Conflict with your child’s doctors or nurses is almost inevitable at some point during treatment.
Emotions run high when cancer threatens a child’s life. Nerves are frayed by long hospital waits, too much information – or not enough, the child’s distress, paperwork and bureaucracy, and lack of support.
Settling disagreements quickly is imperative for your sanity and your child’s well-being, and to maintain a good alliance with the care team.
Suggestions for Handling Conflict
Respect your child’s doctors as you expect them to respect you
Recognize that doctors are humans – they make mistakes too
Find ways to diffuse stress so you don’t unleash it on the medical team. Do not blame the doctors and nurses for your child’s cancer
Suggest solutions to problems rather than making accusations
You are your child’s best advocate. Be assertive, but not argumentative.
If problems escalate or you feel uncomfortable addressing them alone, find a mediator to help you. This could be a nurse, social worker, child life specialist or psychologist.
Sometimes conflict cannot be resolved, but even when that happens, expressing your feelings in a respectful manner can be a salve.
Failing to resolve conflict does not necessarily mean your relationship with the doctor has broken down. Disagreement is a part of life. Good two-way communication is essential to air feelings and maintain a therapeutic partnership.