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Author Topic: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know  (Read 1958 times)

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Offline webontheweb

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Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« on: June 11, 2009, 12:31:21 PM »
I had to go the emergency room the other day- not important or part of this story- but what blew my mind was that there was not one person in the hospital who even heard of Atripla!  They asked me what meds I was on and after speliing A_T_R_I_P_L_A they asked what were "all the other pills that I was taking".  What?  no other pills?  nope I said.  They all to a man and woman thought that treatment was a "cocktail" of many drugs. 
Amazing that even medical are unaware of the changes made in treatment in the last few years.  I mentor to newly diagnosed people, but never thought that I could educate nurses and doctors.  I asked them all to contact the local support agencies and get the newest info.

Just thought I would pass this along

Offline mecch

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2009, 01:08:37 PM »
W.T.F!  that's pathetic
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Basquo

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2009, 01:12:38 PM »
I've had to educate a few doctors and nurses in the last decade.  Most of those didn't understand why I'm not on HAART or thought I was on a drug holiday.

Atripla is a cocktail, btw, but you're right, they should know in the ER of all places about medications that have been around that long. They have to make life-or-death decisions based on medications as well as all the other factors.

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2009, 01:20:30 PM »
It doesn't surprise me at all. I also find that many doctors who actually treat HIV/AIDS are not as up to date with information as they should be. That's why, since finding out I was poz, I have taken it upon myself to be extremely well-informed on the subject. I want to understand exactly what's going on when it comes to my treatment and to know if what the doctor is saying or recommending makes sense or not.

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2009, 02:15:24 PM »
It happens quite frequently, actually.

The orthopod I was seeing about my hand injury (broken finger) stated "well, we need to attempt to fix this through braces/casts, because you CERTAINLY can't afford to go through any type of surgery"   WTF?   Uh, hello, I just had eye surgery on May 28th....         I definitely think he was AIDS-phobic.

I'm not a bit pleased at how the joint has 'healed' (or a better term would be NOT healed).   It is all misshapen.....but he thought it was fine.   I said "I don't like the way it looks or feels".   He said "well, get used to it because that's the best it's ever going to be".   (Oh he also said "at least you're not a woman, so the appearance of your hands doesn't make that much difference").

I wanted to say "Thanks, tick turd"
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline CallMeSid

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2009, 03:33:34 PM »
I agree that there's quite a bit of ignorance among many medical professionals.  You truly do have to be your own advocate and up to date on what's what.  I find it troubling that so much of the education for the newly diagnosed focuses on trusting and working with your provider, but scant mention is made of the fact that not all medical providers are informed about HIV-related issues and in a lot cases you'll encounter rather striking ignorance/incompetence (and possibly outright discrimination) when dealing with those who are not HIV specialists.
07/2006 HIV-negative
06/2007 HIV-positive
07/2007 CD4: 795 (40%), VL: <50
09/2007 CD4: 629 (43%), VL: 895  (~2 weeks after measles/mumps/rubella booster)
12/2007 CD4: 854 (45%), VL: <50
03/2008 CD4: 880 (45%), VL: 151
12/2008 CD4: 943 (46%), VL: 116
05/2009 CD4: 865 (44%)  VL: 107

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2009, 04:24:14 PM »
It's normal questioning and if you would go in the next day again they would ask the same questions.

Online bocker3

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2009, 08:46:34 PM »
I do think that we sometimes have unrealistic expectations of those in the medical field.  If someone is not an HIV specialist, or work somewhere with a high prevalence of HIV, I do not find it "shocking" that someone would know what Atripla was -- or that it was 3 drugs in one pill.  With the hundreds or thousands of different medications out there, does anyone really expect all medicall professionals to know everything about every one of them???  (Well, maybe if you were talking to a pharmacist, I'd be a little more concerned....)

Now, I'm not defending incompetence or discrimination, but not knowing something isn't a sign of either.  I'd certainly rather have them ask and learn, than assume and be wrong.

Really --- give them a break, I'm sure there are things you don't know in your line of work, that others might find "shocking" too.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline webontheweb

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2009, 09:39:47 PM »
hey hey hey,      I was definitely not saying that anyone was incompetent.  As a matter of fact when they asked me was I married or single and I said the my partner and I had gottne married in Toronto in 2006, without batting an eye, the admissions nurse asked, " What is your husbands name?"  Yeah, score one for ME!

They were all very nice people and very prfessional, I just thought an emergency room especially would have more information and be up to date about treatments, etc.  that is all, honest!

