When I learned to do couples counseling, I learned a valuable insight that has applied to any situation when people describe what happened:
"There his version of the story, there her version of the story, and there is what really happened."
Take the 2008 movie "Vantage Point:"
Seen from seven different perspectives, the President of the United States - who's really a body double of the prez - is shot during a speech in Madrid, while the real President (in a nearby hotel) is kidnapped by terrorists.I have learned that each person interprets the same situation differently. Even if a provider (physician, nurses, etc.) claim that they had been patients, their point of view is still different than the patient who has never worked as a healthcare provider.
Mark Twain says that once he became a river boat captain, he could never look at the river the same way he had looked at it as a child.
The vision we get of the river in "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn" was gone. The innocence was gone. There was beauty, but it was a different kind of beauty. As a river boat captain, he was looking for snags and deadheads, and learned to "read" the river in a different way.
Let's take the issue of patient modesty in the emergency department:
Here is what really happens:
This is what the patient sees:
This is what the physicians and nurses see:
It is wrong for a healthcare provider to assume that the patient experiences no trauma from having their dignity compromised. Patients walk of a hospital having their physical body healed but feeling like their psyche has just been run over by a truck.
The following illustrates the fallacy of a healthcare provider denying a patient's feelings about having their body exposed when the healthcare provider is the one wearing the clothes:
Are you thinking yet?
Are you feeling yet?
Are you empathizing yet?