Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The three types of patients

Any person who has ever worked at a hospital or doctor's office will recognize the three types of patients
  1. Healthy
  2. Chronically ill
  3. Hysterical 
Healthy/ Normal Patient:  First let us discuss the healthy patient.  This your ideal state of patient.  While many people may not understand this, when you are healthy you have the greatest need to see your doctor.  This is important in order to stay healthy.  Yet Lord knows not all patients are compliant in this regard.  For this reason, we can break the healthy patient into two subgroups:
  1. Gallant:  Complaint
  2. Goofus:  Non compliant
Your Gallant patient is your ideal patient. They understand people are mortal and as we age the risk of getting certain illnesses creeps up on us.  It's important to see a doctor regularly in order so that we can stay healthy.  However, let it be known there is still risk associated with the healthy patients.  You can run 20 miles a day, see your doctor on a regular basis, and still get cancer.  Yet your chances of living a long, healthy life are increased if you are this type of patient.  

Your Goofus patient will be non compliant for the following reasons:
  1. I'm healthy and I'm young, so why do I need to pay for a doctor.  It's worth the risk for me not to see my doctor regularly, and not to have health insurance
  2. I can't afford healthcare
Chronically ill:  These are your patients who see their doctor, or visit the hospital on a regular basis, because they have an illness that will never go away.  It needs to be dealt with regularly, and given regular attention by nurses and/ or doctors.  They need shots. They need checkups.  They need to see specialists.  They take medicine.  Examples include high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, cancer, etc.  

Hysterical:  If you don't work with patients you may not be aware of this patient type.  These are your patients showing symptoms due to hysteria.  The hysteria is the patient's reaction to some unpleasant situation in his life, such as anxiety or something that causes anxiety.  An example would be the wife who is in a stressful marriage.  A normal patient would simply deal with the situation.  The hysterical patient, however, instead of dealing with her situation (getting a divorce, seeking counsel), she acts unreasonably or hysterically.  It could also result from a condition such as being blind, deaf, dumb, or paralyzed by developing pains, spasms, asthma, or some other symptoms.  In this way the person escapes the source of the problem.  It is also by this means the person gets sympathy from society.  If admitted to the hospital she gets doted, and in this way she escapes her real situation.  Since his illness is the result of an unconscious desire, it is the most difficult to treat and cure.  But if one succeeds in influencing the patient's attitude toward life; if one can awaken in him the wish to recover and persuade him, for instance, to have recourse to God, or to see a counselor, it may very well happen that the person could be cured of his hysteria and the fake diseases that result from it.  On the contrary, excessive treatment may actually lead to real heath problems, some caused by anxiety, others caused by side effects of treatment, over treatment, and unnecessary treatment.  I think some of the most common symptoms for this type of patient include your headache, back pain, palpitations, and asthma.  I guess a good example of this type of patient is your actor asthmatic.  (About 10 percent of asthmatics are actors).  

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