Hospitals, a necessary evil

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    I just watched a documentary Food Matters. It definitely reminded me of some thoughts I've had about the medical system. I'm all for evidence based medicine, but it doesn't really happen that way too often. I'm a new graduate nurse and work in a large hospital, and I wonder, do any other nurses hate the hospital environment as one for healing? Personally, I would never want to have to spend time in one, unless as a necessary evil. Just one example... Research shows us the incredible benefits of movement and the deadly effects of immobility, and, yet, let's be honest, the whole hospital room/unit set up encourages patients to stay in bed most of the day. It's just easier on everyone. When will exercise be a prescription (and not 15 min with Physical Therapy once a day)? The diet offered is definitely deficient. The food should be as healing as the medicine (if not more). There is very little stimulation, fresh air, connection with nature, interaction with others. Why have we set up this horrible system? I know it's a product of our entire culture and all our values are out of whack, but can anyone else relate? Not to generalize too much, but it seems to me that from birth to death, staying out of hospitals as much as possible is much more conducive to health and wellness. (no, I'm not talking about acute conditions that need specific treatments unavailable anywhere else, I'm just saying the whole environment needs deconstruction).

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  2. 2 Comments...

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    I think you have valid points and I bet that documentary was eye opening as well.
    I think it's a very common sense idea.But the PTB in our health care industry will never see it that way because treating a patient at home and havig the patient heal at home doesn't line some big wig's pocket.
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    I am glad that you were inspired by Food Matters. You would probably like Hungry for Change, Crazy Seexy Cancer, Dr.Mark Hymann, Dr. Joel Fuhrman and the field of Integrative medicine.

    Reality is we need a balance of integrative and traditional medicine. I would not go to a preventative MD if I were involved in a major trauma or stroke. Right now, we are on the cusp of the preventative movement. Since it seems like you are passionate about making a diference in preventing disease, I encourage you to check out careers that support your passion. The tide really is turning. For example, Dr. Dean Ornish's program is now eligible for reimbursement and many health insurance companies are encouraging healthy lifestyle choices as well as dscounts on gym memberships. Some enlightened physicians are starting to write prescriptions for exercise, but reality is they don't have time to talk to a patient in a 5-10 min appointment.

    I totally understand where you are coming from. Over the last two years, I have asked friends who have been put on antihypertensives and diabetic medication without any lifestyle modification education. I believe this to be a failure of our health care system. When I asked physicians about preventative medicine, the common response was "There is no money in prevention". I decided to take matters in my own hands and plan on working in preventative medicine.

    I encourage you to follow your passion and make a difference. Best of luck to you!


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