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Author Topic: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals  (Read 4642 times)

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Offline PeteNYNJ

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"HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« on: November 07, 2006, 07:33:35 PM »
Hello everyone

I had to go to the hosptial for a procedure unrelated to HIV.  They asked me a battery of questions before the procedure and I told them of my HIV status.  I had the procedure done and was in recovery when the doctor showed the nurse something on my file (presumably that I am HIV +).  I then heard the term "HIGH FIVE" thrown around about me about 5 times.  Loudly, across the entired recovery floor.  For those who don't know, "HIGH FIVE" is hospital jargon for HIV + patients (steming from the HI followed by the Roman Numeral Five).  I was kinda pissed off because 1) shouldnt they use all  the same precautions on everyone regardless of what is on a chart 2) If I was in the room and they used that about the guy in the bed next to me, I would then know his status.  Isnt this an invasion of privacy issue?   Am I being too sensitive?
BTW - This was at Beth Israel Hospital in NYC, not some backwoods center.

Thoughts?

Thanks for reading

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2006, 07:53:48 PM »
I have never heard that term used before, thanks for that tidbit of info. It is sad that you had to have a bad experience like that. It goes to show that they were not very discreet about it at all because they probably did not think you would know what it meant. :o
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Offline RapidRod

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2006, 07:59:42 PM »
They could of just said he is hiv positive or he has AIDS. I would take the HIGH FIVE. But then I am always in a private room and in the clinic we all sit around discussing our meds and how things are working. It's just real open. The only time anyone freaks if someone says I have TB. Then everyone points to the wall that says, "If you have TB, Cold or Cough. " Please put on a mask.

Offline David_CA

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2006, 08:20:00 PM »
I'm not sure why they would even need to mention your status that many times to that many people.  It seems kind of unprofessional.

On the other hand, I've often thought one of these would be cool:


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Offline texasguy

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2006, 08:40:56 PM »
The medical environment in which I work is quite strict and would consider this a HIPAA violation for each comment.  Whether using "high five" for HIV, "the sugar" for diabetes, or "the cell" for sickle cell anemia; the jargon is not the issue.  It is a verbal expression of patient medical information in a public area.  Period.  A clear violation of HIPAA protocol.
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Offline J.R.E.

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2006, 09:01:41 PM »
Hello,

It sounds very unprofessional to me. Are you sure you heard things that way. The only people that need to be discussing your medical file, are those directly related to your treatment, and those that have reason to view it.

To start discussing your status loudly is,  I believe  a total violation of your rights,(HIPPA) if this indeed took place.



Example... Lets say you are in the hospital, your status is known . Out in the hallway, your hiv status is being discussed, along comes a housekeeping staff member mopping floors, and this person hears that discussion taking place. It doesn't necessary have to be another employee either, This person then tells the next person. In this case your privacy has been violated. There are strict rules and regulations concerning ones privacy. If it would have happened to me, I would have brought it to their attention immediately, and taken it to the next level, without hesitation.



http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/



Ray
« Last Edit: November 07, 2006, 09:04:11 PM by J.R.E. »
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Offline PeteNYNJ

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2006, 09:17:29 PM »
Thanks for everyone's advice....I definitley heard them say it.  It was nurses talking to each other but not really talking since they were yelling.  It was in a recovery room with about 5 patients.  It struck me as odd because these nurses were doing nothing to put themselves into any danger.  I know they were saying it because they thought I didnt know what it meant.  I do know, my sister is a nurse.

Offline aztecan

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2006, 09:18:30 PM »
The last time I was hospitalized, they (nurses, orderlies, etc.)  used to spell out G A Y when the physical therapist was wheeling me down the hallway.

I asked my favorite nurse, a hunky man with arms of steel and a tush to die for, why they were speculating whether I was gay. He told me that wasn't what they were talking about. Turns out, they were using an acronym for "got AIDS yet?"

I thought they were making a crass anti-gay comment.

This also was odd because this was late 1983. I don't remember when they came up with the test for HIV antibodies. I just know that, after they did a huge number of blood tests, nobody came near me without gloves, masks, gowns, footies, etc.

I didn't click about what had happened. I had other things on my mind. I couldn't walk, could only see out of one eye and the stab wound was still very sore.

For myself, I would prefer hi-fiver, which I myself have used from time to time. But they still shouldn't have been shouting it out.

