Piedmont CEO Henry: Doctors, nurses experience abuse at the hands of patients, families | News

STOCKBRIDGE – Verbal and physical abuse of health care workers at Piedmont Henry prompted the hospital’s CEO to ask for a little more kindness, grace, patience, and compassion from the community.

“Our doctors and nurses are exhausted both physically and mentally,” said Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Lily Henson. “This virus is no longer a novel, and everyone is tired.”

In early March 2020, medical staff were praised for their dedication and willingness to put their own health on the front line to save lives. They were celebrated with parades, cards, food and thanks from the community.

In the summer, as the fourth wave of COVID-19 spread across the country due to the Delta variant, Henson said the patients who were coming to Piedmont Henry were terrified, but at the same time demanded inappropriate treatments for their disease. scientific or medical aspects. When they were denied such treatment, she said, patients and their families bullied, verbally abused and in some cases physically assaulted doctors and nurses.

Henson said she herself received nasty messages and threats, adding that the hospital had increased security because of the abuse.

“It’s extremely insulting that people believe what they read on social media more than hearing a doctor who sacrificed so much and spent years in school to become one,” Henson said. “They rush into medicine to help people, and it’s hard to see patients die because of false beliefs. Please recognize and respect a physician’s knowledge, expertise, and experience.”

Henson said seeing how much patients die every day takes a toll as well.

“My team is in the trenches every day, they are seeing sadness, struggle and death,” she said. “It’s a taxing emotion to see patients you know die. They are injured and traumatized, but they are here every day to take care of the community. “

Finally, Henson is asking patients and families to consider their individual responsibility and consider how they contribute to chaos and make it difficult to provide care when they are challenged and abused. health care providers.

“It means something when you get into medicine, and our goal is always to provide the best care possible,” says Henson. “It’s important for the public to realize what we’ve been through and that we’re doing the best we can.”

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