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Reading your notes in hospital ... do you do it?

(26 Posts)
roisin Fri 29-Aug-08 13:56:07

In my family we always pick up the notes that are at the end of the bed and have a flick through. In truth usually db (surgeon) is there, and obviously they mean more to him. But even to an amateur a lot of it is straight-forward, and it's interesting.

On Wednesday ds2 had a minor op and was back in the ward and we were waiting for permission to go home, and I was reading his notes.

Then this completely new doctor appears and looks sternly at me. So I said "Oh, do you want these", and he said very officiously "Yes, they're not for you you know. If you want to read them you have to make a request to see them." or some such bollocks.

So I dutifully hand the notes over to him, and he looks through them, looks confused, mutters "Roisin's ds2, hmm", then says
"Sorry, I think I've got the wrong patient"! PMSL.

Anyway he then goes to the bed/patient opposite in the bay, so dh very overtly picks up ds2's notes and starts reading them. The very odd doctor keeps glancing across at him looking daggers at him.

Don't you think that's weird?

Iklboo Fri 29-Aug-08 13:57:39

Soubds like he's on his first Foundation year rotation - y'know, just out of 'school'. Some of em can be a bit uppity

Ledodgy Fri 29-Aug-08 13:58:12

I always read them but always do it when no one can see me as I fell i'm doing something wrong. grin

Ledodgy Fri 29-Aug-08 13:58:20


cornsilk Fri 29-Aug-08 14:06:02

I always read them. Silly man.

TheCrackFox Fri 29-Aug-08 14:22:03

If they shouldn't be read then they shouldn't be left out! He sounds like a bit of a twat.

ElenorRigby Fri 29-Aug-08 14:28:42

Yep I always have a nosey too!

meglet Fri 29-Aug-08 14:30:23

I always have a look too.

AvenaLife Fri 29-Aug-08 14:32:35

I read them. My gastroenterologist sent a letter to my GP calling me 'pleasant' (sp?) I thought it was quite nice. Not very accurate though grin

sitdownpleasegeorge Fri 29-Aug-08 14:35:16

God, being in hospital can be tedious enough without taking away the brief pleasure of peeking through your own notes.

misi Fri 29-Aug-08 14:38:52

I always do so and question the docs on them too. I also read any notes of my family if they agree. My nan had a hip replacement and whilst in hospital I looked at her notes, looked at her eyes and demanded to see a doctor. I told him my nan had a potassium problem given the readings in her notes and she needed some slo K straight away. he questioned me and after a bit of an argument he ordered a blood test and 60 mins later she was on slo K. they had ignored the fact she was on frusemide which leaches out potassium, but a simple check on her eyes and notes would have given them the clue as to why my nan was going downhill fast!!

docs don't like you knowing whats in the notes, for some its a superiority thing for others its something else like they do not like being second guessed or questioned. you have a right to see your childs notes if under 12 as long as you have parental responsibilty. if the child is over 12 and has expressed a wish for the parents not to see then the docs must abide by this unless there is a court order as over 12's are often classed as 'gillick competant' meaning a court will assume a child can make their own choices.

you also have a right to see your own notes. my BIL's father is ill. my BIL has power of attorney for him, my BIL can request any notes and other info, my BIL's father cannot see his own notes anymore as the court has taken away that right for his own good. does that make sense with the 2 opposites?

Twiga Fri 29-Aug-08 14:40:26

Always - like to know what's what. You're quite entitled to read your own notes. I quizz dh on bits I don't understand (he's a doc). With dd's birth it helped me get my head round what had happened in the 54hrs leading up to my em c-section and meant I could ask questions a few days on when my head was clearer.

Nappyzoneneedssleep Fri 29-Aug-08 14:41:47

I read mine and enjoyed reading them - i looooooooved reading my maternity notes - i wish i could get them back for both.

