Educating the Uneducated

Good afternoon, and happy Mother’s Day to CAMPBELLSWORLD VISITORS!!!
Campbell, and I hope this day finds you feeling most awesome, and realizing that no matter your circumstance, you are truly blessed.

If you read my earlier post, Positive Perspective On the Other Side of the Help Desk Yet Again: Making Myself Whole, you know that I was admitted to Asbury Place Kingsport on May 8 after a short stay at Holston Valley Hospital.

I’m happy to say, that I’m recovering nicely, and in fact am sitting outside in a lovely patio area, enjoying the afternoon sun. However, it is this very thing, that has finally moved me to post this post.

During both my stay at Holston Valley Hospital, and now, Asbury Place, I’ve learned that the Medical Profession is, absolutely the least educated of any profession that deals with the public than any I’ve ever run across ever in my life.

During some awesome conversation with the CEO of Holston Valley Hospital however, I found that some, at least are willing to learn, and that once I am recovered, they’d very much like me to come and assist them with learning how to better interact with the disAbled public.

I’m sorry to say, that I have not as of yet, been as fortunate here at Asbury Place. While the staff is by enlarge willing to listen and learn what they need to know, it would seem that so far, the “powers that be” are not quite so receptive. I’ve reached out a couple times, and have thus far, not received any reply. That, won’t stop me, it is just going to slow me down.

It is my deep desire to help the Uneducated, Educated, learn to…
*Correctly assist disAbled persons
*Learn the function of a Guide Dog
*Learn the correct questions, to ask, and procedures to follow, and to remember to,
* LISTEN TO THE PATIENT!!!

Why is that in all Caps? Because to get outside this afternoon, after being told that I was not in any way restricted from doing so, it took nearly ten inutes to, get the techs “Helping” me to be quiet, stop trying to decide what needed doing to get us there, and LISTEN to ME! I mean, after all, I am the one who is the Guide Dog handler, and I am the one who is, Blind, and knows more about it than they obviously do, so I would think, my input would be a bit helpful.

I found that one of the two staff members was happy to learn, while the other was simply because I shushed her by raising my hand, and speaking loudly and clearly, saying, “Don’t you think it would be a good idea to listen to the patient?” Not my problem if she became offended. My problem is, that, if I do not start moving about, and using the physical therapy I’m receiving, I’m never going to become well enough to return home.

Let me describe the experience as it happened. Yesterday evening, after discussing with my nurse, my desire to get out of my room and interact with patients, and staff as I knew others did, the staff on my team took the time to walk, Campbell and I around, and show us places we could go.

Turns out they had a library, lounges, and a beautiful patio area. All for our enjoyment. So, this afternoon, after lunch, at my physical therapist’s urging, I harnessed up my pup, gathered my backpack with keyboard, and iphone packed neatly inside, and headed out.

As I was leaving my room, I stopped one of the tech assisting me this day, and asked her if she might walk with us out to the patio to see if I might find a shady spot to sit and write, while enjoying some sun, and fresh air, and working on regaining my strength. An easy request to fill, right? In their eyes, wrong?

First problem? The two staff members I’d gotten the attention of, stopped listening when they heard the words “walk outside” They began to discuss with one another how to help, where I should go and what I should do. I tolerated this for, Oh, maybe 30 seconds, and then raised my hand in a “Rest” gesture, and said, “Excuse me? Don’t you think it would be a good idea to listen to the patient?” Blessedly enough, they quieted. I explained first, that they did not need to drag a table out, they did not need to make special arrangements, they only needed to let Campbell, my guide, and I follow one of them out to this patio that a staff member had shown me the night before. Unfortunately, I only got about half way through that set of instructions before they were looking for a third staff member to assist, and yet again, making more unnecessary plans.

So, yet again, I raised my hand in a “Rest” gesture, and said, “Hello? Again, listening to the patient, just might be a really great idea.” Again, they fell blessedly quiet, but this time it was more than evident that the one staff member was a tad bit miffed at me. Oh! Well, her bad luck, is all I could think at the moment.

