Nowadays you almost always hear about how it is bad for doctor’s to prescribe antibiotics without good cause because it can cause antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, viruses, etc. This is something medical health professionals have been saying in excess for quite a few years, at least to my recollection anyway. So, I find it rather interesting that just recently when I found myself coming down with a cold, I went to my local Urgent Care and though my cold was not all that bad when I went, the doctor there prescribed me a round of antibiotics (Z-pack). A week later I became much more sick, because of the cold and developed an ear infection and a sinus infection, and when I went back to the same Urgent Care they prescribed me another round of antibiotics (Amoxicillin). Now, this second time I would say I did in fact need the antibiotics. I have two separate infections, and if left unchecked they could turn into something much worse. I can’t help but think to myself though, was it absolutely necessary for me to be on that first round of antibiotics when I did not have any sign of an infection? I was not horribly sick, I only had some slight sinus drainage, and a moderate cough.
I feel like far too many doctors in the United States just don’t try anymore. They’re more concerned with getting patients out the door as quickly as possible, that the care is more about turn over; therefor, it is just far too easy to write an unnecessary prescription and send us on our way.
Then there’s the woman I saw in the waiting room today, who was wearing an arm sling and complaining of pain. As soon as she received her prescription of pain killers from the front desk and walked out the door, she proceeded to remove the sling and practically ran to her car. Granted, I cannot say for sure what that situation was with 100% certainty but I think it’s pretty likely that woman was working that clinic for an opiate quick fix.
We’re living in a world where people who don’t need medications are given them with relative ease, but the people who have legitimate pain or need of antibiotics or other much needed medications are put through the wringer and questioned or suspected at every turn, every step of the way.
If I go somewhere in excruciating pain, I’d like to think I won’t be suspected of trying to get pain medication to get high just because I have tattoos, whereas the person before me who was clean cut and dressed right walked right out with a prescription for strong opioids that they are going to either sell or take home and put up their nose.
I’d also like to not be so pumped full of unnecessary antibiotics that the next time I catch a cold, it is resistant to all medications and puts me either on the floor, or into a hospital. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer chicken soup to a ventilator.
I’m not naive, I know all too well that healthcare in the US is a business. They make money off of sick people; however, I think they should keep in mind that if you keep your customers alive and relatively healthy then we will be repeat business. Instead of treating us all as if we are expendable.
I’m not looking to change the world or anything, I’m just annoyed and felt like ranting. I’ll leave the soapbox for people much more qualified than myself. I am feeling better now that I am taking medication for something that actually requires it. So, I guess that is good. Next time though, if they try to give me antibiotics when I truly feel like I do not need them, then I will speak up. Being silent doesn’t help anyone. Professional laziness shouldn’t be tolerated.