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LT Conference

Learning and Teaching Conference 2021- What Matters to Me

22 June 2021
Consultation Concept. Close up of unrecognizable male doctor showing test result to his young female patient discussing diagnosis. Specialist talking about treatment, sitting at table in clinic
Consultation Concept. Close up of unrecognizable male doctor showing test result to his young female patient discussing diagnosis. Specialist talking about treatment, sitting at table in clinic

The date was 31st March 2014 and I was wearing hospital scrubs awaiting surgery in an unfamiliar hospital. I had arrived early in the morning doing my best to comply with the instructions outlined in my admission letter. This included handing over my current medications which were promptly locked up in the medicine cabinet. Courtesy of being recently diagnosed with breast cancer, I was now part of the club that no-one ever signs up for – cancer patient. To look at me, you wouldn’t have known without asking that I had previously undergone major surgery 9 weeks before and as such I was in a lot of pain for which I required the medicine that was locked up in the cabinet.

The assumption made by the nurses on the ward was that as I was a Day Surgery case, there was no need to ask questions about my needs or what mattered to me. As a single parent, it was important that I went home that night so that my 9-year old daughter didn’t have to worry unduly by having to stay with friends. After the surgery, I had forgotten to ask for the medication that was taken from me by the admitting nurses. By the time I arrived home, there was no way for me to get my medicine. With no relatives around and my close friends at work, I was stuck. The following 20 hours became some of the most agonising and painful ones in my journey as a patient. Eventually, through the help of a friend, I was then able to get a new prescription for the same medication that was taken from me the day before.

Experiences such as the one described above have shaped me as I have since explored the importance of having a voice at a time when you are most vulnerable. Prior to being a patient, I was a well-educated black woman, a single parent, confident and very knowledgeable about health matters. However, those facts and previous experiences that had shaped me weren’t printed on my forehead. They were tucked away in my invisible backpack, something that each person carries.

Every human being wants to be heard and understood, the patient is no different. Unfortunately, this point is often missed sometimes with dire consequences for them and their loved ones. From that vantage point, I realised how vital it is for patient voices to be heard and I consider it a privilege to speak for those who cannot do so for themselves for whatever reason.

Getting the opportunity to share my patient experiences – both good or bad with nursing students is so important as it peels back the curtains so that they get to understand what might otherwise escape their notice due to demands of their clinical duties. Whilst there might be commonalities with respect to disease diagnoses, patients are individuals with diverse needs not a homogenous group. The only accurate way to identify their unique requirements is to ask them. No medical professional is an authority on a patient’s lived experience. My mantra is: assume nothing, check by asking questions.

The above scenario would have had a totally different outcome if the admitting nurse had spared 5 minutes to ask questions about what mattered to me. This would have provided an opportunity to make a note to restore my medication before I was discharged.

What matters to patients within healthcare settings should be an important part of their care plan. Sharing my experiences with this group of students gives me hope that this would be adopted into professional practice more widely so that misunderstandings that result in poorer outcomes can be reduced.

Written by Bami Adenipekun

To find out more about this topic, join our story session- “What Matters to Me”… Patient and Public Involvement on ZOOM – at 11:30am on Fri 2 July (part of our Learning and Teaching Conference 2021). Register for the conference


Y dyddiad oedd 31 Mawrth 2014. Roeddwn yn gwisgo dillad ysbyty ac yn aros i gael llawdriniaeth mewn ysbyty anghyfarwydd. Roeddwn i wedi cyrraedd yn gynnar yn y bore ac yn gwneud fy ngorau i gydymffurfio â’r cyfarwyddiadau a amlinellwyd yn fy llythyr derbyn. Roedd hyn yn cynnwys trosglwyddo fy meddyginiaethau cyfredol a gafodd eu cloi ar unwaith yng nghwpwrdd y  meddyginiaethau. Ar ôl imi gael diagnosis o ganser y fron yn ddiweddar, roeddwn i bellach yn rhan o’r clwb nad oes neb byth yn ymrestru ar ei gyfer, sef bod yn glaf canser. O edrych arna i a heb eich bod yn gofyn imi, fyddech chi ddim wedi sylwi imi gael llawdriniaeth sylweddol 9 wythnos cyn hynny ac oherwydd hynny roeddwn i mewn llawer o boen ac felly roedd angen meddyginiaethau arna i a oedd bellach dan glo yn y cwpwrdd.

