Liz Crocker admits that she questioned whether this book was necessary.
"And then I interviewed a man who told me that his mother had been fired by her doctor for asking too many questions about pending chemotherapy. I remember thinking, in that instant, that this book was not only necessary, it was also important."
The value of respectful communication, a collaborative approach to patients and family members, and attitudes of empathy and compassion that are so obviously necessary are presented in the stories of Privileged Presence.
Consider the following:
"As Unique as Snowflakes: Responding to Individuals"... meet a teenager who resents being referred to as a body part rather than by her name.. a nurse who decides to admit a patient's dog.. a family who have two medical consultations in a single day, one of which completely dismisses them while the other embraces them..
"When Life is Threatened: The Importance of Support"..meet a wife who felt abandoned to figure out on her own how to manage when her husband was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease... a woman who praised all aspects of her care as a breast cancer patient but who now is caught up in a bizarre and surreal tangle of incompetence as a cardiac patient.. a young father whose heroic journey through an extraordinary storm to get his pregnant wife to hospital was only the beginning of the tough decisions he would face..
"Being Together: The Power of Family"..meet a mother who fights to be with her remaining two children after two others have been killed in a car accident.. various health professionals who struggled with imposed restrictions on family involvement while their city tried to control an outbreak of SARS..
"Hope for the Future: Passion for the Possible"..meet a hospital administrator who involves patients and families in everything the hospital does following a medical error... a parent who was invited to work with her child's hospital to transform its culture..and more.
In addition to the more than fifty stories, Privileged Presence includes information about organizations leading efforts to change and improve health care as well as useful tools for those who want to become involved.
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