My 25-year-old niece has cystic fibrosis. She has been treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital since she was 3 months old. She was just told by her physician that he could no longer take care of her because the nurses threatened to quit if he did. Apparently they don't like her. According to them, she calls too frequently. Oh — and they "don't do emotional support" there.
She is in excellent health. Her lung function is consistently better than a lot of people without lung disease. She pushes herself physically to maintain her good health. As soon as she develops symptoms, she calls the clinic. She has been "reminded" on many occasions that her lung function is good. As if she should not be calling them until she is much worse.
The daily medical regimen to manage this incurable disease is daunting and she has struggled with trying to maintain that and a "normal" life. The clinic staff tried a few times to help her come up with a workable routine — until they got tired of trying.
Yes, there are many patients at the clinic who are worse off than her. That doesn't make her any less important. In fact, it would seem that there should be a greater emphasis put on keeping her in good health as opposed to discouraging her from seeking medical attention.
Yes, it can be frustrating to hear that a patient isn't doing everything that is prescribed in the exact manner dictated.
I, as a nurse myself, am thoroughly disgusted! Frankly, I don't care if they are tired of answering her calls. I don't care how frustrated they are. It shouldn't be about them! It should be about the 25-year-old woman with the incurable disease who needs their care.
And since when do physicians allow themselves to be bullied by nurses? Why is it more important to keep the nurses happy than to care for the patients? You know — that thing we, as nurses, are supposed to do!
I find the behavior of this physician and these nurses to be reprehensible! They are an embarrassment to their professions!
A word of caution to anyone who is a long-term patient at Hopkins: If you find yourself in better health, you may want to have a backup hospital or clinic!
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