Let’s face it – experience matters. If you are hiring new employees for your business, you will strive to fill open positions with experienced candidates. Likewise, when you visit a restaurant, your expectation is that the chefs have experience in the kitchen. In general we would rather not have our hair cut my a novice barber or stylist and we want to know that our dentist isn’t pulling teeth for the very first time when we show up for an extraction.
Experience is important because it gives us assurance and a sense of comfort. We know that typically, the more often that a person preforms a task, the better they will become at it. Bottom line, it allows us to have confidence in the ability of the person preforming the task.
The most obvious area where experience matters most is medicine. We expect the doctors and nurses that take care of us to know exactly what they are doing, as they are often our the people we rely on when we are facing a serious medical issue – such as prostate cancer. Of course, we also expect healthcare professionals to be knowledgeable and well-educated, but when it comes to specific procedures we want to make sure that a doctor not only knows “about” it, we want assurance that he has “practical” experience with the procedure.
If you or someone you love is facing a diagnosis of prostate cancer, you might be overwhelmed with all the different treatment options that are available. You might be even more overwhelmed by the different urologists and surgeons offer the same procedures. It may seems like they are all the same, so it doesn’t matter which physician you choose to perform your procedure, especially if they all sound very knowledgeable.
However, this isn’t always the case – especially when it comes to prostate cancer. Technology is evolving and new procedures are being introduced to offer less invasive treatment options with quicker recovery times, such as HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound) and a robotic prostatectomy. Its more important than ever that before you decide on a treating physician, you take the time to ask them a few simple questions to make yourself comfortable with their level of practical experience with the procedure they are recommending.
Questions to Consider Asking Your Doctor Before Treatment
- How long have you been performing the procedure?
- How many procedures have you completed in total?
- What type of training is required in order to become proficient with the treatment for a physician?
- What kind outcomes have your patients had in terms of cancer control?
- What kind of side effects have your patients had?
- May I talk any of your patients of who have already had this procedure?
- How many procedures do you do a month?
By asking these types of questions, you will have a better understanding of your doctor’s knowledge of a procedures as well as their practical experience.
An Experienced Care Team
While having an experienced physician is obviously important for reasons we already discussed, it is equally important to work with an experienced care team. From the nurse educator who prepares you for treatment, to the technicians, medical assistants and nurses that help during the procedure, you want a complete team that understands the treatment completely.
When you are facing treatment for prostate cancer, the last thing you want to worry about is having to maneuver a system of people who may not have experience with guiding you through the process. An experienced team can ease your fears, prepare you for the procedure and be an invaluable resource to you during recovery.
When you are considering treatment options, ask your physician how the scheduling, pre-operative and post-treatment processes work. Find out who your main point of contact will be and ask in advance for contact information so you can have it when you need it. Working with an experienced team can go a long way in making you feel confident in whatever treatment you choose.