A Letter from a Patient

3.       Health and Wellness

                                                A Letter from a Patient

Dear health care worker,

            I recently experienced a parent's worst nightmare दु:स्वप्न. One evening my nine-week old baby developed an extremely अत्यन्तै high fever. We rushed to our local community hospital and were admitted through the emergency department आपतकालिन विभाग to the pediatric बाल चिकित्सा unit. We were discharged three days later. Thanks to the skilled doctors and nurses who cared for our precious बहुमुल्य little one. While our infant's care and health outcomes were fantastic, our experience was less than satisfactory.

During my hospital stay, many staff took the opportunity अवसर to bad-mouth their colleagues सहकर्मीहरु to me when we were alone. I am not sure if this occurred because I looked rather trust-worthy or they wanted to let me know they were more competent सक्षम than their colleagues. The emergency nurses complained about the doctors' orders and the delay in response of the pediatric nurses. The pediatric nurses complained about the emergency room nurses' inability to get an intravenous line. The pediatrician complained about orders made by the emergency doctor. Once admitted, our pediatric nurse complained about the pediatricians' approach to the care of my baby. Then the pediatrician बालरोग विशेषज्ञ complained about the pediatric nurse's lack of ability to obtain a urine sample नमुना

 At every opportunity the parent in me wanted to scream at the top of my lungs "Can stop complaining about each other and look after my sick baby?" From my vantage point सुविधाजनक बिन्दु, it seemed that everyone was so focused on their own needs and skills that they appeared completely insensible that there was a sick baby that needed their help. In fact, it was downright disappointing एकदम निराशाजनक. This did nothing other than state to me that egos अंहकार were taking priority प्राथमिकता over my daughter's care. I cannot tell you how many times nurses told me, "I am so busy today." I am not sure if they were telling me to excuse the fact that my daughter's medications औषधीहरु were not on time or maybe they were simply looking for support. Every time I heard this statement my head played my own version that sounded more like "your daughter is not a priority."

 Do not use patients or their families as your personal confidante विश्वासपात्र. I was in that hospital room to care for my infant and see her condition improve, not to hear that staff were not equipped to see this goal through. Patients and their families need to know they are your priority and your job is to care for them in an effort to restore health. Please take time to tell them this, share positive news with them as if you are happy too, because I know you are.

Use the chart, read it, write on it and refer to it. After all, this is where everything that happens should be documented. At every interaction with a physician and their students I was asked the same questions "Was she premature?" and "Was your delivery normal?" I answered these questions the same each time, surely someone wrote this down in our chart.

 The majority of health care workers that approached my daughter referred to her as male. I would politely correct them with her or she. My daughter spent her time in hospital wearing only a diaper. Despite no obvious gender indicator, surely somewhere in my paperwork it indicated that she was female. As sleep deprivation अभाव and stress took their toll I wondered what other mistakes may exist on my baby's paperwork. Please be careful of what you say to patients and how you say it. When you are caught on such a slip up, be genuine in your apology and make a sincere effort to refrain from repeating the same mistake next time. Patients and their families need to know that you are listening and that you care about what it is they are saying. The gender error is one that left me with a sense of sloppiness and lack of focus on behalf of all who made this innocent mistake.

I am a health care worker just like you. People trust us to take care of their most precious loved ones in their most vulnerable states. This is our job and we do it with pride, but how we treat each other is dreadful डरलाग्दो Patients know that healthcare is not a glamorous career choice. They know that most of us do it because we want to help sick people get well. Do your best to confirm this belief when people are in your care. I am not innocent of uttering some of these statements above. However, I can assure you that I will be more conscious of what I say to patients and their families after my daughter's hospital stay.

Fellow health care workers, choose to interact with your patients in a way that instills confidence in yourself and your fellow team members. You alone have the power to positively shape the patient's experience.

