Saturday, January 23, 2010

Don't Isolate Your Clients

Yesterday I started feeling rather "off" and as the afternoon progressed experienced more and more discomfort. Pressure in the chest, fatigue, achy jaw, soreness in back and arms -- all of the classic symptoms of a heart problem. By early evening I was decidedly uncomfortable enough to drive my pain over to the nearest hospital and put myself in the hands of medical professionals.

18 hours and a dizzying battery of tests later I emerged healthy on all counts (and quite clearly relieved). Not only was I cleared of heart problems... they tested so many things I learned I'm healthy as an ox.

In spite of such positive news my experience was nothing less than stressful and unsettling. The reason? The complete isolation I felt from every medical professional I'd "hired" to manage my case.

I was left alone for multiple hours having no interaction with the people treating me. What few people I saw only asked questions or performed tests. Even if asked they did not have answers and were not aware of the larger picture of my case. And, in many instances I was treated as a procedure... Less as a person.

In law this same thing happens all too often. People in need hire law firms to solve a problem, we take it, run like crazy to get the result and forget to take care of the person/people hoping for the best result.

In my case at the hospital it would have been night and day if anyone might have checked in with me even if they had no new information... the attention would have been comforting.

My hospital experience has me rethinking all of my relationships and tasks. What will I do to make sure he/she does not feel isolated? It is not enough to be good at getting results, I need to take care of the people dependent on me in the entire journey.