So my last post wasn’t exactly the mind mapping we were supposed to do this week and I’m know that I’m really late with this (I’ll blame Nemo) but here goes nothing.
As I’ve said before this topic became of interest to me because of my dad. Looking at what happened to him and so many other people makes me want to find the loop hole in the system/the reason that it keeps happening. I’ve pointed out that DVT is a preventable condition so in my mind I don’t understand why it has the high morbidity and mortality rates that it does.
I mind-mapped on my own a few months ago and here’s what I came up with:
1. I was at first looking for ways to prevent DVT. Plain and simple. Just ways to prevent it from occurring. But then I realized that’s been done — there are tons of things that can prevent it (Heparin and Lovenox injections, TED stockings, sequential compression devices, early ambulations, filters placed in the veins to prevent DVT from turning into a PE, etc.)
2. So the next question I asked was whether doctors and nurses weren’t aware enough of this condition. Is there not enough coverage within medical schools and nursing school curriculums? Through a literature search of medical and nursing journals I’ve found tons of research about how to prevent DVT. I don’t know if that’s the biggest issue either.
3. That’s what brought me to the idea of public education. There have been various campaigns regarding different health conditions that have improved knowledge and decreased mortality rates. A good example of this is the FAST campaign regarding strokes. I think that has increased many people’s knowledge of stroke and the early signs/symptoms and because of this more lives have been saved.
4. I figure most people know the warning signs of stroke or a heart attack (I plan to do a survey to be sure of this) but no one has ever even heard of DVT. And if they haven’t heard of it they definitely can’t identify risk factors or symptoms. This is what I think the biggest problem is. In order to promote optimum health for people they need to be able to take charge, be knowledgable about their own bodies, and make decisions that are in their best interest.
I’m about halfway done with my proposal (which is due by March 20th, so I’m shooting for having it done by spring break) and I’m stuck now. I’m still not 100% what direction to take this in. I think I want to create a PSA and various other materials that can inform the lay person of this condition. I also need to find a way to get information out to people that they will actually pay attention to. Creating a video is only useful if people actually watch it, etc.
Any ideas where to head with this?
I really like what you have here. I’m gonna be honest, I know virtually nothing about your topic and perhaps that points to just how ignorant the public is. And so I think your ideas about raising public awareness for DVT are great. If, as you say, there’s plenty of info out there on how to prevent DVT, then why isn’t it being used? I think your personal experience is really important as you go forward with this project. Why didn’t the doctors give your dad the information he needed?
I see why you’re feeling a little stuck, though. Although creating an informative thesis will hopefully get that information out there, let’s face it, it will only inform people who go looking for it. So I guess do you think you want to address the problem of circulating that information to the general public? Your thesis might not get to the majority of the population, but perhaps in it you can suggest implementing programs to get that information out there. I like what you said about FAST and strokes; so what steps would need to be taken to create a program like that?
Kate: During my recent time in hospitals and waiting rooms, I was on the lookout for DVT literature, and indeed, they gave my dad a handout in his massive packet of information about this condition, though of course there were about a million other pieces of paper along with it. Which leads me to this: hospitals give patients wayyyyy toooooo much to read. The print is small. The handouts are black and white. Nothing stands out or is obviously more urgent that the rest. it’s overwhelming, especially to older folks who have trouble with their eyes or with understanding “hospitalese.” This all leads me back to your research and to your idea of a video or, I was thinking, a class or workshop. A 1-hour workshop that you, or other trained professionals, could do at nursing homes and hospitals to train medical staff about this condition and to also educate patients about it, too. A video is also good. Maybe it could be both? A training video instead of a PSA? Try to think of other ways to educate, because I think public health/education is the way to go here. You are trying to crack open the problem of why this problem persists in a world that knows better, really. Part of it is education, as you have deduced. Part of it is just, well, medical ignorance. We live in an unusually unhealthy country, as I’m sure you realize. We are not the smartest, en masse, about our health or how to improve it. So, there’s that. Keep going, Kate! Keep writing…you need to generate ideas on paper, then you’ll know what you think!