Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The power of the media or standard operating procedures?

A friend of mine, and his wife had to take their young daughter to the ER a few weeks ago, because she had an issue "down there".  They were given the "third degree" about what happened. 

It wasn't quite like this
Was it just the father present, the mother, both, or someone else when this happened?

Have they had any visitors recently?

Does she go to daycare?

Are there any male siblings?

Are there any female siblings that have had the same or similar experience?
He anticipated these questions due to the nature of the injury.  He did not anticipate being asked them repeatedly in different forms to see if his story remained the same. 

Don't get me wrong, neither he, nor I, were upset that these questions were asked.  We both agreed that the ER staff was totally justified in asking them to ensure it was truly an accident, and not an indicator of something more. 

What we wondered was this:
Are these questions being asked more often lately due to the publicity from the Syracuse and Penn State debacles? Or have they always been asked like this?
Neither of us have any experience with this, so I thought I'd post the question here and see if there are any of you who have been down this road or just have thoughts about it. 
Does the media sway the medical communities' actions?
I'd love to get your thoughts on these two questions.


MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Not being part of the medical community, I'm only speculating here, but I would assume those questions are a part of standard protocol and procedure.

Still, we're all only human, and the media coverage probably affects most of us on some level, perhaps subconsciously reinforcing the importance of such questions.

I hope the little girl is OK. I can only imagine what a stressful situation that must have been for her parents, first to have an injured child; and second to be responding to multiple lines of questions, when all they wanted to do was concentrate on their daughter.

Mary Cavalier said...

Being in the medical community - I know these questions have been around for a long time. A pretty much standard procedure is to ask the same question several times because it often takes that third or fourth time for the patient to remember something, get caught up in a lie or figure they better tell the truth. I'm sure they ask questions of this nature even more often. These situations can be uncomfortable for the interviewer as well as the interviewee.

irishtwinsmommababybook said...

A good journalist is suppose to get both sides of the story and report it fairly. I work for local news media and know this is true from where I work, where only really political stuff is the only 'one sided' stuff we report. But I do realize that when something awful like a rape or battery happens, you either do report or don't report. And usually its just the facts from the authorities and not both sides (obviously). So yes? No? Yes.

But I have noticed that people tend to become defensive or offensive about whatever the story is when they comment about it on our Web sites or through an e-mail.