Gan fy mod i’n glaf a fyddai’n derbyn llawdriniaeth ddydd, tybiodd y nyrsys ar y ward nad oedd angen gofyn imi am fy anghenion na chwaith am yr hyn oedd yn bwysig imi. Fel rhiant sengl, roedd yn bwysig fy mod i’n mynd adref y noson honno fel na fyddai’n rhaid i fy merch 9 oed boeni’n ormodol am orfod sefyll y nos gyda ffrindiau. Ar ôl y llawdriniaeth, roeddwn i wedi anghofio gofyn am y meddyginiaethau a gymerodd y nyrsys derbyn oddi wrtha i. Erbyn imi gyrraedd adref, doedd dim modd bellach imi gael fy meddyginiaethau. A minnau heb berthnasau yn byw’n agos a gan fod fy ffrindiau agos yn y gwaith o hyd, doedd dim byd y gallwn i ei wneud. Roedd yr 20 awr canlynol gyda’r rhai mwyaf dolurus a phoenus o ran fy mhrofiad o fod yn glaf. Yn y pen draw, gyda chymorth ffrind imi, roeddwn i wedyn yn gallu cael presgripsiwn newydd ar gyfer yr un meddyginiaethau a gymerwyd oddi wrtho i y diwrnod cynt.

Mae profiadau fel yr un uchod wedi cael cryn dipyn o effaith arna i gan fy mod i ers hynny wedi mynd ati i ystyried pa mor bwysig yw’r ffaith bod pobl yn gwrando arnoch chi pan fyddwch chi fwyaf bregus. Cyn bod yn glaf, menyw groenddu addysgedig oeddwn i, yn rhiant sengl, yn hyderus ac yn wybodus iawn am faterion iechyd. Fodd bynnag, doedd y ffeithiau hynny yn ogystal â phrofiadau blaenorol ddim yn hysbys i’r byd a’r betws o fy amgylch i. Roedden nhw yno, ynghudd yn fy mhrofiadau a fy nghof yn rhywle, ac yn rhywbeth mae pob un ohonon ni’n byw gydag ef.

Mae pob un ohonon ni eisiau i bobl eraill wrando arnon ni a’n deall ni, ac nid yw’r claf yn wahanol yn hynny o beth. Yn anffodus, fydd hyn ddim yn digwydd bob tro, ac oherwydd hynny bydd goblygiadau enbyd weithiau i’r claf a’i anwyliaid. Yn dilyn y profiad a gefais i, sylweddolais i pa mor bwysig yw gwrando ar leisiau cleifion ac rwy’n ei hystyried yn fraint gallu siarad dros y rhai na allan nhw wneud hynny drostyn nhw eu hunain am ba reswm bynnag.

Mae cael y cyfle i rannu fy mhrofiadau o fod yn glaf – boed yn dda neu’n ddrwg – gyda myfyrwyr nyrsio mor bwysig gan eu bod yn cael cipolwg ar bwysigrwydd amgylchiadau na fydden nhw hwyrach yn sylwi arnyn nhw oherwydd eu dyletswyddau clinigol. Er bod pethau sy’n gyffredin hwyrach o ran diagnosis clefydau, unigolion yw cleifion wedi’r cwbl ac mae ganddyn nhw anghenion gwahanol gan nad grŵp unffurf sydd dan sylw. Yr unig ffordd i adnabod pa rai yw eu gofynion unigryw yn gywir yw gofyn i bob un. All yr un gweithiwr proffesiynol meddygol wybod pob dim am brofiad bywyd claf. Fy mantra yw: peidiwch â rhagdybio dim a gofynnwch gwestiynau i wybod mwy.

Byddai’r hyn rwy wedi ei ddisgrifio uchod wedi bod yn wahanol iawn pe bai’r nyrs dderbyn wedi rhoi 5 munud o’i hamser i ofyn cwestiynau am yr hyn a oedd yn bwysig i mi. Byddai hyn wedi rhoi’r cyfle i’r nyrs wneud nodyn imi gael fy meddyginiaethau yn ôl cyn imi gael fy anfon adref o’r ysbyty.

Dylai’r hyn sy’n bwysig i gleifion mewn cyd-destunau gofal iechyd fod yn rhan bwysig o’u cynllun gofal. Mae rhannu fy mhrofiadau gyda’r grŵp hwn o fyfyrwyr yn rhoi gobaith imi bod modd mabwysiadu hyn yn arfer proffesiynol ehangach fel bod modd lleihau achosion o gamddealltwriaeth sy’n arwain at ganlyniadau gwaeth.

Ysgrifennwyd gan Bami Adenipekun

I ddarganfod mwy am y pwnc hwn, ymunwch â’n sesiwn stori – “Beth sy’n Bwysig i Mi” … Cyfranogiad Cleifion a’r Cyhoedd ar ZOOM – am 11:30 am ar Ddydd Gwener 2 Gorffennaf (rhan o’n Cynhadledd Dysgu ac Addysgu 2021). Cofrestrwch ar gyfer y gynhadledd