Credit Where Credit’s Due

A friend has a tag on her blog that says “People Who Get It Right.” Like her, I believe it’s not only important to point out problems, but also highlight exceptional occurrences in TAB behavior. Recently one happened worthy of its own entry.

In Blindness v. Medical Profession, , I described the radically different experiences I had with the removal of my left eye versus the unblocking of my trachea, with the former suffering from the juxtaposition. Staff behavior was one issue I mentioned because people kept coming and going from my cubical without telling me or beginning procedures without alerting me. Though my friend tried to address the situation, he was ignored.

When I scheduled my right eye removal, I decided to directly address the situation mentioning my experience to the pre-op nurse. She put me in touch with the Nurse Manager.

I freely admit I was not expecting much based on previous similar events. I freely admit I was very wrong. The Nurse Manager called me and I explained my concern. I said something like, “I know people aren’t used to interacting with blind folks.”

She said, “We treat eye conditions, so we should be.”

“Yeah, I replied, “but probably newly blind people not long-term blind people.”

“We need to do better,” she stated, quite firmly.

I told the Nurse Manager that I was impressed at her response and she said, “It’s my job. This should not be happening to you”

The day of the surgery, I showed up curious about how things might go. It was like the same staff members had been taken over by a body snatcher with perfect blind person manners. Everyone said who they were, made their comings and goings crystal clear, and let me know what was happening before it happened. I kept looking at my friend with amazement and we both kept saying, “Wow, it’s completely different.”

I called to thank the Nurse Manager. Usually, speaking up about TAB bad behavior gets a list of justifications and excuses. I was thrilled that my concerns were not only heard but addressed in such an complete way. Kudos to the Nurse Manager.

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About Jen

After acquiring a degree from Vassar College in psychology, I moved to Western Mass where I ran a peer mentoring network for disabled college students as well as activism and organizing around disability issues. I also conducted research on disabled women’s body image. An Upstate New York native, I eventually followed my heliotropic nature to the sun of Southern California. I divide my time between writing (disability fiction and essays) along with moderating San Diego Bisexual Forum which is one of the oldest groups of its kind in the country. In my off hours I can often be found in my neighborhood live music venue enjoying our local talent.

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