Navigating the medical maze

Tips on how to reduce your chances of being a victim of medical malpractice

Robin Price
W231- Professional writing

Going to the doctor can be scary. Most people have a fear of doctors. We’ve all heard the stories about patients having the wrong leg amputated, incorrect medication doses being given to patients and numerous other horror stories that resulted in harm to patients or even death of a patient. These examples and many others are results of miscommunication with in the medical field and ultimately A

According to an article on statnews.com written by Melissa Bailey in February 2016. Hospitals and physicians’ offices could have avoided nearly 2000 patient deaths and $1.7 billion in medical malpractice cost if only communication had been better. Here are some tips on how to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of medical malpractice.

  1. Check your Doctors credentials

As a patient or potential patient, you have a right to check your doctor out. When possible before you see your doctor or select a new doctor you can verify their licensing, board certifications, medical school attended, where they did their residency, actions against them like medical malpractice and other disciplinary actions. Federation of state medical boards website you can look up doctors by entering their first and last name and location of practice at docinfo.org.

 

  1. Prepare list of questions to ask your doctor

When we go to the doctor we usually don’t feel well. Sometimes we feel nervous, feel rushed or receive so much information we often forget what we wanted to ask the doctor. By preparing a list of questions before the appointment and bring it along we can review the questions and address your concerns.

 

  1. Bring your medications to your doctor’s appointment

If you are on several medications this is very helpful. Often medications change, dosages change, and frequency taken changes. If can become very hard to remember all the changes, but if you bring the medication, in its original bottle, you will have all this information with you. Enabling you to correctly communicate this important information.

 

  1. Know why you are taking a medication

Many medications can be used to treat several medical issues. It is important to know why you are taking a specific medication. If you see more than a family doctor the other doctor will need to know why you take a medication before they can prescribe additional medications. Some medications will counteract each other.

 

  1. Follow up on medical test completed

Often our doctor visit includes orders for tests such as blood test, x-rays, MRI’s ect. Physicians will usually have these results within a few days. Keep track of what test you completed and when you completed them. If you have not received results from your doctor’s office in about 3-5 days call your doctors office and ask for results. DO NOT ASSUME NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS.

 

  1. Make a list and put it in your wallet or billfold

We can’t always remember everything, or we may not be able to answer the questions. Be prepared! Make a list of any medications you’re on including the name, dosage and frequency taken. Make a list of any drug allergies you have, be sure to include any egg and nut allergies.  Make a list of all surgeries you have had including the year of surgery. This list will usually fit on a 3” X5” index card. Place this card in your wallet or billfold with your driver’s license or ID card. In the event of an accident, responders will usually check for your drivers license or ID card and will see the list.

 

  1. Know what you are signing

Doctors offices and hospitals usually give you a stack of forms to be filled out and signed before you even see the doctor. Read them, know what they are before you sign them. If you do not understand them ask for an explanation. You have patient rights and they include knowing what you are signing at any time when you are a patient.

 

  1. Ask!! Ask!! Ask!! Ask!!

Take control of your healthcare. Ask questions. Ask what the diagnosis is, what medication is for, what are they treatment options and any other questions you can think of.  Ask the doctor or nursing staff to write down or print out information. Then go home and research, look up the diagnosis and treatment options and make notes. If you have more questions call the doctors office and ask. Asking questions increases communication.

There are many things we, as patients, can do to reduce our chances of becoming victims of medical malpractice. One of the most important things we can do is communicate with your doctor. By asking questions and taking an active role in our personal healthcare we are reinforcing strong communication and improving the quality of care we receive. Use these tips to help you start improving communication with your doctor and aid in reducing your chances of becoming a victim of medical malpractice.

 

Marketing – Slogan message.

How does businesses communicate to the customer their product? Most would say through the various channels such as T.V., radio, newspaper, social media, etc. and all are correct. But what is the message that they want to convey for their benefit and how is it developed? This is where Marketing comes into play. Many businesses spend millions of dollars in research and development to create brand equity. The task is not easy, businesses must develop a marketing plan for their product and eventually create their logo, slogan, and promotions to attract customers.

I want to give more emphasis on business slogans as is what most customers remember when a company is mention. The slogan does not only represent the company but is also the message that businesses want the customer to remember. Such as Home Depot, “More saving. More doing.”, choosing effective slogans that relate directly to customer satisfaction is key. Ultimately, no one buys something if it does not satisfy a need or want. Effective slogans draw attention to the business and their products.

