When To Use The Bathroom

One of the most basic needs of your body. I mean, you don’t get to the doctor’s office wearing nothing but your shorts do you?  We must always remember that we do NOT have to be “the best” to achieve our goals.

When to use the bathroom has become so complex that it has now taken over the top 5% of the medical profession. Let me repeat that, we are now the top 5% of the medical profession in using the bathroom. And I think that the reason for this is to do with the fact that there are far too often people who are not very well informed, they are very disconnected from our needs. They are not aware of the many aspects of bathrooms that need to be available and they tend to be very disconnected from health care providers who would provide appropriate access to appropriate bathroom options. That’s what I mean by our need for information.

Why This Needs To Change

One of the biggest factors that determines whether these bathroom times are appropriate for the patient, is based upon the time available to the physician to complete a visit.  If they must take additional time to access their patient, there may be reasons other than the patient’s discomfort.  We are a society that now has so much information available that it is sometimes difficult to connect the dots. Some doctors are just now learning that it is possible/probable they can not see a specific patient in under 6 hours, yet do not want to know the reason, only that it is “reasonable.” This leads to some unnecessary wait times, unnecessary confusion and unnecessary frustration.

For patients who are in a hospital setting, if the visit takes longer than 48 hours to complete… we may not be able to see the patient.  This is the opposite to how it was in the past when you could just walk in the door and immediately see the person. I personally used to make this mistake quite a bit and when I was finally caught, I had to spend a year and a half trying to get my hospital to allow me to give a referral to another physician. ( I still didn’t get the referral, we just could not afford to see him.)

If you are in a doctor’s office there are many other things to consider before visiting the bathroom, whether it be an anesthesiologist trying to get to the patient or a patient with an aneurysm, you must now consider the time available for the physicians to provide an exam and anesthetize the patient. What does this mean? This means we all need to think about how much time we have and how it will impact our lives as patients. In some cases we may be sitting in the waiting room and the doctor isn’t even done filling out the chart of that day so he couldn’t even show the patient (this may even happen when patients see the physician outside of their office). If we had that extra 10 minutes, we could get an X-Ray and make sure the patient’s vitals are stable/healthy so we can move forward with an appropriate treatment plan (which I’ll talk about at the end of this lesson).

As a person who is new to my profession, who has spent much of her adult life working as a dental assistant and now teaches primary care nursing, I’ve noticed a trend of how patients are being educated about the importance/benefits/uses of the bathroom time. We’ve heard that if you don’t use the bathroom, the medical staff will think you are sick.  We’ve heard that if you “tune out” the lights in the room/bathroom, you are “not concentrating;” you’re tired and may not be seeing things in the room that a regular person has to.  We’ve heard that if you don’t take care when going to the bathroom, you are “pissing yourself.”  This is all very true, but it is just a small part of what you are being told/taught to eat you up into.  These misconceptions, the negative feedback, are just not true and can have severe consequences.