• Has anyone else had problems with "understanding" their Medical teams, or is it just me?

    Asked by oldgreycoach on Friday, November 25, 2011

    Has anyone else had problems with "understanding" their Medical teams, or is it just me?

    I have a sister who is a Nurse Practitioner and she tags along with my wife and I for a lot of my visits to the cancer docs and clinics. She acts as my translator between the medical jargon and real human understandable English.

    Its gotten to the point where the medical folks forget that a lot of us don't speak medical and they need to learn how to speak to us in terms we understand. I actually had to call one Doc after a appointment to have him clarify what he said. He apologized and ever since then has dummied his language down so we could understand it. He tell me he is doing this with all of his Patients and is making sure they can paraphrase information back to him so he knows they "get it"

    I am fortunate to have a resource i can use to translate but i also find myself asking for clarification and taking copious notes at visits.

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • CarolLHRN's Avatar

      I agree that many doctors talk at too high of a level and all the cancer terminology and drug names make it worse. Seems like you are doing all the right things by bringing someone along and taking notes. Nurses are outstanding resources as well and can often explain better. The are also great for giving tips on how to get through treatment. When I started my treatment my doctor did explain the treatment to me very well but I wanted to now how my life would be impacted being attached to a pump 24/7. He said, "I don't know. Ask the nurses!"

      over 9 years ago
    • SunnyCloud's Avatar

      I noticed that doctors dont explain much if you dont ask questions. Ive often wondered how Im supposed to ask questions if I dont know what is going on or what is what. How then, am I supposed to know what to ask? So I do a lot of research online to get informed. Sometimes this helps me to ask questions & understand what they are talking about.

      over 9 years ago
    • SunnyCloud's Avatar

      P.S. I did however, receive informational packets from all the doctors on the procedures, side effects, and meds. And some nurses took the time to explain some things & ask me if I had any questions.

      over 9 years ago
    • Glenda's Avatar

      Our Cancer Center had us go to education class and we did but then we had another appointment so close together with appointment, till it was rushed.
      I feel dummer each time , he goes to doctor and he does not hear well at all so we are just lost.
      Just yesterday he called his nurse and ask Is there anything we can do about this bad taste in my mouth and she says "WE talk about this remember"
      I think all of us have fear and scared to death so we don't listen even when they do talk.
      At this point me and him both really are not understanding much so we just leaving in God's hands and when they say we got an appointment we go. But they have us over a barrel because we don't have ins.

      over 9 years ago
    • mspinkladybug's Avatar

      just look at your dr and go laymens terms please i am blessed mine tells me in words i understand!

      over 9 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      And then, unfortunately, there are those doctors who feel that if you cannot understand their hi-falutin language, it is your problem; they don't have time to explain (or listen). I encountered one of those, and quickly fired him.

      Nurses are great intermediaries - usually they are happy to help translate into normal English. Anyone who tells you that "we discussed that yesterday" should be told simply that you forgot, or in the load of information piled on top of dealing with a cancer diagnosis, you don't recall, and to please repeat, or refer you to someone who has the time to explain.

      I hate pomposity!

      over 9 years ago

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