Was recently hospitalized with pneumonia. Was in hosp. for a week and docs wanted to keep me longer because my white count started going up. I felt sicker being there because of my anxiety/panic attacks and just wanted to go home. Felt if I was home I’d get better. After pleading, I was discharged and white count went down to normal.

Had a hard time explaining to hosp. docs my anxiety. Are doctors and nurses required to take some classes in psychiatry to at least be aware these problems exist?

How can I better communicate my concerns to hospital doc?

A. All medical doctors and nurses have had courses in psychology but this is not their specialty. That may explain why doctors and other medical professionals consider a medical explanation before a psychiatric explanation.

You asked about how you can better communicate your concerns to your hospital doctor. You can do this in several ways. These include:

  • Informing your doctor about your psychiatric history.

  • Explaining to your doctor your specific history with panic and anxiety.
  • Writing your doctor a detailed letter about your history.
  • Encouraging communication between your hospital doctor and your psychiatrist or attending mental health professional.
  • Asking your doctor to read your psychiatric history. He or she could review your chart or psychiatric evaluations. You may have to sign a special form to give him permission to access your personal, psychiatric history.
  • Have a nurse, social worker or family member speak to your doctor on your behalf.

Any of those aforementioned methods may help your doctor become more knowledgeable about your panic and anxiety. I hope I have answered your question. Thanks for writing.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Feb 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Hospital Workers And Their Knowledge of Psych Issues. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/02/06/hospital-workers-and-their-knowledge-of-psych-issues/