When it comes to dealing with doctors, we sometimes put up with a treatment that we wouldn’t put up with in any other relationship. Think about it – if you had a friend who was constantly rude, never apologized for a mistake and didn’t want to answer your questions – you’d speak your mind! When a doctor behaves this way, most of us just grumble and take it. So, here are the answers to some of the questions you probably want to ask, but haven’t. We got these from the researchers at Condé Nast Publications.
- Question #1: “Is it really THAT bad if I have a drink with my medication?” When there’s an alcohol warning on a drug, people assume it means just don’t get drunk. Some meds can become downright dangerous when you add any amount of alcohol – like flagyl, a drug used to treat parasitic infections. The combination can make you dizzy, and cause headaches and vomiting. So, when you see a “don’t take with alcohol” label – DON’T take it with alcohol.
- Question #2: “Why is your NURSE so mean to me?!” Carol Brewer, a registered nurse and a Ph.D., says the days of giving patients backrubs before they go to sleep is, sadly, over. There’s no time! Today there’s a huge nursing shortage. In fact, by the year 2020, experts say the U.S. will be short over 300,000 nurses! About 66% of nurses work 12-hour shifts, half work voluntary overtime, and roughly 13% work mandatory overtime. So, emotions can run hot. Also, 80% of nurses say they’ve been verbally abused by a patient! The fact is, politeness goes a long way. Brewer says if you’re nice, your nurse will likely return the attitude.
- Question #3: “Why don’t you ever apologize when you mess up?” Maybe your doctor forgot to call with your test results before they went on vacation. Dr. Barron Lerner, author of When Illness Goes Public, says doctors should always apologize, but some are afraid that doing so might get them sued. His advice? Ask your doctor a lot of questions. “When can I expect your call about these results?” Be polite and assertive. Doctors are getting more and more honest about what they can and can’t achieve, and that includes telling a patient when they’ve messed up.