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What Constitutes a Grateful Patient?

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Grateful patients recognize that they are the beneficiaries of the work of many other people, from researchers, to doctors, and nurses, explained Rolf Benirschke, a former National Football League (NFL) player. 

Benirschke established the Grateful Patient Project, as well as National Grateful Patient Day, which occurs every year on September 7. 


A grateful patient, to me, is someone who recognizes that they are the beneficiary of the work done by a lot of other people, most of whom they will never meet, they will never understand. They don't appreciate how much innovation, research, time, energy, commitment, goes into creating a drug. The cost. The years of back-breaking bench science: 10, 12, 15 years, oftentimes with never a drug actually making it to market. But each failure moving science along. 

They don't understand the commitment that goes into getting a drug through the phase III trials; putting trials together. They don't understand the training that the doctors went through [who] treat us, the nurses [who] care for us. There's a whole ecosystem of people whose shoulders we stand on as patients and get to receive the drug that cures us, [or] extends our life, changes our lifestyle. 

A grateful patient stops and recognizes that. 

Talk about this article with nurses and others in the oncology community in the General Discussions Oncology Nursing News discussion group.
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