PortAndLemon Fri 29-Aug-08 14:43:02

I always read them, and family members' notes with their permission. Never any huge surprises, although I did notice that they'd taken my mother off morphine after she called 999 and told the police that a terrorist cell was trying to take over the hospital...

greenandpleasant Fri 29-Aug-08 14:46:10

yes I'd look if given the chance, don't see why you shouldn't. when ds was born and had to stay in hospital for a week because of Strep B concerns I read his notes and was TOLD OFF for doing so by an officious nurse in the SCBU. This on about day 3 so I was vvvv hormonal and lost the plot about being scolded like a naughty child for reading my baby's notes... learnt more from them than anyone else had bothered to tell me!

AMumInScotland Fri 29-Aug-08 15:49:55

I think a lot of doctors don't think we are able to cope with these "complicated" things hmm. I took DS to GP long ago, explained symptoms etc, doc examined him, then started writing out a prescription... no explanation at all, so I asked him what it was - "Oh, it's got a complicated latin name"!

Like I was obviously not going to be able to cope with such a thing angry...

turns out it was Seborrhoeic dermatitis !

BTW Nappyzone - you can get a copy of your notes if you want them, though they may charge a small fee for making the copy.

AMumInScotland Fri 29-Aug-08 15:51:20

I would always read my notes, given half a chance - there'd have to be a good reason to not let you have them (or your children's)

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Fri 29-Aug-08 15:58:28

If a doc done that to me they would get the sharp end of my tongue. The correct comment from him should have been 'is there anything in there that you would like to ask me about or that I can help you with?'

I always used to look at ds's notes and drug charts, I also used to remind the SHO's when the notes needed updating with test results blush

I would also look at my own and my family's (with their permission) notes. They are interesting and sometimes you can pick up on things that should (but haven't been) done.

SummatAnNowt Fri 29-Aug-08 16:32:39

Always read them!

When I had ds and I cried on the second night wondering how the hell I would ever cope with having a baby, all the responsibility on me for his very life, the midwife had written, "mum a bit tearful". I didn't know they wrote stuff like that! And "mum" I have a name!

Hulababy Fri 29-Aug-08 16:35:07

I always read mine.

PortAndLemon Fri 29-Aug-08 16:58:08

Have just remembered -- when DS was a couple of weeks old he had a very bad cough and was projectile vomiting up his feeds. I had to take him repeatedly to the GPs and eventually, after two weeks, they referred him to paediatrics, where he was found to have whooping cough and was admitted to hospital.

I distinctly remember that on the second of the GP visits I described (again) what was happening and said I was concerned about the vomiting -- I knew that some posseting was normal for babies, but this was so violent and such a huge volume that it wasn't just posseting (I was right, as DS didn't put on any weight at all for six weeks and was probably actually losing weight at the time of that visit).

Months later, when we were there for something unrelated (jabs, I think) I saw his notes up on the screen. The record of that visit read "Posseting"... angry

roisin Fri 29-Aug-08 17:06:11

Well I'm not surprised that I'm not the only one.

Iklboo - I think you might be right.

In the past it was always the case that August was a bad month to be in hospital for new staff just settling into their roles. Is this still the case?

We certainly had a student nurse who was on one of her first solo flights. She wasn't very confident and kept going off to check things and didn't explain/reassure ds2, which made him quite nervous.

But hey ho everyone has to learn sometime, and we all survived the experience.

mazzystar Fri 29-Aug-08 17:10:39

birth notes for ds were quite entertaining - apparently i was "very stroppy". midwife who was looking at them with me in prep for dd's arrival even said "cheeky bastard" about the author.

Avena I think "pleasant" is code for "not a mentallist"

cheshirekitty Fri 29-Aug-08 19:51:47

Notes on the end of the bed tend to be the boring nurse notes, not medical notes. Medcal notes usually in a trolley up at the nurses station.

LittleMyDancing Fri 29-Aug-08 20:15:09

I read my labour notes for DS from cover to cover and made copies before I gave them back, too.

Particularly liked the entry:

10.40pm LittleMy has had a yogurt

10.50pm LittleMy has vomited her yogurt


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