HUGS,

Mark
« Last Edit: November 07, 2006, 09:21:14 PM by aztecan »
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Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2006, 07:09:34 AM »
I work in a hospital and I've never heard the term "high five". The only term other than HIV+ I've heard is the diagnostic code when someone is trying to be discrete.

Offline Coffeechick88

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2006, 09:42:20 AM »
Hello everyone

I had to go to the hosptial for a procedure unrelated to HIV.  They asked me a battery of questions before the procedure and I told them of my HIV status.  I had the procedure done and was in recovery when the doctor showed the nurse something on my file (presumably that I am HIV +).  I then heard the term "HIGH FIVE" thrown around about me about 5 times.  Loudly, across the entired recovery floor.  For those who don't know, "HIGH FIVE" is hospital jargon for HIV + patients (steming from the HI followed by the Roman Numeral Five).  I was kinda pissed off because 1) shouldnt they use all  the same precautions on everyone regardless of what is on a chart 2) If I was in the room and they used that about the guy in the bed next to me, I would then know his status.  Isnt this an invasion of privacy issue?   Am I being too sensitive?
BTW - This was at Beth Israel Hospital in NYC, not some backwoods center.

Thoughts?

Thanks for reading
I work in a hospital and I have never heard the term High Five.  Anyhow, yelling your status around the hospital is definitely a HIPAA violation.  It can be on your chart and only the people who need to know are supposed to know--no one else. Also, all of us healthcare workers are supposed to use universal precautions, which means we are supposed to treat every patient like they are HIV positive.  We are not supposed to tell everybody to status to tell them to be "more careful"--I have seen this in smaller hospitals, which is a no-no.  My guess is that is what they were trying to do, which they shouldn't be doing since we have universal precautions in place.  The only ones who need to know your status are those treating you.   You have the right to privacy like anyone else.  That is definitely against the law.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2006, 09:45:14 AM by Coffeechick88 »
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Offline Iggy

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2006, 10:59:38 AM »
.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2007, 08:01:43 PM by Iggy »

Offline poet

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2006, 01:16:14 PM »
I would contact the hospital and work my way up to the top, if needed, to find out what was being said and why.  If you are having this happen- and, in fairness we dont' know what they meant- then it is happening to lot's of other people and until it reaches the head of the hospital, it will continue.  Yes, the agressive former New Yorker in me can't resist such situations as opportunities.  Win
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

Offline gemini20

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2006, 03:57:37 PM »
This post took me back to an incident which happened to me at a UK hospital in the early 1990s. I had gone to a day surgery unit for an operation unrelated to HIV but chose to inform staff about my positive status.

While waiting in the crowded ward a member of staff asked 'which patient was next for surgery?' and the reply which everyone heard was 'anyone but the woman in bed number 1'. This prompt a large number of people to turn and look at me.

Feeling slightly aggrieved I went up to the nurses station to ask why and was told that 'we put people like you at the end of the operating list'. If this wasn't bad enough I then saw that my notes were on top of the counter with 'HIV+' written in large red letters for anyone to see.

After I had recovered from surgery I wrote a letter of complaint to the Chief Executive (I wouldn't bother working up the chain, start at the top as they tend to pass it onto the relevant person) detailing the experience I had been through but also informing him that I was advising other positive patients I knew not to reveal their status should they ever use his service.

The response was almost immediate with phone calls from senior managers inviting me to meetings to apologise for how I had been treated and asking what they could do to improve their service for positive patients. Ultimately I agreed to have an input into their staff training programme to ensure that generic staff had some degree of understanding about HIV because I didn't want other positive patients to go through the same level of ignorance.

I certainly don't think you are being too sensitive, we are all entitled to a level of confidentiality that ensures that staff not treating you and other patients do not have access to personal information unless we choose to disclose it.

Good luck if you do take further action.

Best wishes,

Emma

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Offline Lwood

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2006, 09:36:28 PM »
Ive been aware of the term for some time..( well before my Diagnosis)    and in fact used it in the title of my blog.
Medical People have all kinds of little terms like that, as do Cops, Lawyers, Social workers etc...    Using them in front of someone is another issue however.. about the only thing that comes instantly to mind if it were to happen to me would be to say something like " Oh Jesus, I thought only Candy stripers used that cutsie assed little term.. someone must be hittin the Demerol..  again..."
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Offline megasept

