Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Clarifying

So I didn't make it out after all. Someone called with a very long and convoluted story (which I won't go into detail about here) because she was worried about a caregiver whom she alleged she knows is being cheated of money.

I told her that I thought the best thing to do was to give the woman she knows some advice but not to tell her what to do. Unwittingly, no matter how good your intentions, it is up to the caregiver. According to the woman who called, the caregiver isn't upset about the situation. I told her that at the end of the day, the woman is an adult and has to make her own mind up. If you insist on protecting someone's interests, when that person doesn't necessarily WANT those interests being protected, you could end up getting blamed for interfering, or worse.

Another woman then called right after. A cat had died either during or after surgery and she said she wasn't sure what happened. She said that she was a layperson and the vet didn't explain the situation clearly to her and she was upset. I told her that I could certainly understand that she was upset, and I would call the vet to find out what I could (I couldn't get him but will try again). However I told her I can't tell her why the vet did or did not do something because I'm not the vet. I told her the best thing to do is to ask the vet herself. She said she wasn't satisfied with his answers, and I told her that she should call him on it and ask him to explain further.

She said that the vet wasn't good at explaining things. I told her that the same could be said of some caregivers. They are GOOD caregivers but terrible at explaining a TNRM programme for example. For example, I told her, when you ask some caregivers why they sterilise, they sometimes say it is to prevent the cats from dying. However, if I was someone who knew nothing about TNRM, I would be baffled. Why does sterilisation prevent cats from dying? The answer isn't wrong - but it does skip certain steps necessary to explain to a person who has no knowledge of TNRM. Sometimes however when you think about or work on something all the time, you don't realise that your answers aren't necessarily as clear as they could be because you assume a level of knowledge that may not be there. It would be helpful therefore if the person who isn't quite sure what is happening could ask and clarify. It's sometimes not that people don't want to answer your questions - it's that they don't know understand what question was asked in the first place.

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