Dealing With the U.S. Healthcare System

The mere sight of someone wearing nursing scrubs can make many people queasy. The fact of the matter is that, even in the best and simplest of times, dealing with the maze of medical professionals we face when handling health concerns, either for ourselves or for loved ones, can be enormously stressful. Of course, right now is neither the best nor the simplest of times.

Obviously, opinions vary greatly on both the nature of the current healthcare crisis and whether the proposed changes to the current U.S. healthcare system being promulgated by the presidential administration of Barack Obama go too far, not far enough, or are actually the best and most feasible first step. Nevertheless, we can all agree that a major change is happening and, in the run up to 2014, when most of those truly major changes are set to occur, many HMOs and both private and public hospitals are becoming more maze-like and difficult to negotiate. To say that dealing with medical bureaucracies today can be frustrating is putting things mildly.

The good news is that there are some important guidelines you can follow when shepherding yourself or others through the modern healthcare system. First of all, whatever happens, be nice - or at least civil - to the people you encounter, especially the ones in the medical scrubs. They are working longer hours than ever before and dealing with more patients than ever. As stressed out as you might be over a health issue and the contradictory information you may be receiving from various healthcare professionals, they are quite likely to be many times more stressed even than you by working with scores of patients. No matter how frustrated you may be, remain calm. If you can't remain calm, excuse yourself and take a break. If the person you are trying to work with genuinely seems incompetent or unable to deal with the situation, politely request to speak to a doctor or a supervisor.

Most important of all, do not let your understandable concern about the difficulties of dealing with the current medical system prevent you from seeking medical care when you need it. You may not enjoy the sight of the severe looking man or woman wearing the nursing scrubs, but they may very likely save your life.

Source: Guest contribution

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