THINGS MY PATIENTS BELIEVE
Some of these are slightly tongue-in-cheek but I've endeavoured to be respectful. These are all things I have been told on numerous occasions by patients or their families.
- •They believe in vaccinating their kids.Such a blessing that anti-vaxxers are still relatively rare in South Africa, and it's mostly the super-wealthy who lean in that direction.
- •They believe that gripe water is good for their babies.And it really isn't! We have at least one admission a week of a child who has hypernatraemic convulsions from consuming an excess of gripe water.
- •They believe that doctors work normal hoursNot sure who they think staffs the casualty because they are always so surprised upon hearing the length of our shifts.
- •They believe we advise against herbal remedies because we disregard their culture.In fact it's not the herbs we have a problem with, but the fact that so many traditional healers in our area mix their herbs with toxic substances.
- •They believe that nurses are the only ones on their sides.Can't entirely blame them for this. It also makes nurses our closest ally.
- •They believe that dressing their kids in multiple layers displays their love, even in summer.Part of the reason so many of the kids struggle with unremitting eczema.
- •They believe IUDs and implantable contraceptives are bad - and possibly demonic.This varies depending on their religious affiliation but is fairly common.
- •They believe in combined decision-making.If you want consent for a surgical procedure you best be willing to wait for the whole family to get there. It is not to say that a person will change their mind based on the family, but they believe in discussing it first.
- •They believe I'm too young to be their doctor.Le sigh.
- •Kid-patients believe that I'll stick them with needles if they're naughty 🙄Seriously, WHY do parents tell their kids this?! Are kids not scared enough of going to the doctor??? And it's not fair. Because now if the kid does need a jab they think they were bad, meanwhile it was just medically indicated. Parents, I am not your disciplinary threat!