Audio Attitude Exploring situational influence on attitude and behavior.

April 15, 2009

Bad Attitudes at the Emergency Department

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , , , — Brian @ 8:08 pm

Worthy of a look is this emergency physician’s perspective of the healthcare system. The rudeness and demanding he describes in his patients is probably real. However, I take exception to his analysis that the reason is “entitlement.”

People in our culture are trained to believe a test can detect any problem and a pill can fix it. The pharmaceutical industry makes certain that we get the message that pills, not prevention or caring for our health, is what normal people do when they do not feel good or get sick.

I wonder how many of the doctor’s mosquito bitten minor ailment-reporting patients have had the luxury of life-long open access to a nurse practitioner or family doc. I doubt many. Where do people without a healthcare provider learn about their bodies and how to take care of them?

Healthcare is as much an approach to living well as it is treating disease. Commercials, medical drama shows on television, and watching everybody they know take pills, smoke cigarettes or marijuana, drink, or otherwise ingest something to feel better. And when they get confused about a bump that itches, and whether or not it is cancer like that person got on some show they saw, who are they going to ask?

People with no money and no doctor go to the only place that cannot turn them away — the emergency department of the local hospital. Why do you suppose some patients are rude and demanding? Because they are spoiled selfish little brats? No, they are obnoxious because they learned a long time ago being pushy is the way to get service at a place that, were they polite, they would not be seen.

Entitlement the doctor speaks about is not what people feel when they visit his department looking for some professional insight into their bodies so much as the entitlement that those of us lucky to have access to healthcare seem to have when somebody mentions universal health care. “Oh, no, watch out for encroaching socialism!”

No wonder some emergency patients are rude. Too many of us with jobs and healthcare are so far removed from what life is like to go without healthcare that we are unable to imagine it.

The doctor might be ready for a vacation. He probably means well and does his best to hide his bitterness when these frequent flyer patients return with another stupid demand. Yet I would bet a paycheck these cretin patients of his detect his scorn and react accordingly.

This is not about bad attitude. This is about bad situation. If the doctor would step back a bit he might envision how universal health care can virtually eliminate such emergency department visits that drive him to apathy.

Remember. Attitude is almost never expressed in a vacuum. Attitude is determined by the person’s subconscious awareness and assessment of the situation – most of which happens without our knowledge.

Let’s think more about the situation in our culture. Attitudes will improve as a result.

November 26, 2008

How we are right even if we are wrong

Filed under: america,attitude,politics,situation,Video — Tags: , , , , , , — Brian @ 9:45 am

Working on the campaign was fun but also tiring. I learned a lot. More on that later.

Meanwhile, I would like to recommend the following TED talk. No matter which side of the fence you may have stood during this recent campaign this brief talk may explain how the entire spectrum of thinking – liberal to conservative – is critical for our long term success as a civilized nation and world.

(Note: if you do not see an image below, select either “player 7 or player 8” below to activate the video player. Or, if you have a high speed connection, you may wish to view the short talk in High Definition here.)

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