What Not to Say: 10 Hints for Healthcare Clinicians

What Not to Say: 10 Hints for Healthcare Clinicians
blog_images-18_720_480 Nearly all the healthcare professionals I know are amazing people, but we can all learn from mistakes. Here are some standouts from my experience that I hope no other patient hears.

1.  “Don’t worry about that lump.”

Yep. That was my doctor who said my lump “didn’t meet the characteristics of cancer.” Lumps are a big deal to us girls. We’ve had it pounded into us to contact a doctor immediately if we ever feel one. When I found mine, I saw a physician the next day. It was a relief when she said “it’s nothing,” but I scheduled a mammogram anyway: triple negative breast cancer, spread to my lymph nodes and sternum. If you have a lump, get it checked.

2.  "Cheap Chemo"

Every time my husband gets an x-ray, he badgers the techs to tell him what they see. “Come on,” he says, “you can read those screens better than anyone.” They never break their code of silence. During my mammogram though, my tech mumbled something about a place where I could get cheap chemo. What? Chemo? Me?  Now I know why they’re not supposed to say anything. Learning I have cancer while having my boob smashed in a vise was not an ideal way to get my diagnosis.

3.  “You Can’t Afford to Survive”

After Obamacare cancelled my health insurance, no doctors would see me. My husband and I spent hours on hold, sometimes with three phones all playing Muzak at the same time. An oncologist finally agre
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