Anger is not the best emotion to feel, especially when going through a diagnostic imaging procedure. A patient’s feelings can range from feeling claustrophobic to feeling incredibly sad, and yet, anger is still the most difficult one. It doesn’t matter if it’s an MRI, CT scan, or something more complex, there is always something to stir up a patient’s emotions. It doesn’t really matter if a patient is an adult, a child, or even a senior citizen.
Often times a patient’s anger comes after some sort of negative diagnosis. When you tell a patient that he or she may have a tumor, you get a real blast. The problem comes because patients feel that they should be able to know when something’s wrong with them and why. Often times it’s difficult to order specific tests because tumors may not really show up. Complex conditions do not necessarily show up right away and symptoms are not always reflective.
Sometimes it’s hard to respond to a patient simply because it’s difficult to make an angry patient understand certain factors. In an article on www.medscape.com the ideal response is explained as “The correct answer is that he hadn’t received an MRI yet because he looked pretty well, because there were no red flags in his history and physical to date, and because most of the time, the symptoms he’d been having would have been the result of a bulging disc, and would have responded as well to conservative treatment as to surgical intervention.”
Patient anger can also stem from other issues that are not as closely related to imaging. There’s always the chance that a patient may not be happy with their bill, the time they are made to wait for a procedure, or even the amount of time ahead that the procedure is scheduled. Patients sometimes get angry because they have a hard time understanding the reason for a procedure or the outcome. It’s important to make a legitimate to help patients better understand both the need for a procedure and the ultimate diagnosis.
Anger in this type of setting will only complicate and disrupt the process of helping the patient. Chances are good that after the initial shock wears off the patient will be able to adjust to whatever the treatment is. Patient Anger is often times labeled as the red headed step kid of radiology practices. Anger is not really the ideal emotion to have but sometimes anger is a product of fears that have yet to be put at ease.
If you have any questions about diagnostic imaging procedures such as MRIs, CT scans, or X-Rays please give us a call. We look forward to taking your call and answering any questions that you may have.