Interaction between a Patient and Care Providers

Patient’s perceptions and expectations in health care process are based on how well the health care provider is able to interact and involve him or her in the process. In most cases, health care providers, health care institutions, and third party payers have programmed their systems autocratically and do not allow patients to participate even during consultation. This, in turn, has created self-efficacy among patients who feel that health care providers do not incorporate their perceptions in care delivery. In this paper, a scenario of a patient who has developed a brain tumor and is seeking care from his primary care physician is captured. Therefore, the paper discusses the interaction that the patient may have with each level of care from primary to tertiary level.

As Sparks & Villagram (2010) point out, the ability of patient to effectively communicate their symptoms and adhere to recommended medication or treatment heavily depends on his or her interaction with health care provider. This usually dispels out individual disrespect that a patient may project his/her feelings based on cultural or family outstanding as being overwhelmed by healthcare services, as provided. Cultural competence in healthcare delivery normally begins when healthcare providers engage in an honest interaction with their respective patients, thereby not making them biased in treating or caring for any individual. Often the needs of a patient necessitate the receiving care from various levels within a health care industry. This means a patient-provider interaction is paramount in delivering quality healthcare services. This paper discusses a scenario of a patient who has developed a brain tumor and is seeking care from his primary care physician. It presents the interaction that the patient may have with each level of care.

Patients’ expectations and perceptions, especially on the medical encounter and interaction, are essential for the treatment and care of brain tumor (Sparks & Villagram, 2010). If such expectations are met during primary consultation, there will be a positive association that matches with patient’s satisfaction. However, certain problems might arise from the interaction between the health care providers. Such problems are usually related to lack of communication skills on the part of both the physician and patient or either of them, especially at the primary level.

According to Torrey (2011), primary care usually acts as the first consultation point for any brain tumor patient. At this level such a patient contacts his or her primary care physician. Torrey observes that the most difficult issue when dealing with brain tumors is based on the initial decision on how to care about a patient. This means that it is at the primary stage where the care of patient with tumor is first tracked. At this level symptom experience is investigated through supportive care services, as provided by primary care physician. As Torrey (2011) notes, most brain tumor patients are normally ready to adequately interact with the primary care physician. This is based on the belief that it is through an open and honest interaction that the physician will be able to provide optimal health care which can prevent the tumor from developing to another stage.

On the other hand, Schubart, Kinzie & Farace (2006) argue that the primary care physicians normally look forward to initially meeting a patient who can adapt to their traditional nursing concept. To them, the primary care physician cannot therefore effectively associate and offer accurate care for patients with tumor, as they are not well specialized in the area. Most primary care physicians will thus encounter problems of lack of connectivity between him and the patient in the process of providing their services. Such problems normally emanate from language barrier or symptom interpretation. Additionally, the cultural beliefs of both parties may present the patient or the doctor with inadequate information, thereby rendering ineffective treatment. In so doing, the third party payer may see the expensiveness of caring for a brain tumor patient, while the health care administration will not be able to improve its dismal outcomes in care delivery over a longer duration of time.

Once a patient’s symptom experience has been assessed in the primary level, the tumor patient is referred by the primary care provider to specialists at the secondary level of interaction. According to Torrey (2011), a tumor patient may only proceed to the secondary level of interaction with tumor specialist after being referred by the primary care physician. He notes that this level of patient-provider interaction is usually necessary, as it allows the development of a treatment that can effectively help to improve tumor control and reduce its side-effects. This level should provide tumor patients with acute care that is necessary to overcome the side-effect of tumor within a shorter period.

Unlike the primary care, secondary care involves neuro-oncologist who is specialized in dealing with brain tumor. Burnet, Bulus & Jefferies (2009) point out that the work of a neuro-oncologist is to offer palliative and supportive care to a patient with brain tumor. A patient may view this level as important for his or her medical care, thereby engaging in self-referral. However, Torrey (2011) notes that the emergence of mixed market health care system has denoted this stage as unattainable for tumor patients who wish for self-referral. According to him, healthcare administration and third party payers, such as insurance scheme, have normally imposed restrictions especially in payment agreement by ensuring that they attend or pay for tumor illnesses only in case the patient sees a primary care provider before specialists. This hinders a patient from participating in healthcare delivery process.

Once the brain tumor patient has either received primary or secondary care, he or she is usually referred to tertiary care. This level, as Torrey (2011) describes, constitutes a specialized consultative care for patient with brain tumor as the care given is normally based on advanced medical investigation and treatment. It includes advanced tumor management such as complex palliative medical and surgical interventions. Patient’s perspective on tumor specialist nurses would be to have skills and time needed in addressing the problem associated with the disease especially within their consulting environment. However, lack of physician and specialists in fostering involvement and autonomy during consultation induces self-efficacy among the patient of which affects health care delivery.


In conclusion, patient-provider interaction is an important health care delivery process that, if mirrored well, can match patient’s perceptions and expectations with his or her satisfaction. It is also important for physicians or health care providers to ensure that patient’s are fully involved in the consultation process in order to obtain adequate information necessary for improving health care delivery. Finally, each and every level of health care should be engaged effectively and procedurally in order not to undermine a patient’s involvement in care delivery process.

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