A Day in the Life of a Patient She is at the gym and as she lifts the weight, she feels a “pop” and her leg buckles, she can’t stand, and she can’t bend her knee. The coach sprints over and helps her up, she can’t bear weight and she can’t straighten her leg, she is afraid, and although there isn’t pain, she comprehends the seriousness of her symptoms. Her husband comes into the gym and he carries her to the car, “Do you want to go to the ER? ” he asks, “No, they will just send me to the Awesome Orthopedic Center tomorrow and the ER can’t fix this tonight.
However, her decision to avoid the ER happens to be an exceptionally poor one. During the night, her knee swells and is extremely painful, she can’t sit still and is in tears. The minute the Awesome Orthopedic Clinic opens for business, she calls. The phone is answered by a cheerful woman who is extremely concerned about her injury and assures her they can accommodate her immediately. Her husband drives her to the clinic; she can’t stop crying, she is afraid, and in pain. When her husband and she arrive at the clinic, the signs are clear and comprehensive, navigation is simple, and the building is beautiful and clean.
They are greeted at the door with a wheelchair by a smiling volunteer who transports them to family accommodation area, introduces them to the registration clerk and tells her “Take good care of them”. The receptionist smiles, introduces herself, and says “My, you look like you are in a lot of pain. I will make sure you are seen right away. Would it be okay with you if I take you to the doctor now and let your husband provide me with your information? I promise, I will bring him straight back once I have you registered. ”
She agrees and is quickly wheeled to the xamination area where she is immediately received by the orthopedist and her nurse. The physician smiles, introduces herself and asks the patient how she prefers to be addressed, “May I call you Maggy? ” The physician sits down at eye level, assesses the patient’s injury and says “Let’s get you something for pain and then we will get x-rays. ” The nurse leaves the room and promptly returns with pain medication just as the smiling receptionist escorts the patient’s anxious husband into the room. The radiology technician arrives in the exam room and introduces himself.
He explains the procedure and asks if her pain has decreased. She is wheeled into the radiology suite and placed on the table, the technician covers her with warm blankets and asks “Are you ready? ” After the x-ray, the technician gently moves her back into the wheelchair asking “Are you okay? May I do anything for you? ” He takes her back to the examination room and the orthopedist is already there. “You will require an MRI to be sure, but it looks like surgery on that knee is the only fix. First, we need to get you comfortable.
The specialist will be here in a few minutes to place an immobilizer on that knee which will relieve your pain. I have placed a call to the MRI suite and as soon as the immobilizer is in place, they will come and take you for your MRI. Do you have any questions? Is there anything I can do for you while we are waiting for the immobilizer and the MRI? Are you comfortable? ” At that moment the technician with the immobilizer appears at the door, and she is smiling. The technician greets the couple and introduces herself, she requests permission to measure the patient’s leg and place the immobilizer.
She is gentle and kind, explaining everything as she places the apparatus. The relief is instantaneous as the patient is no longer required to support the weight of her injured knee and she is grateful. The MRI staff arrives, and the team is as kind, polite, and gentle as is each and every person the family has encountered at the Awesome Orthopedic Clinic. The patient feels she is being treated as a person, not a number, she believes the staff care and understand her pain, and fear. It is a though she is their only patient and she perceives the staff enjoys working at the Awesome Clinic.
After the MRI the doctor is waiting in the exam room with the patient’s husband, “You have torn your meniscus and a piece of it is in between your condyles which is why you can’t straighten your leg, and you will definitely require surgery. I have scheduled your surgery for this coming Thursday. ” The physician provides a detailed explanation regarding how the surgery will proceed, what to expect before, during, and after the surgery, and concludes by asking the patient and her husband if they have any questions. “Will I be intubated? I don’t want to, I am terrified” she cries.
The doctor responds, “I will have the anesthesiologist come and speak with you right now. ” A few minutes later the anesthesiologist enters the room, introduces himself, sits down and says “I hear you are frightened, let’s talk, tell me what you are afraid of. ” The patient feels as though he truly wants to know, “Dying” she replies. “Don’t worry Maggy, I will take care of you and I promise I will be your doctor. Let’s discuss a strategy to assure you understand everything that will happen and allay your fears. ” They discuss the procedure and she begins to calm down.
The following Thursday she arrives for surgery and is greeted by the same warm, kind, and inviting milieu. She remains afraid, however, the staff at the Awesome Orthopedic Clinic has done so much to address her fears and concerns that she has faith that everything will be okay. A couple of hours later she awakes relieved at the sight of her husband’s smiling face. Needless to say, the surgery went well and the patient and family centered approach at the Awesome Orthopedic Clinic provided the patient and her family with a superb clinical outcome and an excellent patient experience.