Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Changes at SUMCFI ... am I seeing the beginnings of my "greater purpose"?

This was addressed to Noemi Lardizabal-Dado, Co-Founder of the Compassionate Friends Philippines, a grief support group for the newly-bereaved:

I was happy you mentioned the medical professionals' lack of training in handling grief during the interview. YOu were right, Cheche Lazaro was a great host. By the way, can we get Fallen Cradle from National Bookstore? I am sure we cannot find it in Dumaguete but if I should get the chance to visit Cebu, I will certainly drop by National to get a copy.

I saw my OB-Gyne yesterday. She's a formidable lady and she agrees with my observations regarding the lack of training of the employees of Silliman Medical Center. In her own way, she has helped a lot in promoting my cause. For instance, when I told her about how an intern came to the ER to see a patient (I was there at that time for another reason), she wanted to know which patient she was supposed to attend to. Instead of taking the chart and maybe asking, which bed is "Patient Uy" or "Patient Dado", for instance, she just asked a nurse, while pointing her thumb to a certain bed, "mao ni?" It's like saying in tagalog, "ito ba yon?" I remembered thinking at that time, how ill-mannered of her. My Abby (at 5 years then) has better manners, and to think that she is a doctor!!! Bastos siya. My OB told me she met with the doctor in charge of the interns right away and demanded he had another talk with his charges. And you know what? I was at the ultrasound room yesterday afternoon. An intern came, peeped at our cubicle and said to the sonologist, "excuse me, I'm looking for Patient ______." Hey! That's a great improvement! I would like to believe that the change for the better is part of the greater reason and meaning that I have been searching for.

I also told her about one incident when my uncle laid dead at the ER after a vehicular accident and while we milled around in tears, the nurses and other personnel at the ER carried on with their life as usual, laughing, loud chika, etc. I asked my doctor, are these employees not supposed to observed proper decorum in those situations? Like for example, when a mass is going on in church, everybody knows we're not supposed to converse loudly with our companions, right? or take calls from our phones? or even text? I asked if their employees were also briefed along these lines, especially along the giving of respect to the sensitivies of others. Dra. Go told me she took it up with the head nurse. I hope the latter is taking it seriously. As I said, Dra. Go is formidable. I expect the head nurse wont hear the end of it from this lady.

I also discovered that the employees of Silliman University Medical Center do not have an Employee Code of conduct or Ethics. There is a code of discipline, but proper and uniform set of guidelines as to how they should deal with their patients? That's presently non-existent. Briefings and orientations of new employees are left to the dept head, and obviously, their guidance along proper conduct is basically left to the discretion and subjective views of each dept head.

I am now working on that line. gather what materials I could, and submit suggestions to the board of Trustees, including suggest to them that patients should be given a handbook advising them of their rights so that the patients themselves can act as some sort of "police" for the employees.

I have a material from the US embassy, from their veterans outpatient dept. It is about Patients' Rights and Responsibilities. I'm going to look into DOH and maybe, WHO. maybe there is some universal declaration on that, like the one on Children's Rights.

PLEASE, IF THERE IS SOMEBODY OUT THERE WHO HAS THAT KIND OF MATERIAL, PLEASE!!! I WOULD APPRECIATE IT VERY MUCH IF YOU COULD SHARE THEM WITH ME. My email add is or maybe you can course them through NOEMI if she wont mind? IT WILL REALLY HELP ME BIG TIME! Thanks in advance. God bless you all. -olga-

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