This marketing technique is very important and seen with most major corporations in the world. Slogans are so important that they are utilized in the business’s commercial, apparel, billboards, videos, business cards, and anything else that they may use for advertisement. Now, can you think of different companies and see if you remember their slogan? Wal-Mart, Nike, Red Bull, McDonalds, Skittles, MasterCard, etc.  If you could recall the company’s slogan can you think of why it became important to you as a customer?

If you were to start your own business think of how important it is to develop an effective slogan. Remember that your slogan should be memorable by customers, it should define a benefit, and differentiate you from competitors. While there are many more key factors in a business always remember that your slogan will be something that your customers will remember, and it will carry on for years.

By: Emir Gonzalez, Business Major – IUPUC.

Do You Hear What I Hear???

 

woman wearing headphones standing beside man

Photo by Nicholas Githiri on Pexels.com

Listening to me and Hearing me are two different things. How well do you listen? According to PR Daily, less than 2 percent of the country’s population, have had formal education on how to listen. Did that not just blow your mind, because mine is flabbergasted! We communicate everyday with people from around the world, only to realize what we are saying to each other is only being heard, and not comprehended. I have 3 quick points on how we can enhance our communication skills, by simply improving our listening abilities.

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Open Your Mind
  3. Interact

These tips do not have to be completed in order, but you will realize it is much easier to get a better understanding of the conversation if you do. Now to break these tips down into a simpler form.

  • Paying Attention is the key to the conversation. This allows the sender and receiver, the opportunity to feel each other out. It is also needed to retain pertinent information.
  • Open your mind to all ideas, whether you feel like it is good or bad. You never know what someone else can bring to the table, not to mention we all fall short of knowing everything, so always be willing to learn something new.
  • Both the sender and the receiver should interact with each other. By doing this the other knows if the message sent is clear. Interaction could be as simple as eye contact or a nod of the head. The point is you are letting the other know you get it!

I have found in relationships that I have with others in my life, communicating effectively is so important. Not understanding what someone is trying to tell you, after they have said it over and over, and you have heard it over and over, is past frustrating. That is why during the communicating process, we must openly listen to each other and pay attention to the details in the message so that we can respond to it effectively. Considering there are so many cultures that make up our country, some ways of getting a message across will vary. These steps might not work for every situation, but they can assist with the process.

SOCIAL MEDIA HELPING BUSINESSES

Social media has a huge platform for our generation and it’s no surprise that businesses are getting its benefits from using social media as well.  By using social media, a business can promote the products that it provides or sells without having much work at all. The business whether it be big or small can have the opportunity to communicate better with its customers. Customers can give reviews and feedback on the business, allowing the business to know what to improve or sustain.

There are tons of social media tools and they can all have their advantages or disadvantages for businesses. Facebook is one of the most popular can help promote all services provided and get the news out to the people that are currently following you. The same can be said about Instagram and Twitter, those tools create a fast and easy way of showing what the company does. One tool that has become more popular recently is Yelp, especially for searching restaurants.

Yelp is a social media tool that is designed around review forums. It is generated for every type of business, anything from a doctor office to gyms. Yelp doesn’t require an account for the public to see the reviews or comments that others have left, but a commenter would need an account. Yelp gives the business a page to claim and allows a section for the description of what the business does and promotes services. This tool allows the businesses to upload the contact information, addresses, upload pictures, menus, hours of operation, and any crucial information that is needed for customers to notice the businesses.

A business can promote what services are on the page that it has claimed. by adding specific wording. If as a restaurant special is “dinner served all day”, Yelp and Google search are connected, and it opens the page for the searcher, giving more exposure. Reviews can be seen by the public and this can be an advantage or disadvantage to the business. The business can reply to the review by either thanking for the business or by telling the reviewer that you will take the comment into consideration. This will help the public to see what is good or bad about the business. Reading the comments This is important because it shows a potential customer of what other have liked or disliked, what needs improvement and what should be sustained. Yelp is a great social media tool for business any business.

By Tania Zamora, Business Major – IUPUC

 

Generation X – Bridging the Gap in Leadership

There is no clear decision when “Generation X” begins or ends, it is typically said that is starts in the early 1960s and ends in the early 1980s. Generation X follows the baby boomer generation and are often referred to as “Gen Xers”. “Gen Xers have been called everything from slackers to disloyal, from dumb to just plain bad” (O’Bannon, 2001). It seems that this could not be any farther from the truth.

Gen Xers come from a time when the divorce rate in America was skyrocketing. “Between 1965 and 1977, the divorce rate in America doubled. Over 40% of Xers come from broken families, and 12% of elementary school children grew up as “latchkey kids,” responsible for their own welfare after school until their parents returned from work” (Zill & Robinson, 1995). Although no one realized it at the time, this taught the Gen Xers how to be self-sufficient. It also taught them how to handle difficult situations.

