Medical Instructions and the ensuing ‘confusion’

The contracts that we have to sign as patients are probably ‘leakproof’ but the instructions they give us are often less than great.

As I am sitting in an oversized armchair and sipping my coffee, it occurs to me that there are so many ways that medical procedures could be improved by simple information.

As a teacher, it is always incumbent upon me to make sure that my instructions are clear, direct, and easy to read and devoid of confusing errors. As a patient, we often find that there are so many things that could have been explained, or if already explained, done in such a way that we do not question the practices and procedures.

I had a medical procedure earlier in the year and there were so many things that I found out at the last minute. Granted, I was almost happy about that in some cases since what I found out was less inviting and more invasive than I would have liked. On the other hand, the patient should know. There were things that could have been told to me for my recovery period that were not and some of them were not actually as accurate as they could have been. Nothing prepared me for a moment when I, following their instructions, almost got into a very embarrassing moment out in public when I had been told that it was nary a problem. Suffice it to say that I had a bag attached to my body and well, it fell. It was quite embarrassing at the time as I approached my car but in retrospect, if anyone saw it, it might have been one of the funniest things ever seen.

The instruction sheets that we have found, in recent months, are often unclear, poorly copied, and even contain grammatical errors that cause confusion. I think that some of us former teachers should be employed to help write directives and instructions for many of the doctors in the area and thus avoid the confusion that ensues upon our reading materials that are even sometimes substandard. It is even to the point that the copies look as if they were from forty years ago, faded as if the ditto sheet needed to be replaced.

Funny how perceptions are…perhaps we ‘retired’ teachers need to form a group and go into a part-time business, one that we can even do from home.

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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