 

Offline mewithu

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2009, 10:24:21 PM »
Not to offend anyone, but some of these nurses and Dr's work double shifts and we unfortunately have to if we are coherent at the time of entry tell them all we know of our Drug and illness history.
love all
1997 is when I found out, being deathly ill. I had to go to the hospital due to extreme headache and fever. I fell coma like,  two months later weighing 95 pounds and in extreme pain and awoke to knowledge of Pancreatis, Cryptococcal Meningitis, Thrush,Severe Diarea,  Wasting, PCP pneumonia. No eating, only through tpn. Very sick, I was lucky I had good insurance with the company I worked for. I was in the hospital for three months that time. 
(2010 Now doing OK cd4=210  VL= < 75)
I have become resistant to many nukes and non nukes, Now on Reyataz, , Combivir. Working well for me not too many side effects.  I have the wasting syndrome, Fatigue  . Hard to deal with but believe it or not I have been through worse. Three Pulmonary Embolism's in my life. 2012 520 t's <20 V load

Offline Sky

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2009, 12:34:08 AM »
I'm an RN in the ICU and you wouldn't believe how many RN's have never heard of half the meds for HIV and still to this day think it's an automatic death sentence.  Medical professional's are not required by law to stay on top of HIV related things...at least here in FL anyways, quite sad.  Many times I see the critical care team looking OI related treatment information up because they have no clue.
Poz since 2003.

Offline AndyArrow

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2009, 03:43:38 AM »
Trying being admitted to the hospital after spending all day in the ER and then the nurses asking if you can have someone go to your house and pick up your medication because they don't have your drugs and it would take a day or two for their pharmacy to get them.
It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2009, 07:37:06 AM »
I agree it is not a question of incompetency if hospital doctors and nurses are not up to date on treatments for a specific illness, such as HIV.
However, the original poster said that NO ONE of all the people he had contact was up to date.  So it is pathetic, from an institutional context.  It's not a criticism of individual workers. 
I guess one can only take that situation as an opportunity to educate.  Just two or three sentences should be fine - "The cocktail of many drugs has evolved and for some people nowadays three drugs are in one pill you take once a day."
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Online bocker3

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2009, 07:50:48 AM »
My point is really about keeping realistic expectations.  HIV is part of us, we deal with it daily, therefore, we have (for the most part) become fairly well-educated about it.  To expect others we come in contact with, regardless of the circumstances (medical profs, friends, family, etc), to have the same level of knowledge -- when they may not have dealt with HIV previously, is bound to cause "amazement" at lack of knowledge.  Hell, I thought I was pretty educated about HIV before my diagnosis, but I found out fairly quickly that I had MUCH to learn.

To clarify -- My comment about "incompetence" was not based on anything the OP said, it was another poster who used the term.

We should, as Mecch says, take opportunities to educate others when they arise.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2009, 08:56:21 AM »
I bet most of the nurses I work with don't know what Atripla is. Of the thousands of people who come through the ER in Greensboro how many are HIV+? Not a lot. Of those who are HIV+ how many are on medication? Maybe 75%. Of the people who are HIV+ and on medication how many are on Atripla? Who knows. I can only remember one patient who I have seen who has been on Atripla.

Most people who come through the ER who are HIV+ are not there for treatment of HIV. Also Andy is correct that many hospitals, including the one I work for, don't keep HIV meds in the general pharmacy because they are expensive and not needed that often- usually they can get them in 24 hours. Unless it is a critical emergency where you don't have time try to have someone bring the bottles of ALL your medications. Also bring your insurance card- if hospital staff don't know what kind of insurance you have they can't precertify it. Even in emergency situations some insurances won't pay if they are not contacted within 24 hours of admission- plus there are issues with making sure the physician is in network, etc.


Offline webontheweb

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2009, 06:48:00 AM »
Well it is nice to see everyone weighing in with an opinion about this.  To highlight from a previous poster, I did use the opportunity to offer new insight to the nurses and staff in question and I hope pique their interst to maybe talk someone better informed.  They were interested to hear how much has changed in the past years so I am hopeful that some eyes opened a little wider.
And also, I do agree that we are all "experts" on what is going on because we deal with it on a daily basis. 

The mentor/ educator in me is trying to figure out what I can do with this experience to further help and educate people.  I always try to find the positive- no pun intended- side of things to make the world a better place.  I know that medical professionals put in a lot of hours and are very dedicated people. 

cheers to all. thanks for all the posts!

Offline littlefire

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Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2009, 06:55:52 AM »
I've made peace with the fact that going for blood tests is an educational experience. Not for me, but for them. I spread the information with love because I don't want my disease to spread to them. The only people I really trust to know what I'm talking about is me, my internist and my cardiologist.

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Amazed at how little some medical professionals know
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2009, 08:12:34 AM »
I bet most of the nurses I work with don't know what Atripla is.



Same here. I can almost bet, that most of them don't know the names of the HIV drugs.

When I went into surgery last month, to have the butt warts removed. I told the nurse, the medications that I was on. Viramune, Epzicom, and Viread. She had no idea what any of those drugs were for.

She asked  me and I told her. After the mention of the drugs we had quite a lengthy discussion about them. She seemed very interested, and said that she really needs to have more inservice for HIV, and to learn more about the available medications.

But even inservice, Might only last an hour, and I don't think they go over all the HIV medications at all.  They may mention a couple of them, but I don't think they cover most of them, and if they do it's very brief coverage.


Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of DEC 9th, 2013,  t-cells are at 437 Viral load  <40 .

 Current % is at 16% (L)

  
 62 years young.

 


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