Keeping my composure, with some difficulty, I instructed the willing tech as to how to best assist Campbell and me, and we were off. Soon we found ourselves, comfortably seated at a lovely table, which the tech took the time to raise an umbrella over to keep off the sun, and writing this post.

I was also fortunate in that because I was outside, one of my friends, who was here visiting a patient, and we had a lovely visit.
I want to stop right here, and say, that as a whole, this experience of being sick, has not been all frustration and challenge. There are staff who know the correct questions to ask, and are more than happy to follow instructions, and learn what they’ve not been taught. I do not fault someone for not knowing what they’ve never learned, however, I do fault them mightily, when they talk over, around, at, and through me, and refuse to listen to one who knows better than do they.

Their assuming, and sometimes belittling manner is to put it quite bluntly, inappropriate, unacceptable, and in my opinion discriminative.

What is the first question you should ask anyone who is disAbled, or in some way in need?
* How can I help you?

This starts a dialog between patient and staff, that helps the patient feel unpowered, and somewhat in control of what is normally an intemedating situation.

What is the correct way to respond to the patient?
*LISTEN, and do NOT!!! Assume you know better than do they until they’ve finished, and then if you see an easier solution to whatever their need is, that fits within the parameters, of their instructions, then make “Suggestions.”

If medical professionals would only do these simple things, it would make so much difference for all.

I, am hopeful that this experience will lead to my being able to at the very least make some changes within my local medical community.

For now, I’m grateful to be here, and well enough to bring this post to you.

I am however, getting tired, and so, am going to pack up and head on inside.

We’re happy you read this, and would absolutely love your feedback.

Until next time, this is Campbell, who is disgusted with ignorant people, and his Momma Patty who is in full agreement saying…
“We have two ears, and one mouth” Blessid be.

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This entry was posted in Assistance, Medical Profession, Skilled Care, Uneducated and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Educating the Uneducated

  1. Patty says:

    I’d like to thank yall for reading, and apologize for the couple mistakes I made. It was my first time outside in quite a while, I was stopped and talked to by passers-by a couple times, and as you read here, was a bit annoyed, thus making me distracted.

    I cannot seem to find the edit link, but I’ll hunt it in time, for now, just enjoy and share the content, this is an important post.

    Like

  2. Patty, you’d be amazed at how many health care professionals don’t know how to help people with disabilities. I’m sure you’re not the only one having such experiences as you descrfed. I’ve shared your post to Facebook and will re-blog it later in the hope of reaching more readers. I’m glad you’re doing better and hope you have continued success in your recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patty says:

      Thanks, for reading, and sharing. Here is an edited version. I was feeling a bit rattled, and I do not know if Claire has had a chance to make these changes.

      I know I’m not the only one having these experiences.

      Educating the Uneducated

      Posted on May 14, 2017 by Patty

      Good afternoon, and happy Mother’s Day to CAMPBELLSWORLD VISITORS!!! Campbell, and I hope this day finds you feeling most awesome, and realizing that no matter your circumstance, you are truly blessed.

      If you read my earlier post, Positive Perspective On the Other Side of the Help Desk Yet Again: Making Myself Whole, you know that I was admitted to Asbury Place Kingsport on May 8 after a short stay at Holston Valley Hospital.

      I’m happy to say, that I’m recovering nicely, and in fact am sitting outside in a lovely patio area, enjoying the afternoon sun. However, it is this very thing, that has finally moved me to post this post.

      During both my stay at Holston Valley Hospital, and now, Asbury Place, I’ve learned that the Medical Profession is, absolutely the least educated of any profession that deals with the public than any I’ve ever run across ever in my life.

      During some awesome conversation with the CEO of Holston Valley Hospital however, I found that some, at least are willing to learn, and that once I am recovered, they’d very much like me to come and assist them with learning how to better interact with the disAbled public.

      I’m sorry to say, that I have not as of yet, been as fortunate here at Asbury Place. While the staff is by enlarge willing to listen and learn what they need to know, it would seem that so far, the “powers that be” are not quite so receptive. I’ve reached out a couple times, and have thus far, not received any reply. That, won’t stop me, it is just going to slow me down.