Gen Xers are looked at as being responsible for bridging the gap between the baby boomers and millennials. Carolyn Wiethoff states, “Gen Xers grew up in the information age, and they are quite comfortable with technology. Politically, they grew up as America’s global power was declining. In the business world, Generation X saw a record number of corporate bankruptcies, Wall Street scandals, and massive corporate downsizing.” They have shown they are capable of being tech savvy, such as millennials, and exhibit leadership skills shown by the baby boomers.

Gen Xers were forced to be responsible and handle adversity at a young age. This valuable skill translated to the workplace and created great leaders. In a study published by DDI, it looked at more than 25,000 leaders spanning 54 countries and 26 major industries. They found Generation X accounts for 51 percent of leadership roles globally (Neal & Wellins, 2018). Their ability to be responsible and handle adversity has showcased their leadership skills.

Gen Xers are viewed as loyal employees, but also value time spent with their families. This can be directly related to how Gen Xers were raised. They take pride in spending time with their families because it was something that was taken from them at a young age. They understand the value of family and what it can mean to their spouses and children.

Their life experiences have impacted the way they communicate, act, and react to the world around them. Their experiences have given them the tools to communicate to both younger and older generations. They have risen to leadership levels without sacrificing the value the of family. This can be directly related to their upbringing. They were shown family and financial instability. In turn, they have made it a priority not to repeat history.

Sources:

Neal, S., & Wellins, R. “Generation X-not millennials-is changing the nature of work.” 11 April 2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/11/generation-x–not-millennials–is-changing-the-nature-of-work.html

O’Bannon, G. (2001). Managing our future: The Generation X factor. Public personnel Management, 30, 95-106.

Wiethoff, Carolyn. (2004). Management Basics: Managing Generation X . Indiana libraries, 23(2), 53-55. https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/bitstream/handle/1805/1343/Management%20Basics.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Zill, N., & Robinson, J. (1995). The Generation X difference. American Demographics, 17, 29-32.

By: Tyler Houchin, General Studies Major – IUPUC

Words change human behaviors

We all know of someone that speaks before they think. While not knowing how it affects those around us. Words can change human behavior in both positive and negative ways. One single word can make the difference between liking a person and disliking a person.  It can affect relationships, businesses and impact your career. Using the right or wrong words will show you how a person is going to react.

For instance, when communicating with your significant other use words of encouragement such as love, proud and beautiful.  This will allow the person receiving the message to feel happy, appreciated and able to open up and communicate better with you. On the other hand just using the wrong words such as always or never, you’re pathetic, you have to do this will change the behavior of the person. They will shut down, become standoffish and not feel comfortable to communicate you with.

Same thing in businesses they know the right words to say to keeping customers coming back instead of losing them. Greeting their customers asking how their day is going will make them feel welcomed and willing to shop at their store. Ignoring the customers using words like hurry, I don’t have time for this will make the customer want to leave and tell their friends about how badly they were treated.

Just one negative word can ruin a person’s day. Nevertheless, one positive word can make a person’s day. Benjamin Franklin said, “Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” So in other words choose your words wisely because they have the potential of accomplishing nearly anything or destroying nearly anything.

By Tameeka Sizemore, Psychology major- IUPUC

 

Why must we listen?

When you were young do you recall your parents telling you to LISTEN?  Perhaps you remember them saying ‘I know you hear me but are you LISTENING to me?’ At the time did you wonder ‘What is the difference?’ Let me try to explain what the difference is and why it is an important life skill.

Hearing is a physical activity that refers to the vibrations your ear receives then turns into sounds. On the other hand, listening is much more involved and can be a physical AND mental activity.

There are also different types of listening. For example, active listening involves not only the physical activity of listening to what is being said but also in watching the body language of the speaker. Effective listening requires focus, and concentration which requires both physical and mental activity. Both types are extremely important in our daily communications.

By being both an active and effective listener you can help in preventing miscommunication, misunderstandings, establish a connection with the speaker, and also improve the interpretation of what is being said.  I am sure we have all experienced a variation of miscommunication or misunderstanding. What if you had a simple misunderstanding while working on project and someone was hurt? Could a  miscommunication from a co-worker lead to clients losing their investment? Would you lose your job? Unfortunately, all of these things can and have happened.

Here are some ways you can improve your listening skills.

Maintain eye contact. By keeping eye contact with the speaker your mind will wander less and the distraction of those around you can be kept to a minimum.

