Before my rare condition was finally diagnosed, I struggled to be believed
Clinicians should keep an open mind and not go straight to the obvious diagnosis, says nurse Bethann Siviter
You may be familiar with one of the medical profession’s core tenets, based in mathematical theory. If not, are you ready to be enlightened? ‘Common things are common.’
Yep, that’s it. Tah-dah! Doctors are taught: ‘When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.’ But, what happens when it is a zebra galloping into your clinical area? Too often, clinicians stick to their ‘common diagnosis’ without considering the bigger picture.
I have a rare cancer – about 50% of cancers are rare cancers – and people like me who cope with rare or uncommon disorders often call ourselves ‘zebras’. How can you as a nurse or member of the wider nursing team ensure...