      It is my deep desire to help the Uneducated, Educated, learn to… *Correctly assist disAbled persons *Learn the function of a Guide Dog *Learn the correct questions, to ask, and procedures to follow, and to remember to, * LISTEN TO THE PATIENT!!!

      Why is that in all Caps? Because to get outside this afternoon, after being told that I was not in any way restricted from doing so, it took nearly ten minutes to, get the techs “Helping” me to be quiet, stop trying to decide what needed doing to get us there, and LISTEN to ME! I mean, after all, I am the one who is the Guide Dog handler, and I am the one who is, Blind, and knows more about it than they obviously do, so I would think, my input would be a bit helpful.

      I found that one of the two staff members was happy to learn, while the other was simply so, self-absorbed, and offended, because I shushed her by raising my hand, and speaking loudly and clearly, saying, “Don’t you think it would be a clever idea to listen to the patient?” to help further, and in fact walked off in a huff! Not my problem if she became offended. My problem is, that, if I do not start moving about, and using the physical therapy I’m receiving, I’m never going to become well enough to return home.

      Let me describe the experience as it happened. Yesterday evening, after discussing with my nurse, my desire to get out of my room and interact with patients, and staff as I knew others did, the staff on my team took the time to walk, Campbell and I around, and show us places we could go.

      Turns out they had a library, lounges, and a beautiful patio area. All for our enjoyment. So, this afternoon, after lunch, at my physical therapist’s urging, I harnessed up my pup, gathered my backpack with keyboard, and iPhone packed neatly inside, and headed out.

      As I was leaving my room, I stopped one of the techs assisting me this day, and asked her if she might walk with us out to the patio to see if I might find a shady spot to sit and write, while enjoying some sun, and fresh air, and working on regaining my strength. An easy request to fill, right? In their eyes, wrong?

      First problem? The two staff members I’d gotten the attention of, stopped listening when they heard the words “walk outside” They began to discuss with one another how to help, where I should go and what I should do. I tolerated this for, Oh, maybe 30 seconds, and then raised my hand in a “Rest” gesture, and said, “Excuse me? Don’t you think it would be a clever idea to listen to the patient?” Blessedly enough, they quieted. I explained first, that they did not need to drag a table out, they did not need to make special arrangements, they only needed to let Campbell, my guide, and me, follow one of them out to this patio that a staff member had shown me the night before. Unfortunately, I only got about half way through that set of instructions before they were looking for a third staff member to assist, and yet again, making more unnecessary plans.

      So, yet again, I raised my hand in a “Rest” gesture, and said, “Hello? Again, listening to the patient, just might be a really great idea.” Again, they fell blessedly quiet, but this time it was more than evident that the one staff member was a tad bit miffed at me. Oh! Well, her bad luck, is all I could think at the moment.

      Keeping my composure, with some difficulty, I instructed the willing tech as to how to best assist Campbell and me, and we were off. Soon we found ourselves, comfortably seated at a lovely table, which the tech took the time to raise an umbrella over to keep off the sun, and writing this post.

      I was also fortunate in that because I was outside, one of my friends, who was here visiting a patient, saw me, and we had a lovely visit. I want to stop right here, and say, that as a whole, this experience of being sick, has not been all frustration and challenge. There are staff who know the correct questions to ask, and are more than happy to follow instructions, and learn what they’ve not been taught. I do not fault someone for not knowing what they’ve never learned, however, I do fault them mightily, when they talk over, around, at, and through me, and refuse to listen to one who knows better than do they.

      Their assuming, and sometimes belittling manner is to put it quite bluntly, inappropriate, unacceptable, and in my opinion discriminative.

      What is the first question you should ask anyone who is disAbled, or in some way in need? * How can I help you?

      This starts a dialog between patient and staff, that helps the patient feel unpowered, and somewhat in control of what is normally an intimidating situation.

      What is the correct way to respond to the patient? *LISTEN, and do NOT!!! Assume you know better than do they until they’ve finished, and then if you see an easier solution to whatever their need is, that fits within the parameters, of their instructions, then make “Suggestions.”

      If medical professionals would only do these simple things, it would make so much difference for all.

