Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Quality Of Care

My prescriptions were on the verge of expiration, so I had to go in for a check-up. Never an event one looks forward to. All the poking and prodding, not to mention the weigh-in. Has to be done, I suppose.

I have no health insurance, so I go to a clinic for my routine health care. I have been seen by the nurse practitioner until recently when she moved away. I found her to be quite competent and caring. Very thorough and taking the time to explain and explore possible avenues of treatment. I liked her and trusted her. I was sad to learn that she had moved on.

I arose from my dream filled slumber and climbed into the shower, denying myself coffee, since I knew there would be the drawing blood. I even shaved my legs! I gathered all the necessities of going to the big city and remembered to leave a canine in charge. I arrived 15 minutes early, as is my habit.

The appointment took place on-time and the doctor was through with me in less than 10 minutes. Most of that time was spent with him in front of a monitor as he asked me all the questions I had already answered on paper that he had on a clipboard in front of him. I wondered if this were some sort of lie detector test, or if perhaps, he was testing my memory. After this he said, "All done, now let's listen to your heart." I don't know that he actually heard it beat, since my heart rate is slow and skips beats. The nurse drew my blood and I peed in a cup and was on my way.

I paid a $30 co-pay for that. I had met the doctor on a previous visit and was not impressed with his skills as a physician. He was not someone I would like to spend any time around, but thought that he might have been having a bad day. I was there because his staff told me to get there. My blood pressure was elevated and I am on medication. I was feeling particularly bad. Nausea, headache and just plain wretched. When entered the exam room he said, "What are you doing here?" His tone was almost accusing, like he wanted to add, "wasting my time".

I have been told that I have a sarcastic streak and have been known to respond in kind. I didn't. I was tempted, but I held it in check. He was, after all the doctor who was about to diagnose me and hopefully help me feel better. When I told him that my blood pressure was up and that I was already on medication, he looked at me like I was daft and said, "Well, just increase the dosage."

I had no high expectations today, but did expect to have my ears looked at, as well as my throat. Thought he would listen to me breathe. Thought I would have to wear a paper gown for all this. Didn't even take my shoes off.

So, you are asking what I am complaining about? I am just wondering what quality of care I am receiving. This "exam" could have been handled on the phone and I would not have had to shower and drive 30 miles to get there. Is this what I can expect as I age and my body starts to malfunction?
A little scary ......

8 comments:

Sandi McBride said...

Now you know I love my Drs Moyd and Grainger...were I you I would send a copy of this post to JAMA....here is their link:
http://jama.jamanetwork.com/journal.aspx
I mean it girl, send them this, they need to know...
hugs
Sandi

dkzody said...

Your dr. sounds much like the one to whom I accompanied my friend. You can read about it here: http://cowbird.com/story/59047/Oh_The_Quackery_Of_It_All/

At least you seem better aware of the poor care you received than my friend did.

Mamma has spoken said...

Reading your post makes me want to hug my own doctor next time I go and see her. Yes, she is that great. I'll say a little prayer for you that you might find one this great soon!

Linda O'Connell said...

Some doctors don't even know what bedside manner is.

joanne said...

and you shaved your legs for that?! I think you need to find another AARNP that can take care of all the doctor stuff and are usually much more thorough and considerate. take care.

Chickadee said...

What an ass. Be careful with the hypertension medication...my mother-in-law went to an incompetent dr who added a medication that was contraindicated with her high blood pressure medicine and it put her in the hospital.

And that dr should think that sometimes when people don't feel good, their blood pressure goes up.

But what do I know? I'm just a patient too

Pat said...

Sounds to me like this wasn't an actual doctors visit. You could have seen a nurse practitioner. He didn't even examine you. I would think a normal visit would consist of the everyday check up: look in one's ears eyes nose mouth listen to the heart et cetera. This guy seems like a loser.

SkippyMom said...

Bah! I am sorry Kathy. That doesn't even sound worth the trip. Perhaps when Medicaid kicks in you will be able to see better doctors? I hope so. I know my Grandmother-in-law's doctors and care are top notch and all of it is covered by that.

And don't be sad you didn't get to put on a paper gown for a physical. Pooldad and I went for ours a few weeks ago, full work ups, EKG, etc and all he had to do was take off his shirt [for the EKG] and I left my bra on. I think only the GYNs do the paper gowns anymore. And you know me, I see a lot of different types, often. And that is for an insurance type doctor. Still, your clinic guy sounds like a real douchecanoe. Sorry about that.

I hope that your blood pressure comes down [how, with THAT appointment I'll never know] but be careful increasing the dosage. How are you supposed to get the right refills if you are taking it faster than usual?

Ah well, take care sweetie. You're in my prayers. Hugs xo Skip