 Yours truly,

An appreciative mother

(Adapted from https://hospitalnews.com/a-letter-from-a-patient/)


A. Match the words in column A with their meanings in column B.

a. nightmare            iii. causing great fear or suffering

b. pediatric               iv. relating to the medical care of children

c. intravenous          v. into or connected to a vein

d. priority                 ii. a thing that is regarded as more important than others

e. medications          i. treatment using drugs

f. confidante              ix. a person with whom private matters and problems are discussed

g. vulnerability        vi. in need of special care, support, or protection

h. deprivation           viii. the lack of something considered to be a necessity

i. dreadful                 vii. very bad or unpleasant 

B. Write True for true and False for false statements.

a. The sender of the letter was happy with the service of the health workers. False

b. The staff of different departments in the hospital had harmonious relationships with each other. False

c. The hospital staff were concerned with the requirements of the sick child. False

d. The staff of the hospital shared their personal feelings with the writer. True

e. The chart was unclear about the patient's gender. True

f. The author took the mistakes of the health workers normally. True

g. The writer seems to be more sincere in her duty than the hospital staff.  False

 C. Answer the following questions.

a. What was the nightmare for the author?

The nightmare for the author was the experience of her nine-week old baby developing an extremely high fever.

b. What do you think the main purpose of this letter is?

The main purpose of this letter is to express the author's appreciation for the skilled doctors and nurses who cared for her baby, but also to highlight the dissatisfaction with the staff's behavior and lack of focus on patient care.

 c. According to the author, what was the main weakness of the hospital staff?

According to the author, the main weakness of the hospital staff was their tendency to bad-mouth their colleagues and prioritize their own needs and skills over the well-being of the patients.

d. Did the nurses really say "your daughter is not a priority"? Why did the author think so?

The nurses did not directly say "your daughter is not a priority." The author inferred this based on their repeated statements of being busy and the delays in medication administration and other aspects of care.

e. What do the patients and their families expect from the health workers?

Patients and their families expect health workers to prioritize their well-being, provide attentive and compassionate care, and communicate effectively.

f. List the questions that the author was asked frequently in the hospital.

The author was frequently asked the questions "Was she premature?" and "Was your delivery normal?" during her hospital stay.

g. Why did the health workers make gender error about the author's daughter?

The health workers made a gender error about the author's daughter despite her not wearing any obvious gender indicators. The author assumes that there may have been mistakes or lack of attention to detail in her baby's paperwork.

h. According to the author, how do people perceive the career of health workers.

According to the author, people perceive the career of health workers as not glamorous but as a choice made to help sick people get well. The author emphasizes the importance of confirming this belief through their interactions with patients


D. If you become a health worker in the future, what lessons can you learn from this letter?

As a health worker, there are several lessons to be learned from this letter:

 1. Focus on patient-centered care:

Always prioritize the needs and well-being of the patients above personal egos or conflicts. Remember that patients and their families expect and deserve your full attention and care.

2. Maintain professionalism:

Avoid bad-mouthing colleagues or complaining about them in front of patients or their families. Maintain a positive and supportive working environment.

 3. Effective communication:

Take the time to listen to patients and their families actively. Avoid making assumptions or mistakes in addressing them, such as gender errors. Apologize sincerely if mistakes are made and make an effort to rectify them.

4. Use documentation properly:

Make sure to read and update patient charts accurately, ensuring that important information is recorded and shared with the team. This helps in providing comprehensive and informed care.

5. Reflect on personal behavior:

Mindful of the impact your words and actions have on patients and their families. Strive to instill confidence, provide positive news, and demonstrate genuine care and empathy.



B. Change the following sentences into indirect speech. The beginning of each sentence is given.
a. "Please help me fix this machine."
She requested me to help her fix that machine.
b. "Don't please switch on the fan?"
The electrician requested not to switch on the fan.
c. "Help me with my homework, please."
My friend requested to help her with her homework.
d. "Lend me some money, please."
The teacher asked me to lend some money

e. "Do your homework!"
The teacher told me to do my homework.

f. "Don't smoke!"

The doctor advised not to smoke
g. "Don't make a mess!"
My mother advised not to make a mess.

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