Never be afraid to stand up for your patient

So I understand as human beings it is really hard not to be judgmental, but when it comes to life or death we more than ever need to make sure to keep our blinders off and not jump to conclusions about people. Information through the grapevine is never as trustworthy as first hand information.

I had a patient suffer today because people saw what he looked like, where he was being transferred from, listened to bits of reported history, and made assumptions about what was wrong with him. To me, the pieces weren’t quite fitting together, my gut didn’t feel right about the conclusions made of this patient, and I made sure to say something. It changed the whole picture…

My motto is know more about your patient than everyone else on the team and in this case it may have saved his life. As a student you may not always know what test to order, the criteria to diagnose something or the right dose of a medication to give. But you can certainly master the patient’s history and make sure to point out things that don’t quite seem to make sense. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Your actions can be powerful even at this stage in the game. In the end, it’s always about the patient’s wellbeing. Never be afraid to stick up for your patients. I’d rather be wrong than be right and nothing was done about it.

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