Improving Doctor Caregiver Relationships PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 23 September 2011 23:01
Many of us cared for a loved one, helping with medications, preventing falls, assisting with showers, helping around the house, and generally providing much needed companionship. But caregivers haven't been traditionally regarded as part of a patient's care team of professional doctors, specialists, and nurses. Doctors are however, slowly coming the realization that caregivers also play an essential role in their health care and overall well-being.

In a recent posting on Today's Caregiver, several tips were shared for both doctors and caregivers, which could help made their working relationships easier and more amicable.

Tips for Doctors from Caregivers
  • Allow yourself to feel for the caregiver and be in support of their role.
  • Be as up front as possible with any health conditions or diagnoses of loved ones.
  • Do not be afraid to ask how the caregiver is doing, and think of their needs even when tending to a loved one.
  • Be thorough and open with any medications you may prescribe, and alert the caregiver to any concerns or side effects that may result.
  • Always be comfortable enough to tell the caregiver about any resources or health care options available, outside of prescribing medication and diagnosing the illness.
  • Consider how a diagnosis may affect the caregiver, and will the caregiver be affected by the therapy chosen.
  • Explain the legalities of any emergency actions from resuscitation rights to sustaining life on a respirator.
  • Allow caregivers enough time to make decisions in the life of their loved ones in non-emergency settings. Never be quick to rush them into deciding right away upon a certain medication or treatment.

Tips for Caregivers from HealthCare Professionals
  • Be aware of a loved one’s medical condition prior to a doctor visit.
  • Be supportive of the doctor’s willingness to help, and saying “thank you” may mean a whole lot more than expected.
  • Be honest with concerns and questions, and understand that not every question has an easy response.
  • Know the intricacies at the doctor’s office and/or hospital in case of emergency.
  • Some doctors offer consultation appointments that allow a sit-down setting with the doctor to discuss all the issues and concerns.
  • Keep emotions in check and remember a doctor is there to help as best they can. It is always good to write down any questions ahead of time.
Source: Mackey, R. (2011), "Improving Doctor/Caregiver Relationships"; Today's Caregiver. Original article can be viewed here.
 
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