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Hi-5 & HIPPA Rights to Medical Privacy
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2006, 10:13:13 PM »
Hi: HIPPA Law, as already stated, prohibits gossip  :o about a PT's chart, condition, and treatment. Simply put, medical staff should know only what they need to know. And yes, HIV is not TB, and not highly communicable, so it's not like the whole unit staff needs to know (TB PTs should also be treated with basic dignity). I suggest you pursue this complaint, not as a lawsuit (I am sick of them), but in order to embarrass and straighten out the unit. Put your complaint in writing. Keep in mind individual staff members have their own licensure and are well aware of their obligations, and are individually legally accountable for their actions (you can report them to their respective boards). A hospital is not the same as a typical workplace. You have several roads you may take, all of them quite interesting. I don't see a downside in complaining, but that's best for you to figure out.

We are forthright with everyone (it's already in the charts nobody reads anyway), and we are rewarded with prejudice and unwanted attention. I am personally sick of gossip in hospitals about HIV, and I speak from experience. I recently left employment over just this kind of out-of-control "discussion". "Backwoods center" or not, this kind of thing goes on most everywhere. I took limited action. I suggest you take some action as well.

Reading Emma's experience in the UK is also relevant. She took action and seems to have had a real effect. I am interested in the postings of Canadians, UK people, and W. Europeans, since all of you have some form of universal healthcare, something we Americans sorely need for any number of reasons, including economic. We need to know about your system's deficiencies as well as pluses.

 :-\ -megasept


Offline wellington

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2006, 12:29:10 AM »
I've never heard the term High Five at the hospital before; however, I did see my chart at the hospital I went to for abacavir sensitivity testing and on the front page there was a large HIV+ written in pen and encircled numerous times. That and the ensuing diagnostic treatment has resulted in a letter of complaint from me, which I am keeping on file until my testing with them is complete. Then, they can have it in time for Christmas.

The hospital in question is a teaching hospital, and is the only one in Toronto that does this sort of testing. At first, I thought the person with whom I had consulted was a student; however, I've learned since that she was a the attending physician. There's just something so wrong about a caregiver continuing to write on her pad of paper while saying "you're free to go" without so much as an attempt at eye contact. I'm willing to chalk it up to personality conflict but I'm certainly not willing to dismiss her lack of professionalism.

So much for comprehensive Canadian health care, huh?

Offline poet

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2006, 06:59:58 AM »
It's always good to see agressive patients who understand what proper care means and if they or if someone they know aren't/isn't getting it, make sure that the situation is brought to light.  And this can be as mild as my pointing out to a doctor that with the exam room next to the waiting area and a ceiling heating/cooling system in place, anything said in the former made its way into the latter.  Win
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

Offline Sky

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2006, 10:09:22 AM »
The hospital I work at doesn't call it that, but they do say "we need to collect the T's" to indicate a poz patient.
Poz since 2003.

Offline FiercenBed

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2006, 10:45:16 AM »
i was @ the dentist office and they put u in these open cubicles. to the left is a monitor w/ all ur stats...address phone name appointments. in the middle of the screen was a big red line that said......MEDICAL ALERT HIV+. anyone walking up & down the isle can see the monitor. anyway i complained about it and now it sez MEDICAL ALERT.  point is speak up and tell them....ur paying them.

Offline Beatz4me

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2006, 11:24:17 AM »
Wow...My heart sunk after reading these posts and I feel kinda sick to my stomach now...I am sooo sorry you had to endure that...After hearing all those stories, it just reminds me that people tend to forget the human side of this virus.. :(   