      I, am hopeful that this experience will lead to my being able to at the very least make some changes within my local medical community.

      For now, I’m grateful to be here, and well enough to bring this post to you.

      I am however, getting tired, and so, am going to pack up and head on inside.

      We’re happy you read this, and would absolutely love your feedback.

      Until next time, this is Campbell, who is disgusted with ignorant people, and his Momma Patty who is in full agreement saying… “We have two ears, and one mouth” Blessid be.

      Posted in Assistance, Medical Profession, Skilled Care, Uneducated | Tagged medical Professionals, Unacceptable, Uneducated

      Liked by 1 person

      • Patty, I’ll hold off on re-blogging this until tomorrow to give Claire time to update it. However, I thought the original was pretty good.

        Like

      • Patty says:

        I just made some really obvious typing mistakes, because my hands were shaking. I’m so weak yet, a kitten could whip me!

        I see you blogged, and I’m way proud.

        Could you send your blog URL I’d love to follow you. Thought I was, but I guess not.

        So, glad to have you here, don’t ever hesitate to comment, critique, etc.

        I even blogged through my tech trials. I did some dictation blogs. I even left the mistakes. I thought it was a wonderful way to raise awareness of challenges blind folks face.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Patty says:

        Crazy think about those dictated posts? People liked them! LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Patty says:

      I think I am a bit self-conscious. I have one follower, who sends me a private critiques. I don’t mind that, it’s just he never has anything positive to say. Oh he loves my content, but he always has issue with my writing. I’m having issue with my fingers, and dictation is less than perfect so, I just like to write. I can’t give it up because I’m currently having issue. So, sometimes I hesitate to write at all. Then, when I look at my stats, or see my likes, and my comments. I know that I have some that read me. If you guys didn’t want to be here you would not. I appreciate you. I have come outside again today. This day, a staff member sought me out, and offered to walk with us outside. Now, I’m waiting on my dad to visit. What a difference a day makes. And a little conversation, and a little bit of shush and listen to the patient.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m quite familiar with Holston and with stories of “some” Extended Care Facility” my Mom went to. Holston was fine, she said, but the Care Facility? She said it was very bad and she was treated like an animal. Now this was in the 1990’s so one would hope things are better now.

    Like

    • Patty says:

      This place gives very good care. Asbury Place Kingsport earns their five stars. They are just lacking in education as far as blind and disabled go.

      As far as Holston Valley Hospital goes, I had wonderful care, their staff was fantastic, and when I wrote to their comments and concerns section I got a live and in person response from their CEO!

      If you read my FB posts from the first weekend in may you’ll see all I wrote on the subject, but just in case, here it is.

      I wrote the following message to their comments and complaints department, and underneath is the CEO Email Reply, and then on that Saturday he came and spent a most awesome hour or so with Campbell and me.

      Hi, my name is Patty, and I’m currently a patient on your observation unit, C 100 room 16. I’m a totally blind 49-year-old woman, with a Seeing Eye dog. I’m receiving diligent care, and I am very pleased, as a whole, with all that has been done for me.

      The staff has been, and continues to work hard, to provide most wonderful care to not only me, but my guide as well.

      I do not like to leave him with others, as it is very important to maintain the bond at all times, and should I need to walk anywhere, or leave in a hurry, having Campbell, (That’s his name) makes it much easier on not just me, but the staff who are assisting as well.

      Anyhow, here are my concerns…

      It appears to me that by enlarge the medical profession is the least educated when it comes to assisting not just blind persons, but all disabled persons. Since I can only speak for my own experience, I’m going to speak just as a blind person, and give my observations. Please remember that these are not criticisms, just things I’ve noted while dealing with not just hospital staff, but the medical profession population as a whole…

      1. Medical professionals such as, doctors, nurses, and techs, do not seem to know the proper way to walk sighted guide. It is quite rare to meet anyone within the medical field who knows how to correctly walk with a blind person. (Yes, there is a correct way)

      Depending upon whether the person walks with a cane, or guide dog, there are a couple of different methods of walking sighted guide, and I’m sad to say that most, know neither.

