1. Do you feel that your stage of life had any effect on your interaction with health care professionals?
I feel that stage of life was a factor in my interactions with health care professionals. The doctor mentioned that I did not look my age, which made me uncomfortable because I always wanted to look young. Also, I feel uncomfortable when someone is too close to saying how well my hair looks or how pretty I am because it is something I cannot control. Therefore, I do not feel comfortable when someone says that to me, making it challenging to get physical therapy due to my personal touch and proximity preferences (Green, 2016). The doctor constantly asked if I thought my partner should come in, and he, more times than not, already knew about it. Also, I had to ask what the results would be for the blood tests, and it felt like I was being picked up from time to time, which left me feeling uncomfortable, leaving me with negative emotions before the doctor had said anything (Giardina, Baldwin, Nystrom, Sittig & Singh, 2017). I think this is because I do not have a family doctor, so I was unaware that asking a patient like that was common.
2. Which areas of the hospital or clinic were most concerned with your well-being and feelings?
The hospital areas I would say were concerned with my well-being and feelings were not just the nurse’s stations but also the therapy department. The nurses had a variety of patients, and the ward was quite busy. Despite being overwhelmed in some cases but had a triage system for whom to attend to first according to severity (Smith, Filmalter, Masenge & Heyns, 2022). They also offered therapeutic services, and I felt it was next to me in person and felt like it was their job to talk to me about my concerns. They alternated and gave me information every time they saw me. I feel like they were more attentive to me than in any other department I had been to.
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3. Was your family with you during this hospital stay or outpatient visit?
My family had been with me during my hospital stay and outpatient visit. My husband was there every day I was at the hospital except for one. During my outpatient appointment, he was not there because he had to work, so I felt like the nurse took a little more time with me than other people. I did not want to make a big deal about it that day because I had a rough week and wanted to be alone. However, my husband was always there when I was discharged from the ER and after my chemotherapy treatment. This made me feel very welcome when I could not say anything.
4. Was your family included in your treatment, such as post-procedure instructions?
My family was included in my treatment plans. When I went for my chemotherapy treatment, the doctor told me I had to have a catheter put in, and I would be put to sleep for the procedure. At that time, she informed me that there was a possibility of not waking up. In this case, my husband was there with me because he had been informed about the procedure before it happened. After all, there was a chance of me not waking up afterward.
5. What type of interactions did you have with the people caring for you?
I had significant interactions with everyone in my room, including the doctors and nurses. Also, some of the staff would ask if I felt that a nurse should stay with me, as it was hard for them to make rounds on me at times because they were so busy. I think they were looking for assistive personnel to float with me at the unit due to the staff shortage. Even though they were overworked, and no one was really available to float, everyone was treated and cared for sufficiently.
6. How did you feel when you realized your family was not included in your care?
I felt like the staff that worked with me were very friendly, and it would have been nice for my family to be there. I understand that my family cannot always be there, but I believe they should help care for me to improve the quality of care and communicate with me since I need that support (Mackie, Mitchell & Marshall, 2018). Also, I felt like my husband should have been there to help throughout the whole process. Thus, it would have been a better experience if they had been included, and I would have felt safer knowing they were there.
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Giardina, T., Baldwin, J., Nystrom, D., Sittig, D., & Singh, H. (2017). Patient perceptions of receiving test results via online portals: a mixed-methods study. Journal Of The American Medical Informatics Association, 25(4), 440-446. https://doi.org/10.1093/jamia/ocx140
Green, L. (2016). The Trouble with Touch? New Insights and Observations on Touch for Social Work and Social Care. British Journal Of Social Work, bcw071. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw071
Mackie, B., Mitchell, M., & Marshall, A. (2018). Patient and family members’ perceptions of family participation in care on acute care wards. Scandinavian Journal Of Caring Sciences, 33(2), 359-370. https://doi.org/10.1111/scs.12631
Smith, J., Filmalter, C., Masenge, A., & Heyns, T. (2022). The accuracy of nurse-led triage of adult patients in the emergency centre of urban private hospitals. African Journal Of Emergency Medicine, 12(2), 112-116. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.afjem.2022.02.007