The Doctor and Nurse Who “Got It”

October 11, 2018

Content Warning: Self Harm, Suicide

Note: The story that follows is very personal and quite difficult. Please proceed with caution and compassion.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

This is the story about a doctor and nurse I once had and how they “got it.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Trauma Informed Care – Non-Clinical Staff Encounters

September 12, 2018

Trauma Informed Care: when every part of a service is assessed and potentially modified to include an understanding of the emotional issues, expectations, and special needs that a trauma survivor may have in a healthcare setting.[1][2]

Below is a discussion about trauma informed care practices for non-clinical staff, an important and often overlooked area of trauma informed care.  This is the 4th in a series of posts I’ve written on Trauma Informed Care. Before reading, you may want to go back and look at the others in the series:

Read the rest of this entry »


Helping Doctors

September 10, 2018

It hurts when doctors don’t believe patients. Negating our experiences and our knowledge is cruel at its own level and creates a level of medical trauma that more and more patient communities are talking about.

For me, there’s an added level of cruelty. I’ve sacrificed a lot for healthcare providers. I’ve worked hard for them. I come to them with my own professional knowledge as a healthcare policy attorney with over a decade of professional experience and a lifetime of personal experience. I’ve put my career in jeopardy fighting for healthcare providers. I’ve spoken up on their behalf even when it cost me. I did so because I always believed that if I could help doctors do their job, if I could make their lives less stressful, they could provide better care for all patients and live much happier lives. And yet, invariably they hear I’m a lawyer and think I’m “one of those lawyers” (i.e. a lawyer who sues doctors). Or I tell them I’ve worked in all of these areas and it’s completely dismissed. These reactions hurt me deeply.

Today, I thought I’d share just a few things I’ve done to give context for my advocacy and context for my current frustrations as a patient. I have given all I can professionally and personally to help doctors and yet I’m not sure any of it matters. For what it’s worth, below are just a few examples of how I’ve tried to help.

Read the rest of this entry »


Trauma Informed Care – Disclosures and Care Transitions

August 23, 2018

Trauma Informed Care: when every part of a service is assessed and potentially modified to include an understanding of the emotional issues, expectations, and special needs that a trauma survivor may have in a healthcare setting.[1][2]

Trauma informed care should be a foundation of all healthcare interactions. Disclosure is the first step in helping health care providers practice trauma informed care. Understanding the importance of disclosure, what inhibits or facilitates disclosure, when and how to ask about disclosure, and how to respond can help develop a strong and trusting doctor-patient relationship. Knowing how to help patients transfer care to new providers can continue strengthening these relationships and promote healing for the survivor.

Before reading this post, I suggest going back and reading earlier posts on this subject:

Read the rest of this entry »


Common HIPAA Issues – Health Records Edition

August 8, 2018

Every year, I endeavor to get medical records from my healthcare providers and every year I run into several issues in getting those records. As a result, I am forever fighting the same battles with staff ultimately wasting their time and mine, ruining relationships with staff, and unfortunately involving the Office for Civil Rights (OCR; aka the folks that enforce HIPAA). I thought I’d share a few common issues I see arise again and again to educate patients on their rights and to educate providers on the provisions where they often have compliance issues.

HIPAA – the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act – is the law that requires healthcare providers to keep your personal health information private and secure. It also gives patients many rights to their records. The law should be empowering and helpful to patients but because it is often misinterpreted or provisions are not known to staff, the law too often puts barriers in the way of patients getting their records.

Below I present common HIPAA issues including:

And then I go over filing complaints, why these issues happen, and why this all sucks.

I hope this will be helpful to patients and providers everywhere (just remember that none of this is legal advice).

Read the rest of this entry »


Trauma Informed Care in Practice

June 25, 2018

Trauma Informed Care: when every part of a service is assessed and potentially modified to include an understanding of the emotional issues, expectations, and special needs that a trauma survivor may have in a healthcare setting.[1],[2]

Trauma survivors have unique healthcare needs. For various reasons – including time pressures, lack of awareness of these needs, lack of education about trauma informed care techniques, and stigma that labels survivors as “difficult” – these needs are often not met in the current healthcare system. While I’ve discussed previously the implications of trauma-informed care, many providers may not know what to do to help survivors. Below are some practical trauma informed suggestions offered by experts that can be taken to help survivors in medical encounters.

Read the rest of this entry »


Trauma Informed Care Principles

June 25, 2018

Current events are bringing awareness to trauma and its lasting effects on the mind and body.  But few are talking about the implications this has for trauma survivors in seeking care and the lack of trauma informed care in medicine.

Trauma Informed Care: when every part of a service is assessed and potentially modified to include an understanding of the emotional issues, expectations, and special needs that a trauma survivor may have in a healthcare setting.[1],[2]

Trauma informed care needs to be a central aspect of these discussions as trauma lasts a lifetime but few health care providers are well trained in the trauma-informed care approaches. This means that many with a history of trauma – which can include medical trauma, domestic violence, childhood abuse, sexual assault, and more – can face retraumitization when seeking care. Unfortunately, this population often needs more care as trauma brings chronic physical and psychological illnesses or to address injuries caused by trauma (even long after the traumatic incident).

Read the rest of this entry »


%d bloggers like this: