A while back I met an individual, a member of the HCP community, who told me that they read my blog. I still feel a little awkward when someone tells me that, so I usually just say “Thanks!”.
The individual asked me some rather pointed questions about a post I did a few months ago, And This One Time, I Told My CDE “You’re Fired” which was really a summary of several posts from back in early 2009. Read it if you want but the post itself is not really the topic of this post.
The topic is one of the questions that HCP asked me. They were all pointed, very focused and that’s fine with me. They were also very emotional, sounding angry at first.
I initially thought I was getting “schooled” for daring to be a patient that would speak up. I’ve had conversations like that before and they all have one thing in common. There are tones of arrogance and condescension in those conversations, those were missing here however.
So I finally concluded that this particular individual knew the educator in question and was not commenting as a HCP, but as a friend. It’s a blurry line at times, I think…
I was asked (paraphrased) “Does it bother you that the educator lost their job and has small children?”
I responded that no it did not bother me. The reply was an an angry “Well it should!”
There were a few other comments and questions, but this one is the one that made me think.
After thinking about it and even knowing how much I do enjoy feeling guilty and ashamed, my answer is still “No” and here’s why.
I was not even going to do anything except switch to a different endo until I saw the patient summary sheet that the educator had written (see the complaint letter in the post linked above). Even then, I was pissed but still not really too interested in pursuing it, remember my Why Bother attitude was still in control. Why Bother challenging something like this when I’m supposed to already be dead?
Then a dear friend of mine, who also works in healthcare told that I should pursue this because we really have no idea how many other people had been treated the same way by that educator. When I started the complaint process, it was no longer about me, I was already over it. It was about others who may have had similar experiences but not taken the steps to do anything about it.
More importantly it was about those future kids, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles… those people who might someday run into this particular educator and have to deal with the same crap I did. Something no person should have to experience while trying to care for a long term chronic condition, hell, any condition.
I was not seeking the removal of this person, never once did I say that person should be fired. And I also find it a bit hard to believe that a single letter from a single patient (tho it was copied to 11 different individuals and organizations) could actually get someone fired.
Sure, bloggers can have some influence, but I was just starting down that path then so I seriously doubt there was much worry there, especially when I went to such lengths to remove all names, of both individuals and institutions.
Honestly, I can think of only three scenarios where such a thing could occur, if I’ve missed something, please tell me in a comment.
- The behavior of the educator was considered to be a such serious breach of professional protocols and ethics that the institutions involved simply could not have such a person on staff.
- The behavior of the educator opened the institutions up to some type of legal liability, even though I had never even considered getting a lawyer involved.
- The educator had a history of such complaints about similar behavior towards patients and mine was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
All three of those scenario’s have one thing in common: the educator’s behavior. The reason I wrote that letter was also because of that behavior.
So no, I don’t feel bad. Did I intend for someone to lose their job? No. I just wanted to make sure it never happened to any one else.
If you were treated badly, don’t hesitate to speakup. Our voices are the only way things get better for us all. Remember to be “politely assertive”, it may be hard not to get emotional but you can expect better results if you stay professional.
There may be unpleasant consequences for some, but lets place those consequences where they deserve to be, with their source.
I am responsible for the consequences of my actions, my behavior and that educator is responsible for the consequences of theirs.
© 2012 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and http://StrangelyDiabetic.com