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"A doctor, like anyone else who has to deal with human beings, each of them unique, cannot be a scientist; he is either, like the surgeon, a craftsman, or, like the physician and the psychologist, an artist. This means that in order to be a good doctor a man must also have a good character, that is to say, whatever weaknesses and foibles he may have, he must love his fellow human beings in the concrete and desire their good before his own."

Auden, W. H. on Doctors
Over 300 nurses protested against increases in parking charges at public hospitals. They rallied outside state Parliament at Perth City, Australia, as published in ABC online news.  

Dr. Kim Hames, health minister, announced that Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital will increase its car parking cost by $5 per week for funding a new multi-storey car park.

Mark Olson of the Australian Nursing Federation is not in favor of the unjustified price hike. That is how he defined it.  So he is asking for cheaper parking charges.  

"The increases are based on a policy of discouraging people from parking at public hospitals, not about cost recovery," he stated.

Olson said that if the charges continue to increase, some public hospitals would also raise their fee by as much as seven times. He also added that nurses are willing to pay a fair fee that goes up with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

"They don't think it's appropriate that they be forced away from parking their cars and remember the majority of our members are working shift work," he said.

According to Dr. Hames, he already told the Parliament that increases are minimal. He admitted, however, that the implementation of the hospital parking increase could have done slowly.  

"It is unfortunate when staff do have to pay more. It's something that probably should have been done gradually over a longer period of time. The fact is the former government should have recognized the need for parking," Hames said.

He said earlier that nurses in nursing scrubs will be benefited from parking on site. Seventy-five percent of nurses take public transport to reach their working areas. The new car park is said to lessen their cost of travel.   

"The cost of that is higher than what they were paying before, but less than they would have had to pay for a two zone public transport. So, in effect they'll be paying less than they would have otherwise and get the benefits of parking on site," said Hermes.

Finally, he said that the government withdrew its plan of increasing the hospital parking fee at Osborne Park and Fremantle.   

I'm Back

I'm back from my hiatus. haha. Got this photo from one of my favorite websites, eh. Reminds me that doctors in their lab coats and nurses wearing medical scrubs need sometimes to observe their patients from afar in order to understand them more. :)

Getting drunk can affect a surgeon’s proficiency (laparoscopic surgeons) especially his/her psychomotor skills, the following day. This is in accordance with a two-part study involving 16 medical students and eight experienced surgeons. According to the researchers, they were shocked to find out that psychomotor skills for a relatively straightforward task that the individuals were very good at would be significantly impaired on the following day even at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The result of the study thus suggests that if you have too much to drink, your performance is significantly degraded the following day.

Based from the researchers, the findings of the study is also applicable not only for laparoscopic surgeons wearing landau scrubs but also to those who use guided imagery to perform procedures such as threading cathethers through the heart or targeting radiation for cancer treatment. Even some eye and neurosurgeons avoid drinking coffee prior to operating, or make sure they are well hydrated before entering the OR in order to avoid any tremors that could affect their performance during the procedure. 

Read more: Going Under the Knife? Ask Your Surgeon How Much He Drank Last Night

Lab Coat Etiquette

Ever heard of lab coat etiquette?

The kind of lab coat that a health care worker wears tells his or her position in the industry, and the length spells hierarchy. MDs before were the only ones who get to wear long lab coats. And as the lab coat gets shorter, it means lower position in the hierarchy. Only nurses were allowed to wear three-quarter sleeved lab coats, while the mid-length lab coats are for other residents of a hospital or clinic. If you are but an intern, you can only wear a short lab coat.

Actually, this is the first time that I've read about the symbolism of the length of lab coat that physicians and nurses are wearing. But this etiquette only applied before, not presently. Today, the length of lab coats, does not matter that much but what really matters is the comfort and sometimes the style of the lab coat used. This so called "lab coat etiquette" faded already as time passed by. 

On the other hand, if we have this lab coat etiquette, it could tell us the credentials of doctors we are dealing with. This could be a great help for patients and people who are looking for effective and high ranking doctors. Nevertheless, the only disadvantage it might bring could be discrimination on the part of doctors and nurses. Good thing there is no dress code for lab coats nowadays. :)
In a survey of 940 primary-care physicians evaluating one of two hypothetical medical scenarios, it is found out that doctors when given a chance to choose for themselves, were more likely to choose for treatments with a higher chance of death though lower danger of side effects. However, the study doesn’t necessary mean that physicians always make less risky decisions for their patients than for themselves.

The study had given patients a glimpse to not ask advice from a doctor if he/she doesn’t understand you a little better including your perception of the quality of life and length of life.

The  research author Dr. Peter Ubel, an internist and behavioral scientist at Duke University further said that “when you put on the doctor’s hat (or should I say, scrubs uniforms), it changes how your decide.” Yet it is still important that doctors should consider in their decisions their patients' perception and values, and not only their own insights and principles, eh.
Let’s face it. Many teenagers nowadays can’t live without using social media. According to a poll by Common Sense Media, more than half of teenagers visit their favourite social media site more than once a day, and nearly a quarter log on more than 10 times a day and seventy-five percent of teens have cell phones, which they use mainly for texting and to access social media.

