Doctors need sensitivity

Have you ever encountered a rude worker at a fast food joint after they have messed up your order? Did you mutter to yourself, “I didn’t give you this job, you applied here,” to a rude customer service representative?

And horrible customer service does not end with fast food chains.

Some people have dealt with rude “professionals” like doctors.

Yes, there are rude medical professionals with a total lack of empathy for your situation – whether it be a common cold or life-threatening disease.

There are some doctors and nurses who have a “too bad, so sad” motto, as if medical problems are the patient’s fault.

The University of Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry conducted a study in 2002 that showed physicians rarely showed empathy towards patients with lung cancer.

The report identified that out of 384 times when the doctor had a chance to show

some emotion, the doctor only showed it 39 of those times. That is only about 10 percent.

Lung cancer is a chronic disease, about 162,000 people will die from it in 2008, and treatment comes with a lot of questions from patients.

The questions of concerned patients should not be answered with a monotonous and nonchalant voice.

Patients should not have to deal with doctors whose only goal is to bill an insurance company for unnecessary tests and pointless procedures. But that’s another topic in itself.

Nurses sometimes have the attitude that every question patients ask are dumb or one question to many. I have almost come to blows with a nurse myself. My daughter was just born and had to be pricked for a blood sample.

She was only a few hours old and was screaming to the top of her lungs as the nurse took at least 10 minutes to get a good sample.

The nurse kept holding her tiny leg with those cold gloves and pricking my 10-hour-old child over and over again.

I was upset at her lack of sensitivity for my child’s piercing screams.

But there is more. A good friend of mine was giving birth to her first child in a local Tallahassee hospital. She had difficulties getting the baby to come through the birth canal.

An impolite doctor, in his cold voice, shouted orders at the nursing staff, students and even the mother-to-be.

After the birth, he left in a hurry as if my friend’s delivery had cut into his lunch break.

When doctors become inhuman, that is when problems arise. It is like when officers become so numb to crime they are not as effective.

I completely understand how dealing with the repetitive routines of patients may become mundane.

But even so, nurses shouldn’t be impassive and insensitive to their surroundings because people will get hurt.

Patients become walking documents and guaranteed paychecks, rather than a man or a woman with six months to live.

The heartbreak of a family, who found out they might belosing a member, just might get a little boring.

The occasional crying woman with breast cancer, could possibly be a snooze fest, but pretend to care.

Show the patient they are not alone. Be the human in the machine called healthcare.

Amanda Jenkins is asecond year broadcast journalism student from Orlando. She can be reached at