Remain attentive. Once eye contact is established you can remain attentive and you are likely to absorb and retain more information.

Keep an open mind. Save your questions and judgements for the end of the speech simply because they may be answered at the speech progresses.

Listen to the words the speaker is saying and when you hear them in context and it will help in interpretation and limit misunderstandings.

Don’t interrupt. Of course this goes without saying however we often need reminded.

Employers are providing workshops and seminars to their employees simply because of they want to emphasize the importance of listening. Listening is a skill that is not only required but essential for the workplace, relationships, and everyday communication.  How well do you think you listen?

 

 

By Lindsay McIntosh,  Senior at IUPUC

 

 

“I’m a businessman.”

“I’m a businessman. I’ve made my money supplying a popular demand. If I break the law, mAl_Caponey customers are as guilty as I am.”  

      Alphonse “Al” Capone was a notorious American mobster based in Chicago. He became increasingly popular among the people of Cook County during the Prohibition era. Capone was the main man for bootlegging, the illegal selling and distributing of alcohol.

      Capone viewed people as either potential customers or potential threats. He used his popularity with the press to help people see him as someone who was on their side during the Prohibition. He used this to his advantage to get what he wanted. Since Capone is majority Italian, the way he ran his mob was different than most. His men were very loyal, and if not they would be dead.  Once, he had invited members from his mob whom he had found out had been aiding his rival gangs to dinner, and afterwards he had proceeded to tell them that he knew and he tortured them all night before killing them. Capone had a tendency to run things the old way while making a modern twist. He would host a soup kitchen for the press to see and at the same time he would be paying off police.

      Uncle Al is still one of the most famous mobsters in America. He was only sent to prison on tax-evasion in 1931, four years after the Supreme Court deemed illegal income was taxable in 1927. He later died of a heart attack at his home in Miami on January 25, 1947.

 

     By E. Green, Business Major – IUPUC

 

Have You Heard That Men and Women Communicate Differently?

For years you have grown up listening to people tell you that men are physical/sexual beings while women are a roller coaster of emotions. Although, no two people are alike, I found that this statement is in fact true for the most part.

 

Men communicate with the intent of independently making a decision. Women communicate to process all the information that they have just received and talk it over again. In conversation, Women tend to have more in depth conversations. They add memories and emotions when communicating. While Men, have much more simpler conversations leaving out the fine details and only adding in extra information when asked to do so.

 

If you have noticed in a workplace that Women do not hesitate to approach Men with information or questions that they have directly face to face. While Men will approach Women from the side angle because face to face conversation is sometimes declared as to personal for Men while working. Have you noticed that Women tend to nod their heads as a sign of affirmation that they understood what you were saying or explaining? All women are secretly shaking their heads right about now. Well, Men tend to nod their heads as a sign of agreeing with you or the argument at hand. Women, next time you are listening to a male co-worker speak make sure that you are aware if you nod. Sometimes they will misinterpret this as you agreeing with them and not just you acknowledging what they said.

 

Communication also has an unspoken language. Body Language. Women, we have been doing this since we were born. It is almost like body language is hidden away in our DNA and it literally shows in our faces every day. We have faces for everything; sad, happy, disgust, confused, and lost. While Men on the other hand have one face with a hint of smile every once in a while. Too often we give ourselves away in our facial features. They should have a class in High School on how to contain your facial expressions when you are in the middle of a conference for work. Many times the way a Women shows her body language gives away how she is feeling or what she is thinking at the moment when she doesn’t necessarily want it to be known yet.

 

So, with all of the information I have given today I have a few pointers to remember in everyday life whether it be at home, work, or school.

 

Take these facts with a grain of salt. Like I said before, no two people are alike. Men and Women will always communicate differently.

Stay Aware. Make sure you know how to communicate correctly between people. The way to talk to one person may not be the same method you use to talk to another person.

Finally, Get Information. When you interact with people on a daily basis it is ok to ask them questions. If you know a little more about them you can communicate with them more easily.

 

By Brittany Sample, Business Major – IUPUC

 

 

The Spoken Word

According to the Poetry Foundation, a spoken word performance is “a broad designation for poetry intended for performance,” (Spoken Word, n.d.). One of my favorite spoken word artists is Shane Koyczan. His piece ‘To This Day’ is one of his most popular. He speaks about bullying, depression, suicide, and many similar topics by using figurative language. His descriptions and comparisons are used to help his audience understand his point or topic. His performances and the many others similar to his help the speaker release any sort of emotion and on some occasions make a difference.

-Abigail Sabelhaus, Undecided Major/ IUPUC

Resource:

Spoken word. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2018, from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/spoken-word

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