Unlike before, parents these days are worried about the social, emotional and health effects of cyberbullying addictions of their teens, that’s why, even the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is calling on pediatricians wearing uniforms scrubs to incorporate questions about social media usage into doctor visits. In a clinical report released Monday, the Academy had even offered guidance to people in uniforms scrubs and as well as to parents on how to peek into the online lives of kids without seeming to pry. They further said that “with this generation of kids, they kind of emerged online before parents taught them the dangers of being online; parents would never put a kid behind the wheel without driver's education. If parents take that approach with younger kids who are growing up, those kids will be much better off.”

Thus, the formation of strategy aimed to parents and to men and women in uniforms scrubs as well. Doctors were also given the duty to encourage parents to improve their tech and cyber skills too.

Looking unto the call of AAP to doctors makes me wonder if it is still part of the obligation of the doctor to do these things. Do you think that this is the primary duty of parents (not of doctors)? And as a parent, it is a shame that even your doctor will be the one who will remind you and urge you to watch out for your kids social media addiction, instead of you watching out for your child’s care and welfare, eh.

The Value of Empathy on Healing

Those doctors, who could feel the pain, heal more patients. According to the new study published in the Journal Academic Medicine, doctors who are more emphatic have healthier patients than those who are not.

What is empathy anyway?

According to Wikipedia, empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings (such as sadness or happiness) that are being experienced by another semi-sentient being.

Hence, is empathy a good quality that doctors in scrub uniforms must possess?

Ironically, it was also claimed that clinicians, caregivers, doctors and other men and women wearing scrub uniforms must take care not to be too sensitive to the emotions of others, to over-invest their own emotions, at the risk of draining away their own resourcefulness. Moreover an understanding of the limitations of empathic accuracy is discreet in a care giving situation.

Thus, a balance attitude towards the patients is a need in being a doctor. The absence of compassion to patients can make a heartless and ineffective doctor but an overwhelming emphatic doctor can also makes healthcare unbearable, to the point of not healing the patient.
 “Research suggests that people aren't good at recognizing when they've hit an unhealthy weight. That's why they need an outsider to tell them.”
Doctors are the best people who must tell their patients if they are already obese. According to a study, it's very important for physicians to tell their patients if their BMI puts them in the overweight or obese category, even if it would seem to be obvious.

Patients though sometimes stubborn have more tendencies to obey their doctors in medical scrubs uniforms and thus helping them to stop their unhealthy habits compared to those patients who were not told by their doctors.

This is a good sign that doctors can still make a difference, eh. In fighting obesity, we need to listen to people especially those wearing medical scrubs uniforms.

More info: Did Your Doctor Call You Fat?

The Gap Between Male and Female Doctors

Male and female doctors are not just separated by their gender but also by their incomes. According to the latest research on the salary of doctors, there has been a widening gender gap in starting salaries for female doctors, rising from a difference of $3,600 in 1999 to $16,819 in 2008. The percentage of female doctors taking less lucrative primary care positions fell from 49% in 1999 to 34% in 2008. Yet, when broken down by specialty, women were still making less than their male counterparts in every field except general surgery, in which women earned an average of $11,000 more per year than men.

What is the implication of this study?

The study doesn’t imply that this world is a man’s world and women are considered as inferior. Nor, men and women at the hospital are not just identified with their uniform skirts and men’s scrub pants, but even with their salaries. This doesn't also mean that women are inferior to men since in general surgery, women doctors wearing surgical shoes have higher pays. However, the main reason in accordance with the study is that women doctors are not just into work but into relationships. According to the researchers, it is not in a way surprising. Women doctors traditionally choose lower-paying jobs in primary care fields or they choose to work fewer hours. This is for the reason that they are giving more time with their families and relationships in comparison with male doctors.

Does this mean that male doctors are not? Well, asking a male and female doctor will not hurt, eh.

Read more: Pay Gap Between Male and Female Doctors Gets Wider and Wider

Suicidal Surgeons

"Surgeons are taught that the patient is their responsibility, period. So absolutely, if something goes wrong, the surgeons I know take it very personally."
-Arkansas Dr. Robert Lehmberg-

A new study implies that surgeons wearing scrubs for men/women and dickies pants most likely think about suicidal thoughts if they committed medical errors, experienced job burnouts and depression. But, ironically they are the persons who are less likely to seek help. Other reasons are being unmarried, divorced and childless and other factors also could have contributed to a possibility for suicidal thought.

However, the survey only asked surgeons, so it is not known if they have a higher rate of suicidal tendencies than other men and women in dickies pants and scrubs for men/women (the doctors).

You may ask why above all profession, those who are trained to heal, cure and save lives have more capacity to have dying and suicidal thoughts. I guess it’s because commonly, doctors think of imperfections as failures, hence they are more prone to suicidal thoughts unlike other professions (except military). Pride and self worth also hinders them to ask for help thus, preventing their own selves cure for their suicidal tendencies.

Doctors are trained and taught that their patients are their responsibility. But come to think of it, they have also responsibility with their own lives; to make it healthy, not just physically but emotionally, morally, socially, MENTALLY, and spiritually. Being healthy with these aspects will not only make them responsible on their own lives but also on their patients’ lives.

Read more:  Errors Lead Surgeon to Contemplate Suicide

Hospital Date

September 2012

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