Term Paper: Omid's Story Being Ill

Pages: 8 (2756 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Healthcare  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Those in the medical field in most cases flinch and chafe under this oppression by those interested in money, but there are some who are as interested in keeping things cheap as those footing the bill. The financial aspect of the healthcare system can be a frustrating one, particularly for nurses. They are frequently the people who spend the most time with a patient and who are therefore the most invested in the person's care. Additionally, they will be more familiar with the patients that they treat frequently and will consequently build up a rapport with them. When you spend a great deal of time with a person, you learn about their personality and to deprive someone who they know well of the best medical care possible because of financial issues can be depressing to those in the medical profession who truly care about their patients.

There is also a potential gap in communication of information if the medical care professional in charge of a patient determines that he or she wishes to pursue a course of action and that only this choice will be shared with the patients in his or her care. Lack of communication was an issue that the Raoufians faced with several of the less-than stellar members of the medical field that the family had to deal with while treating their child. Indeed Raoufian describes the lack of communication and the dearth of information given to them as "degrading and frustrating" (2003,-page 227). The parent who wrote the article states specifically the fact that the potential negatives of their son's situation was not adequately conveyed to them by those treating Omid (Raoufian 2003,-page 230). When a parent had a question for the medical staff to which the answer was not at hand for them or to which they did not wish to give the answer, the family was put off and distracted from their course of inquiry. This creates a psychological dilemma between family member and those in the medical staff wherein it is evident to the family that information is being withheld which breeds distrust. Rather than admit that they do not currently know the answer to a question or admitting that there was a potential loss of progress or indeed loss of life, the medical professionals further underscore the difference between family and staff. It again becomes a situation where there are two sides combating for dominance of the patient and not doing what is best for that patient. Instead of creating a unified team with all parties focused on making choices which would improve the quality of life of the premature infant and ensure his successful development, those in positions of authority greatly chose to make decisions on behalf of their patient. Although the doctors in question had the best interests of the child at heart, the simple fact is that the decision about courses of treatment should not have been left solely to the discretion of medical professionals.

Despite any limitations which are put upon the patients or their families because of finances or bureaucracy, the importance of family involvement in a patient's care cannot be denied. According to research conducted by Beth Bruce and her team (2002), family centered care, or FCC, is paramount in determining the potential for successful treatment of a patient. This is particularly the case when the patient is a child. For children, dealing with a chronic or serious illness can permanently affect the child's mental state. If a child is treated in a loving and encouraging environment, then they will have more faith in their own recovery and thus provide a stronger fight against the disease. If, on the other hand, there is not familial support, then the child is very prone to succumb to the disease; not the least reason of which is that the family will be uneducated or perhaps even uninterested in contributing to the care and treatment of the patient.

In the article "A Multisite Study of Health Professional's Perceptions and Practices of Family Centered Care," authors Bruce et al. (2003) determined that although FCC has proven to be an absolutely integral component to the treatment of patients, particularly in children, it has not been universally explored and introduced within hospital settings. Too few medical professionals are imparting to family members and parents how important their inclusion is in the treatment of the ill. The study conducted by this group found that experiences like the Raoufian family had are too few and far between. In most situations the frustrating and degrading lack of communication that the Raoufians felts for the minority of medical professionals that they encountered is the norm. Most hospitals still have a model wherein the medical staff makes the decisions regarding the care of their patients, whether they be adults or children, serious conditions are mild. The medical professional, the doctors and the nurses, have the education and the majority therefore feel that they should make the choices for the care of their patients and that the desires and influences of family members should be kept to a minimum so as not to interfere with the plans of those in positions of authority. There simply are not enough medical facilities which give parents and family members the necessary tools to allow them to help their loved ones.

Little Omid was born severely premature and he may very well have died while he was in the hospital. The first six months of the child's life were spent under intensive medical care and he was subjected to a myriad of treatments and cures in the hopes of strengthening his miniscule body and allowing him to one day live free of the tubes and tanks of the hospital. His parents, the Raoufians, encountered two very different types of medical professionals. Primarily, they were pleased because they got to know loving and caring nurses and doctors who only wanted their little boy to do well. These medical staff members provided information, encouraged participation of the parents in the treatment process, and created a collaborative team wherein all parties who cared about the little baby were working together to do what was right for him. On the other side of things, the family also encountered the other type of medical professional; the doctors and nurses who had the attitude that they knew best what was right for the child and tried to prohibit the parents from interfering in their treatment of the baby. Instead of collaboration, these folks made the parents feel like outsiders; as if their concern and care and yearning to know was in some way worsening their child's likelihood to succeed. FCC, family-centered care, has been proven to help patients. The more involved that parents are, the more they push for quality care, and the better their child is likely to do. For this reason alone, FCC should be encouraged at all medical facilities and the types of staff who do not wish the family to be involved should be reeducated.

Works Cited:

Bruce, B. et al. (2002). A multisite study of health professional's perceptions and practices of family centered care. The Journal of Family Nursing. (8:4). 408-29.

Harrison, T. (2010). Family centered pediatric nursing care: state of the science. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. (25:5). 335-43.

Raoufian, D. (2003). The power of family-centered care. The Journal of Family Nursing. (9:3).


St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. (2013). What is patient family centered care? Retrieved

from http://www.stjude.org/stjude/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=0342a1673c82f110V-gnVCM1000001e0215acRCRD&vgnextchannel=6772fdb506543110VgnVCM1000001e0215acRCRD [END OF PREVIEW]

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