Offline Coffeechick88

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2006, 06:45:41 PM »
It's always good to see agressive patients who understand what proper care means and if they or if someone they know aren't/isn't getting it, make sure that the situation is brought to light.  And this can be as mild as my pointing out to a doctor that with the exam room next to the waiting area and a ceiling heating/cooling system in place, anything said in the former made its way into the latter.  Win
I'm in the medical field and I am ashamed to say that after 25 years, ignorance still exists in the medical field.  Not only ignorance, but prejudice.  We as patients need to realize our rights and not be ashamed to demand the equality given to us by law, which includes right to privacy.  We must speak up.  The place I'm at is really very HIV unfriendly and only one coworker knows of my status.  In fact, it was a DOCTOR who almost got me barred from working at the hospital I am at currently.  And I'm a lab rat that doesn't have a huge amount of patient contact!  (of course even if I did have a lot of patient contact she still would have had no basis, but still).  I had the name of a public health specialist I know plus two HIV specialist and then I gave them the name of an attorney that handles cases for our family.  I told them that this isn't the '80s anymore and we know better and if the doctors don't convince them, then my attorney will have a fun time with a discrimination lawsuit--you can bet that made them listen to me.  The only reason I bothered with that place was that I was a new graduate, there were hiring freezes around and I needed the job--to pay loans and to pay bills for my education since I plan to get my Ph.D, not to mention I am stubborn as hell and had to fight it as a matter of principle.  I have aided patients in filing complaints because I saw many cases of discrimination--nurses refusing to draw or start an IV for those with HIV and Hep C.  Nurses who tell me to "be careful" with that patient, ignoring the universal precautions and HIPAA.  Even a co-worker in the lab who went so far as to LABEL blood culture bottles "HIV+".  I eventually bitched enough to where registration forms for labs, etc now cannot put HIV status splashed on forms, but must use the diagnostic code, considering the papers were on the desk at the outpatient lab and any patient walking in could easily see the diagnosis--did I mention it is also a small town and these people all know each other.  We still have so much ground to cover..... 
« Last Edit: November 09, 2006, 06:49:30 PM by Coffeechick88 »
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Offline cubbybear

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2006, 09:27:45 PM »
Being an RN, I have to say that is pretty unprofessional.  Never in my 15 years of working in hospitals have I heard a HIV positive patient referred to as a Hi Fiver.  It's fair enough if those of us with HIV want to call ourselves that, or what ever else we choose, but it doesn't give a medical "professional" the right to be unprofessional.  Whether it's tongue in cheek, a non descriptive nomenclature so that other patients etc don't over hear and twig on that there is a +ve patient in the next bed, it's still unprofessional.

When I was sick in hospital, one of the interns would come see me, draw the curtains like they suddenly create a forcefield against sound, and then blabber away at full volume about my aids diagnosis in a room with 4 other patients.  That tends to make one feel somewhat small.  Still, a lot of health professionals are far from being professional or empathic.
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Offline otherplaces

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2006, 10:17:29 PM »

I heard of the term "Hi V" years ago before I was diagnosed.  It was referred to as African American slang for HIV.  I considered it (as usual) a rather creative language jump on their part.  In the hospital...I'd consider it rude and unprofessional.

brian

Offline JohnOso

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2006, 07:38:53 AM »
That's interesting about the 'High Fiver.'

I have never heard that term before coming to this website (obviously a slang term here), and i've been a nurse for 13 years.  And believe you me....we get shitloads of "High Fivers" coming through our hospital.

I agree it's terribly unprofessional from a HPAA violations point of view.'

I'd complain....but then i'm a shit-stirrer anyway when it comes to stuff like that.

Take care,
John

Offline tsw923

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Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2006, 08:31:21 PM »
Thanks for the heads up.  It wouldn't really have occurred to me otherwise.  I have to say that my doctor has been really good about my privacy.  Even to the point of leaving any information for my bloodwork in a sealed envelope.  I do know that one time I went to get blood drawn and I could hear the lab techs talking about making sure they had all the vials for the HIV tests.  I could hear them in the waiting room... and I wanted to find a hole and crawl in.  That was my first test and I felt like I was wearing a scarlet letter on my chest anyway.  But I guess the next time I went, there were no loud discussions. Instead there were signs around talking about 'silence and professionalism'. 
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Offline Bartro

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  • Posts: 124
Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2006, 10:50:38 PM »
The first time I picked up my Sustiva and Truvada from the neighborhood pharmacy they brought the meds up in a little basket.  Sitting on top of the order was a sheet of paper with "HIV+" written in big red letters.  I felt angry and embarrassed.  I can't think of any reason for this procedure.  I think I'd get hysterical if I heard someone shouting "High 5".  

I've been to the hospital a few times for tests and other minor problems since my diagnosis.  The staff I chose to share my status with seemed to be unaware and surprised.  I like that.  I think they probably already knew but were considerate enough to feign ignorance for my benefit.  Everyone I've come into contact with there have been extremely kind and caring. 

Those idiots shouting "High 5" and playing fast and loose with peoples medical information have no business being in health care.
Rusty

Offline joemutt

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,039
Re: "HIGH FIVE" term used at hospitals
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2006, 11:44:02 PM »
Yaeh you should complain, it's the only way things will change,
my first hospital in Bangkok also put HIV in big red on my file
but I made the dr paint it over with liquid paper (tippex).

 


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