What Happens When Patients Are Comfortable Asking for Help?
A patient is lying in a hospital bed with an IV in her arm. Suddenly, she gets the sensation that something isn’t quite right: a sound that she hasn’t heard before; a quick, sharp pain in her side; a question about a diagnosis; an uneasy feeling.
Should she say something? What if it’s nothing, or she’s wrong? How will the health care professionals caring for her react?
Too often, patients get the impression that despite growing encouragement to speak up and ask questions, health care professionals signal that they don’t have time for discussion. Some clinicians even get defensive if they think they’re being second-guessed.
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