclose about your symptoms or feelings, the better care you will receive. For example, if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, you should not have any reservations about openly discussing them with your doctor.

Besides being honest about your condition, it is essential that patients ask as many questions as possible. Too often, patients just accept everything a physician says without truly understanding what it means. When explaining details about a condition or the course of treatment available, physicians frequently utilize complicated medical jargon; this can be difficult for an individual to comprehend. If there is something you don’t understand, you have the right to ask as many questions and details until you are completely satisfied with the response. The physician should be very happy to answer your questions, as it will make their job of compliance much easier.
If you feel you might have a problem remembering any of the questions you want to ask, make sure you write them down prior to any interaction with the physician. We have put up a question list for your easy reference and review.

In addition to full disclosure during any interaction with the physician or other healthcare providers, there are other areas where a patient should be able to speak their mind. This is during patient satisfaction surveys or customer feedback forms. Individuals have no problem being honest in a restaurant or hotel about the quality of services they received; this concept should also apply to medical services. This is especially true because you’re placing your life in the hands of these healthcare professionals and facilities.

You should be provided with some survey or feedback form where you can document your stay at the hospital. This form should be filled out openly and honestly and should act as a platform where you can voice your opinions and concerns. Patients should be made aware that these surveys will be used in order to improve patient standards and the quality of care. Your feedback on any discrepancies will go a long way to ensure heightened quality standards.


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