A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne
K. Young, Associate Editor.
At least once a week, I take the insider's shortcut around the OR to
get from one end of the medical center to the other. Weaving my way past carts
stacked high with supplies and stretchers ready to receive a still-sleepy
occupant, I pass the entrance to the psychiatric unit, where my daughter has
been a patient more times than I can count.
On other days, I find myself on one of the medical floors where my girl
has also been a "frequent flier." When that happens, I, who have always prided
myself on assimilating well in hospitals and nursing homes, am on guard. Will
one of the nurses or residents see my name tag and connect me with my mentally
ill child, who has been given a number of not-so-flattering labels: "hard
to treat," "difficult and uncooperative," and, on one occasion, "spoiled brat"?
I always wonder who, besides me, has heard a nurse or social worker or doctor
describe her that way.
Dellasega C. Conflict of Interest. JAMA. 2003;290(19):2521-2522. doi:10.1001/jama.290.19.2521