Hope for Our Nation? (Process Reflection)

As I look back on this semester, my thoughts toward our health care system have changed. To be honest, I enrolled in this class because I needed an elective for my public health minor. I did not have any expectations coming into this course as I thought it would be just like my previous healthcare course I took in Sargent. At the end of the day, I learned so much from this class and I hope to use this knowledge and understanding as I pursue my career in the health care industry. Continue reading “Hope for Our Nation? (Process Reflection)”

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The Importance of Conversation

As the semester nears its end, I think back to the topics we, as students, have touched upon in the course. I reflect on the the progression of our coursework from the history of the US healthcare system as a whole to the conditions and ethics of end of life care. To be honest, prior to entering the course, I assumed the class would be limited to the statistical, broader aspects of healthcare and stray from localizing the errors in our system to its true sources of misconduct and unfairness. Furthermore, I expected the extent of discussion regarding solutions to our nation’s faulty system to be a sort of “blame game,” void of seeking and/or discussing possible solutions but rather putting the blame on someone/something. What I found, rather, was a class which, primarily through discussion sections, worked together to examine errors in our system, share ideas for mediation of particular flaws, and debate both sides to elements of topics relevant to the state of our current system. Continue reading “The Importance of Conversation”

Long term elderly care culture

Coming from a multicultural background, long term care for the elderly has always been viewed as unnecessary and careless on the part of the children of the elderly person. Many cultures outside of the USA view that it is the children’s first and utmost responsibility to care for their parents. With these cultural differences aside, since America is so diverse in elderly care culture, how can these differences be taken into account by the government should the government start trying to fix the inequality in care giving that is going on due to the differences in privately owned nursing homes and assisted living companies?

How do other countries deal with end-of-life care?

Within the article “Fight to Honor A Father’s Last Wish: To Die At Home,” it was mentioned that “most developed countries spend much less on medicare, but twice as much on social supports.” Thus, I wonder how end-of-life care is structured and regulated in other countries? Is nursing home abuse as rampant and overlooked? What checks and balance do they have in place to ensure the people’s best interests? Is the cost much higher in comparison to the US?

Issues with End-Of-Life Care planning program?

After reading the article “Tip-Toeing Toward Conversations About Death,” I was glad to see the encouragement towards end-of-life care planning. While steps are being made to expand the guideline of the “appropriate” patient for end-of-life care planning with their primary care providers, issues still remain with the end-of-life training program. Take for instance the MOLST form. Though the pamphlet cements in writing the desires of the patient the medical steps they would like to be taken in their case, it still has certain limitations. Where the patient would like to be taken or housed in solely designated by two options: transfer to a hospital or no hospital transfer. Should not the option of deciding for or against nursing home care and or home-care be designated as well on the form? Some, like Andrew Stefanides from the article concerning a father’s dieing wish, would probably have benefited greatly for such an option. What other possible limitations are there with the MOLST form? Does giving out a form as simple as this display insensitivity to the patient? Are their better methods with which to initiate the discussion of end-of-life care?

End of Life Care in Other Countries

In lecture, she talked a lot about the different types of end of life care, specifically in America. I was curious about how other countries deal with end of life care. Do they handle end of life care better or worse than the United States? Can we learn a thing or two from how other countries deal with end of life care?

Empathy Over Quality?

In the article, “The Patient in the Intensive Care Unit,” Robert Zussman states that patients who are place in the ICU end up losing their individual characteristics and becoming only a set of symptoms and numbers. Zussman seems to be blaming the doctors who work in the ICU for being less empathetic towards these patients. I believe that if doctors are being less empathetic is is merely because of the time sensitiveness of the cases that usually bring a patient to an ICU. With this said, do patients and their families value a doctors empathy over their quality of care? Has the view of health care altered in a way that a nice caring doctor is valued more then one who can perform much better? and is it fair to judge these doctors who are simply trying to save lives?

Social Media’s Role in Healthcare

After learning about the history of health care and a little bit of why the health care system is the way it is today, the title “Social Media For Health Care, Who’s Doing It Right” on Forbes.com immediately grabbed my attention. Social media, while it is such a major part of everyday life today, is a relatively new aspect of society. For the first time companies can reach out to customers in ways that previously would have been impossible. The internet has undeniably changed the way people learn and access information. These days information about healthcare is at everyone’s fingertips. Continue reading “Social Media’s Role in Healthcare”

Timmerman’s Social Death

According to Timmerman’s article on Social Death as a Self-fulfilling prophecy:

“In most resuscitative efforts of patients with assumed low social viability, these signs were dismissed or explained away (Timmermans 1999a). In the drug overdose case, an EKG monitor registered an irregular rhythm, but the physician in charge dismissed this observation with, “This machine has an imagination of its own.” Along the same lines, staff who noticed signs of life were considered “inexperienced,” and I heard one physician admonish a nurse who noticed heart tones that “she shouldn’t have listened.”

What do attitudes like these say about doctors, medical culture, and American culture today? More specifically, is the problem with medical culture (taught within the “hidden curriculum” we learned about) or with the inherent character of doctors and those who want to become doctors? Or…is it bigger than that—is this ability to flippantly place value on another person’s lives, less representative of a unique doctor culture, and more representative of American culture as a whole?