      2. It is my observation that persons within the medical profession have no knowledge of a guide dog or, dog guide, as is the politically correct speak, other than, do not pet. That is unacceptable, and not something I intend to tolerate any longer.

      I cannot count how many times over these six years I’ve spent with my guide, that I’ve had to stop and educate folks.

      They are unaware of a guide dog’s true function, they do not know the correct ways in which to interact with dog and handler, and it is obvious to me that they’ve had no training what so ever. That alone is sad, considering the oldest, and largest guide dog school in the world began in the great city of Nashville Tennessee, and, here we are in… Tennessee!

      Why are these things annoying? and What do I think should be done?

      These things are annoying because…

      When a person comes to the doctor, dentist, or hospital, they’re nine out of ten times stressed, dealing with some sort of issue that has them feeling badly, and the last thing they need to do is to have to stop, and educate those who are there to “Help them”

      What do I think should be done?

      I think…

      During a medical professional’s education, they need to have included in their studies…

      *Experience wearing a blindfold.

      *Walking with a blind White Cane user.

      * Walking with a blind Guide Dog handler.

      *Working with a blind patient in a hospital, and doctor’s office setting.

      *Playing the part of a blind patient in a hospital and doctor’s office setting.

      All in all, this has thus far, been a good visit, but if I did not need to spend half my time dealing with educating persons who should already be educated, it would make it much easier for me to focus on getting well.

      While I’m at it I’d like to address a couple other issues…

      1. Things such as call buttons, TV remotes, and bed controls, should absolutely one-hundred percent without doubt be marked in Braille, and raised print.

      2. Hospital menus should be provided in accessible formats such as

      A) Large Print

      B) Braille

      Or,

      C) audio.

      I would like to offer my services to Welmont as a blind individual, to help assist your staff in learning proper techniques in the things I’ve spoken of above.

      I’d like to respectfully request you contact me at your absolute earliest convenience to discuss these matters, so that I do not need to repeat this message to a higher level, because you can rest assured, I will contact higher levels if I do not receive prompt satisfaction to this request.

      Thanks very much for your fantastic care, and blessed be.

      Patty L. Fletcher

      Author, Nonprofit, and Small Business Consultant.

      Reply

      Ms. Fletcher,

      Thank you for the email and for bringing these issues to our attention. I completely agree with you. We can do better with our care and treatment of blind and disabled patients. We discussed this issue in our Safety Huddle yesterday morning (we have two house-wide safety huddles each week with all leaders present). Of course, no one mentioned your name. I have asked our Chief Nursing Officer (Lisa Smithgall) to: (1) assess our current policies and procedures, (2) identify gaps, (3) revise and update those policies and procedures as needed, and (4) implement a training program for all employees. We are also reviewing hardware and printed materials as you suggested.

      We have a Patient Family Advisory Council at HVMC. One of our board members, Mr. Eric Kistner, chairs this council. Janessa Sokol is the administrative support for the council. I have cc’d them on this email. Would you be willing to attend an upcoming PFAC meeting and present your recommendations?

      Again, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I greatly appreciate the spirit in which you raised these issues.

      Tim Attebery, President & CEO

      Holston Valley Medical Center

      Office: (423) 224-5002

      Fax: (423) 224-5037

      Like

  4. Reblogged this on Abbie's Corner of the World and commented:
    You’d be amazed at how many health care professionals don’t know how to help people with disabilities. Patty offers her own experiences with such personnel and a great strategy for those in the health care profession. The key is effective communication and the realization that there are times when the patient knows best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patty says:

      It has come to my attention that, and affiliate of, ACB has released a document about this subject. You may find more information about this, and others hospital experiences by visiting, Blind Alive.com

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Patty, my blog URL is http://abbiescorner.wordpresss.com. When you leave a comment, there should be an option to receive new posts by email. I’m glad you liked my re-blog and hope your post raises awareness among health care professionals.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patty says:

      I am sitting outside. When I go back in and I am on my computer, I will go to your blog and a follow. I think, I simply forgot to do it 🙂 thank you so much for resending her URL. Excuse me, I am dictating. LOL 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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