Medical professionals are a wealth of knowledge. However as someone who does not have a medical background, the staff and volunteers at His Hands have been so kind to explain different diagnosis, what the implications of chronic illnesses are, and next steps required when a patient’s medical needs reach beyond the scope of our clinic.
One of my favorite aspects of our clinic is that we are very relational. We strive to treat patients with dignity and to make them feel comfortable. I have heard more than once that “this is the best doctor’s office I have ever been to.” I believe that a large part of that is that our providers are here out of the kindness of their hearts. With their choice to volunteer at His Hands, they take extra time to focus on the patient as a person. They remember that to the patient receiving new medical news, it can be a very big deal.
Additionally, our medical volunteers and staff take the time to educate the patient about a health diagnosis until the patient feels they have a good grasp on their health status. Recently we had a gentleman with diabetes. He was able to get insurance and has since found primary care. However, before the insurance piece fell into place, he was having difficulty managing his blood sugar. He worked with our diabetic educator to learn more about how to administer his medications. He also discussed with her lifestyle and nutrition information. One thing he did not understand was the impact uncontrolled diabetes can have on a person’s kidneys. In fact, he asked what kidneys do and if they are important. After an explanation of the purpose of our kidneys and how blood sugar can impact their ability to function, he was more motivated to regulate his sugars and take his medicine properly. Sometimes simply taking a bit of time to explain health terms and conditions can have a large impact on a patient’s compliance with medical advice.
Amy DeLay, Patient advocate