I always knew adult services was going to be different. I expected that adult services was not going to be as personalised, patient focused and individualistic as children's services. However, I was always positive that adult services would make me feel comfortable. This is true, my new adult consultant was lovely and she was hand picked my paediatrician as someone who he recognised as being someone who would be able to give the same level of care and attention he did.
Everything is absolutely fine with my new consultant, I would have 6 monthly check ups with her. She is friendly, talkative and showed interest in my academic career, lifestyle as well as my health. This made me feel very comfortable with here and helped build a bond in which I could talk to her about any issues I was facing. She always left enough time for appointments so I felt there was time to discuss any outstanding issues as well as new issues.
However, what I forgot about adult services, as with any service is that when going for appointments, you stand the chance of seeing your main consultant or someone else from their team. That was what happened to me at my most recent appointment. Unfortunately, I had to reschedule my most recent appointment due to my University exams. Therefore, the new date I got fell on a day in which my consultant doesn't typically do clinics. As such, I was allocated to one of her registrars from her team. He was perfectly lovely, he was very professional and treated me like an adult. So no complaints on that front.
However, what came across immediately from the moment I was invited into the consultation room was his tone and attitude. He spoke very quickly, and almost left no time for me to interrupt or cut in. I felt as though he was rushing through his patients, which I am sure wasn't really the case. This was just the impression that I got. I felt like I was taking up his time if I wanted to bring up something new, or if I wanted to discuss something more in detail, which is definitely how a patient should NOT be made to feel. I feel that, it may have been his naturally way of speaking but that can be rather off putting for some patients. Definitely was for me. The tone a Doctor sets when they start a conversation with you sets how the consultation goes. If the Doctor is open, friendly and the conversation flows naturally then you are more likely as a patient to be open and discuss matters. However, if a Doctors tone is more quick and fast flowing and seems to not give you as much chance to speak as you would like, you rarely challenge it and you sit quietly and listen and answer when asked. Much like in a classroom. This is not what a consultation should be like.
I am not saying that he was wrong in that particular consultation, I would merely suggest that when speaking to patients Doctors should speak slowly and try to think how the patient is feeling. Especially the younger patients, having moved to adult services relatively recently, I am not used to having to ever ask a Doctor to slow down or feeling like I needed to interrupt in order to get my point across but in this particular consultation I felt like I needed to. While I may have the courage to do that, some other patients may not and that is not good! Obviously on that day, I had a bad experience. However, it has made me think? What if there are more Doctors who are like that, who unintentionally make their patients feel uncomfortable and make it more difficult for their patients to speak up? In some cases, patients rely more on their consultants than on their GPs, so if you can't talk to your consultant (in a situation like this) than who can you speak to?
This is a collection of articles, news, videos which I have come across and thought it is worth sharing and recording for future reference. The topics of these posts will vary and there really is no theme, apart from the fact I find them to be thought provoking.