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Personal responsibility

Posted Oct 28 2008 8:47pm

Where I work most of the patients use the same few lines:

“My insurance pays for these supplies, it is my right to take them home” - after they are caught taking an entire box of gauze, actually it doesn’t.  Medicare pays for a partial treatment, which 40 odd years ago you wouldn’t be getting if not for some innovative doctors.

Also, if you ask for supplies we will more in likely give you them, we aren’t complete trolls.

“I have the right to leave at any time, it’s my right,” yes, it is your right to leave anytime, however, it is our right to deny to put you back on dialysis after you walked your ass down the street, bought some food and walked back to the clinic with your needles still in your arm.  First of all, that is gross and I am just a tad curious as what other laymen people thought of the needles and tubing taped to your arm.  Second of all, we are responsible for you, we can’t say for sure that you don’t put anything into your needles, like heroin or cilantro, and if the needles were to say, fall out, while you were walking through the streets of Seattle and your blood was gushing everywhere, well, we are responsible for that too.  It puts us in quite the pickle.

“If I don’t get my cocktail, I am going to blow this place up” - your cocktail of lorazepam, phenergan and benadryl is not medically necessary to be on dialysis, believe it or not, in the five years I did dialysis in California, no one, and I mean no one was allowed to be given that cocktail IV during dialysis treatments.  Only benadryl if itching or other allergic reactions were noted.  So, count your little blessings my friend, for you are one of the few.  Also, threatening the people who put you on a dialysis machine, in my mind, is never really a good idea, I mean really. 

I believe it comes down to personal responsibility and a tad bit of honesty.  As a patient, whether of dialysis or just normal preventative care, we are responsible for ourselves. 

In dialysis there are those patients that try so very hard to do the very best they can to do what is right for themselves.  I am in incredible awe of what those people go through day in and day out.  It can’t be easy, it can’t be fun and I can’t imagine myself being that strong to do it.

Then there is the other group, the drug addicted, violent, needy group that takes away the care from the first group. 

It is the state of our healthcare system.

It doesn’t get me down, it makes me try harder for those who meet me halfway to battle the ghoul of dialysis.  As corny as it sounds, we are a team, the center of the team is the patient, they are our quarterback.

      
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