I was watching my Facebook feed and saw something from NPR that caught my attention. It was an article that was written by a doctor who'd seen something that she didn't understand initially and then became very troubled about when she realized what she was seeing: discrimination in an ER against a disabled man. Here is the article.
This made me think. I called a friend of mine with severe back problems. She's not in a wheelchair yet, but she requires a great deal of help getting up and down and is always in a great deal of pain. She told me she's been left alone for a few hours before in an ER before someone came in to see what was wrong with her. I've been stuck in an ER before as well like this. Both of us have our diagnoses written on our charts. For the both of us, as we talked, we realized that there was a very good chance we were being discriminated against because of her physical and my mental disabilities.
Yes, I know there is always a wait in an ER. But when not even a nurse comes in to tend to you over the course of two to three hours is a good indicator that either you've been forgotten about or they don't want to deal with you. Himself has had to go out a couple of times to get someone to come in and see me. My friend's dad has had to do the same for her.
I think all medical practitioners need to be taught how to deal with those of us with physical or mental disabilities. We shouldn't be forgotten, pushed off to the side, or ignored because nurses and doctors don't want to deal with something different. The article mentioned that less than 20% of medical schools teach their students how to talk to someone disabled about their needs. This should be 100%, not 20%.