The ambiguities of care
Have you experienced an interaction with a healthcare professional where you felt that what they wanted and what you sought out didn’t align? If you can’t think of a personal situation with a healthcare professional, you can instead use a situation lived by someone you know. In that case, please ask for their consent, make sure that they agree with the story you are telling and do not reveal their identity. If you can’t think of any specific situation, contact me and we can discuss what to do.
The essay should be 4 pages, double-spaced (see the detailed format in the syllabus).
Write about this confrontation by reflecting on the four following elements:
- Investigate the situation from the point of view of the patient: what did you or the person in the position of the patient consult for? What kind of care did you (or the patient) want from the healthcare professional?
- Investigate the situation from the point of view of the healthcare professional: As they stepped into the room, what do you think was their goal? What is the standard of care they thought they were enacting? What did they want to accomplish in this situation?
- Reflect on the differences between the two perspectives. Does considering both perspectives lead you to consider care differently? What were the misunderstandings or crossed expectations surrounding care? Why do you think these contradictions and ambiguities emerged?
- Using at least two things you have learned from weeks 5, 6, or 7 (chose from what you have learned from the texts and our class discussions during these weeks), deepen your reflection by thinking about the contradictions and ambiguities of care present in professional settings: What social dimensions do you think influenced the interactions? (highlight these elements in your essay using bold font or color).