Friday, June 16, 2006


The problem with our culture is that as Americans, we feel that we're entitled to something with minimal effort on our parts. The whole "something for nothing" concept is rooted deep in our system and has polluted nearly every aspect of our lives. Not everybody has this mentality, but from my experience with dealing with the small fraction of the public that comes through the hospital doors, about 90% of the people I've had to deal with think that way. Instead of thinking "what can I do for myself?", people have in their heads, "what can you do for me?"

I can't say it's laziness, but there's definitely a lack of motivation.

And nothing cements this observation more than my patients that sit around in bed all day. Granted there is a component to resting to allow the body to heal, but patients also need to move around, walk in the halls, and sit upright in a chair in order to prevent complications of immobility: pneumonia, muscular degeneration, DVT's, and bedsores being at the top of the list.

There are a few motivated patients that will get up and move around as I request. But there are many more that just lie in bed all day. Because it's easy and requries no effort on their part. When asked as to why they haven't moved today, patients will commonly reply:

"Nobody came to get me up today."

When asked why they didn't take the initiative to ask a nurse to help them get up and move around, they struggle to find an answer other than the obvious: It is far easier and more comfortable to lie in bed watching TV.