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New policy at PM - no spouses allowed back in rooms?

cherish22ccherish22 Posts: 706
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Pain Management
I had an appointment today at my pain management doc, and there was a new policy posted. No one but the patient allowed back to see the doctor. This was upsetting for 2 reasons. One, I want my husband there for support and two, we were discussing the SCS and I thought it important he be involved.

They took my blood pressure and vitals, got a urine sample (although I just had one 2 months ago when I first started) and once all that was done and just before the doctor came to see me, they asked if I had any opposition to my husband coming back.

I was just dealing with the usual pain and trying not to be upset, while my husband asked the receptionist and a nurse what the deal was. They said it is just a new policy, and they have had too many patients who are abused by their spouses and they want to give the patient the opportunity to admit to the doctor if there is domestic violence in their home.

HUH?? Does anyone else find that odd? Or normal? It was just upsetting to me because it was a new policy and I wasn't expecting it.

Thanks for your opinion/input.


  • :jawdrop: I've NEVER heard of that! I would be clearly pissed if I wasn't allowed to take my husband with me. I attend all of his doctor visits also. There is nothing that we keep from each other. My husband is my support system also, and many times he needs to be there just to learn something new that is going on. There are 1000's of reasons for him to be there. So was your husband not allowed to go back there at all? Can he go if you tell the doc you want him there? I find this disturbing on many levels, I hope it doesn't catch on!
  • :) hi! i have never heard of that either [( . i need my husband there to make sure my ideas get across to the doctor and that i understand the doctor completely. medication can make my thoughts hazy and it is a big plus to have him there. :? Jenny :)
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  • to take someone in the room with me, because the medication causes me not to remember things. So if i didnt have someone with me i would forget half of what they say.

    Angie x
  • HI all. This is a very interesting post for me to read since I have only been on the other end, being a nurse and having not been married.
    I can see how this could be very upsetting if not handled well by the office. From the health care worker's perspective, it is one of the only ways to ensure that the patient has that opportunity to voice whatever may be going on without the spouse present. If we as health care worker's see anything that is suspect, and the spouse is present, this puts us in a terribly challenging position and it can can lead to more abuse. By making it look as though the spouse is not allowed, then a potentially abused spouse will have the excuse to be alone with the practitioner. Otherwise, too often, abuse goes unspoken because the abusive spouse refuses to leave the abused alone.
    In addition, although you all are very comfortable with your spouses, some do not want their's to know quite everything (for whatever reason is not my place to judge), so they may put their own healths at risk by not being completely forthcoming in the assessment.
    It sounds as though you all have wonderful, supportive spouses, which is so inspiring and wonderful to hear! I hope you all can understand that this creates what might possibly be one's only opportunity to cry for help.
    As far as I know, if the patient requests his or her spouse to be present, there are generally no objection to this; it just has to be verified by the patient.
    Thank you for the interesting discussion and perspective!
    Take care,
  • too many partners are hijacking the appointments?

    Just a thought.
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    I do not believe ANY medical office has the RIGHT to refuse to allow someone to come into the exam room with the patient.
    There are so many valid reasons why this is done.

    On the other side, I can see a office ASKING the patient first. This give the patient the right to determine if they want someone in with them.
    There are many situations in which a patients spouse, or family member does NOT know all about a given medical condition. And the patient wants to keep in that way.

    So, that policy is understandable. In fact it is showing more compassion towards the patient.

    Now, if the office flat out refused a patient to have someone come in with them, THEN I would have a MAJOR MAJOR problem with that office.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • The clinic I go to has had the "patient only" policy in the exam room for as long as I've been going there. The only exception is for patients who don't have the mental capacity to make their own decisions; in that circumstance, the surrogate decision-maker is allowed in the room.

    I was taken aback by the policy at first, but then I chalked it up to another "hoop" and jumped on through it.

  • One visit I had recently with a neurologist.
    I was in office with my hubby and son, I always have one of them with me with a doc appointment.
    After all us being in room with doc for about 15 minutes she asked them to leave. she wanted to be sure I was not being abused by anyone by any way. (I believe this was because my large herniation at c6-7 would usually be caused by some force of some kind)(I believe the herniation that is impinging on my C6-7 was caused by many visits with chiropractor, this is just my thought and I have no proof)
    after she and I talked and she understood my dear hubby and son has only been helpful to me and would never do anything to cause me pain or ever hurt me she then had them come back in.
    I understand this for I have been in medical field and have seen and heard many times when a spouse or health care worker has been abusive. I myself have been asked to leave the doc office when bringing a patient to doc appointment or even a house visit from doc. and I never felt bad or anything about having to leave room for a short time while doc and patient talked I do believe This is very common and feel it can help many patients that have or are being abused in some way.
    I believe it is so very important to have someone go with you to appointments for many many reasons and find it very helpful with people going through medical issues. I could not imagine having to go to doc appointment over serious issues by myself. I would have nobody to help me understand everything doc said.

    RON If doc ask patient in front of spouse or care taker if they would like that spouse or caretaker to leave they would say no even if they really would like to talk to doc alone because they are afraid and have to go home with that person. I personal have had to ask a wife to leave the room in the hospital for a few minutes. because the doc asked me to have wife leave so he could talk to him alone, and I was in the room with doc while they talked.... you would be shocked at what I heard, another thing when ever a nurse or doc suspects any abuse even just a maybe this is proper thing that has to be done and has saved alot of patients from being abused anymore.I have seen this more then one time with my own eyes.
    I will leave this at what I said and wont go any further with it because I have plenty I could say but I hope all get the picture.
    Hugs and Smiles to all my Spine-Health friends..Patsy
  • Many offices have a similar if not exactly the same policy now. It does allow the patient to discuss anything that they may not want their spouses to know, with the provider before a spouse/SO is in the room.
    They do allow the spouse/SO in , after they have asked the patient if they want them in there. :)))
    My husband is also supportive, but I have had times that I just didn't want him in the room with me....not because I had anything that I wanted to hide, but I just wanted to get through the appointment and get home and my husband is Mr. Social Butterfly... :D
    It is for the protection of the patient, who is the first priority of the medical provider, and once they ensure that there isn't any cause for concern, they usually have no problem with bringing /allowing a spouse/SO in to the room.
  • I had to have my husband wheel me into my PM appt. right after my fusion. He was back in the room too, and he got a chance to meet the staff and asked a couple questions. There is no policy like that where I go, unless you're having a procedure done.
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