Hey Nurse Friends!
A tough question…Is our healthcare system broken?
As healthcare professionals, it’s a harsh reality and it can be a hard pill to swallow (no pun intend) to think that healthcare in America sucks. We all have sacrificed time, energy, money-we’ve worked log hours, spent time away from our families..
But theres a reason why the US is ranked 43rd in the world in life expectancy.
We have a healthcare system that is great a identifying problems once they exist (most of the time, anyway) and then trying to manage them with a combination of pills and procedures.
Pills can improve SYMPTOMS or slow disease progression in some cases, but it will always come at a cost. Think about the LONG LIST of side effects associated with just 1 prescription pill-
It’s SICK care, not HEALTH care. There is little to no focus on PREVENTION.
The truth is medical training does NOT emphasis prevention- There is no emphasis on nutrition…ask any medical doctor and they will tell you that they were taught very little about nutrition, but studied endlessly for pharmacology exams.
Pharmaceuticals can be the most amazing life saving interventions in the world. They can save your life. The problem is that drugs are hardly ever needed for the average individual- unless you’re in a life or death situation where if you didn’t get the drug you’d die, there is no need to take a rx drug. And yet, it seems normal that Americans are prescribed multiple drugs, 65+ are on an average of 4 rx pills daily, and I’d venture to say it’s even more-
As nurses we pass meds all day long- stop and think about how many medications you hand out in 1 shift, in 1 day- it’s CRAZY. And then, what about the side effects of all of those meds!? It becomes a vicious cycle of prescribing a med for a symptom and then another med for another symptom-
Side effects of drugs have massive side effects and have been studied. Research has PROVEN the be DETRIMENTAL to your long term health.
For example think about all the stain drugs that we hand out to patients with high cholesterol, which we all know is PREVENTABLE/CURABLE with diet and exercise- it’s been proven to cause muscle weakness, muscle death, DMII, Cardio myopathy (this means you can still die of heart related issues even though you’re lowering your cholesterol and supposedly protecting your heart health!), neurological issues, liver damage, acidosis, anemia, sexual dysfunction, cataracts, memory loss.
There are ways to rebalance and fix cholesterol WITHOUT a rx, but so many ppl don’t know this- as healthcare professionals why are we not advocating this?!!
Another popular drug for acid reflux- which brings in billions of dollars a year from just 1 pills- seems so harmless- severely limits the body’s ability to digest food (PPI inhibit stomach acid, but you NEED it to break down protein!) This can lead to parasites invading your intestines, malnourishment, osteoporosis from the poor absorption of calcium and other minerals and IBS.
And did you know that this drug has a warning that it should not be used for more than 2 weeks…when was the last time you heard of someone taking a PPI for just 2 weeks?
Sadly, most doctors are not taught in medical school why someone would get acid reflux in the first place. And, if your’e never taught why acid reflux would occur from a whole-body system perspective, how could you ever know what to look for and rebalance to help your patients?
It’s NOT the doctors fault, it’s the systems.
The system is broken. Because it’s the system, this then leads to doctors that are specifically instructed to match up your current symptoms to a drug that can be prescribed, which is then covered by health insurance.
-Drug companies pay professors to talk about specific drugs during class
-Medical school teaches future doctors to match drugs to symptoms
-Insurance companies pay for the drugs
-Drug companies get you hooked on their product
-The drug you take causes side effects, which leads to additional drugs being prescribed to mask those symptoms
-Drug use causes life-long dependance on a monthly subscription plan that you pay for
I know it can be hard to accept this as a nurse, as a doctor or any other healthcare professional. I truly believe that we all got into healthcare to actually help people, and to realize that the healthcare system that we work for is NOT doing this is upsetting. BUT, we can advocate my friends. We can arm ourselves with knowledge and share it with others and we have the credibility to do so! We may not be a able to change the system, but we can change lives, we can make an impact and help others without pushing pharmaceuticals.
Think about the online space! Think about how many people you could impact and help. Our patients need us to be their advocate inside the hospital and outside of the hospital. We can change peoples lives.
The band-aid approach is keeping our patients sick- High blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, GERD, cancer, obesity are ALL PREVENTABLE. Most deaths in the uS are preventable, and related to what we we. Americans, your family members, your loved ones are dying of preventable diseases. Let’s do something about it!