MD's giving bad news to patients

  1. Just a little vent!!! I have a brother who was told last week he had prostate cancer that had spread to the bone (no biopsy, no results of MRI, no bone scan). Now my husband (he is going to be 77 this year) who has had 5 negative prostate biopsys but elevated PSA was called Monday (I wasn't home) and was told by the PA they found "something" in the bone scan on his R femur and in his back. So he has to have an MRI.

    When I called the office today, I felt like I was getting the cold shoulder. Told I had to wait for the PA to call me back which never happened.

    :angryfire I am so p***** I could scream. What makes MD's think when you are giving someone news like this, the patient regardless of age or intellect will have a good understanding of the information. The whole family is in an uproar. No one is sleeping.

    Although, I work in psych, we get our fair share of patients who have newly diagnosed cancers and other newly diagnosed medical problems. When this happens, the MD either calls the family or schedules a family meeting in addition to talking to the patient.

    I can't imagine just "dumping" this info on the patient. I've just spent the past 30 minutes looking for a new urologist! Thanks for letting be vent!
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    About medpsychRN

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 127; Likes: 17

    5 Comments

  3. by   Rhoresmith
    Good luck, and come here anytime and vent!

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!!
  4. by   akcarmean
    Vent away Good Luck and keep us posted
  5. by   renerian
    I got a letter one time saying I had precancerous cells on my pap and please call for a follow up!!!!!!!!

    renerian :uhoh21:
  6. by   Antikigirl
    I once heard from a great RN teacher to always remember...Doctors go to school to treat illness, Nurses go to school to treat PEOPLE. It is most felt in situations like this..the bad news department!

    Some Docs are great with this...same with some nurses...but depends on the individual I suppose. I have no probelms with giving information..good or bad, but I need to communicate with the physician and get the real infomation, the real facts, then I will arrange for a meeting with the Physician. See, as a nurse I have to consider this family dynamic and patient in all of this first...so if I don't see a Doc giving a Dx and explaining things...I go to them first to make sure all the tests are in, the Dx is assured, and then remind or schedule a meeting (or have their office do it)..that is my job as a treater of PEOPLE, and as a Docs back up .

    I am very sorry for the situation you and yours are in...and I hope that communication is established...you are going to really need the information given to you in a way you understand (some docs..even nurses can still talk over you at times of stress...stop them and ask questions if you don't understand...). If communication is not being established, then you ask for a specialist consult and deal with the specialist...if that specialist isn't cutting it either..find another! Sounds harsh...but heck, I don't know about you...but when it comes to my family...I can do 'harsh' really well!!!!!!
  7. by   medpsychRN
    Thanks for the support! Brother's bone scan was negative. No results of the biopsy. Having been through the biopsy thing with my husband so many times, I don't understand why there are no results yet. However, the MD told my brother he has to have his prostate out as it's cancer. I'm wondering if the MD is friends with "Miss Cleo" LOL!!

    In regards to husband, never got a call from the PA about his bone scan. Rather than getting caught up in the no call business, he is in process of getting copies of his tests and once obtained will see a urologist where I work. This should at least put an end to being in limbo about what's really going on and the next right step. I still feel a letter "coming on"!

    I've been thorough this with both parents. Mom with chest pain, told no MI but she died a week later, Dad with heart failure, multiple med problems. Thus, feel a need to be hypervigilent. I am blessed to work in a wonderful university hospital where the MD's treat you as an intelligent human being and willingly share results. Because of insurance problems I couldn't get my husband in to the hospital system until this month.

    Has a similar problem with pap smear about 10 years ago. After multiple tests, it turned out to be "nothing".

    Will keep you updated. Thanks!!!

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