Health Mentor – Season One – Episode 3 – Annette

By: Annette McKinnon

I arrived for the final session and had no trouble finding the students. Because of bad weather and flu 2 were missing so the remaining three started with the questions.

This module was about Patient and Client Safety, so in a way, with no hospital stays and discharges I have had it easier than some. We got into a discussion of how the ordinary preventative medicine can be overlooked in a patient with chronic illness when the focus is always on the main problem. Referrals are not always made to associated disciplines either when all of the time is taken up with questions and concerns

In the past I have been one of the patients with a long list of prioritized immediate concerns that I knew there was no chance of getting through.

When we got to a discussion about pain my feeling was that many patients want to hear the health care professional acknowledge that their pain is real. Next they want to have it treated, often with an effective prescription. After that there are other ways to deal with pain that can include a pain clinic, a self management program and educating themselves about their disease. Of course the main way to treat the pain is to get control of the underlying disease.

After that we got into a lively discussion of social media, blogging, patient empowerment and the rise of the Epatient. I told them about Regina Holliday and the Walking Gallery http://reginaholliday.blogspot.ca/ though I can’t get through her story without emotional pauses because I find it moving and feel strongly about her cause.

We also talked about Patient Commando and the impact that Zal makes walking into a room in his lab coat showing the organs of the body so graphically. Using art to make a health statement is very powerful.

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