Antibiotic Use


As patients become better consumers of healthcare, they become more demanding of their healthcare providers. Prior to seeking care, many patients often research their symptoms and gain some insight into their possible condition. Turning to the internet may provide insight which can often help but data mining can sometimes lead patients in the wrong direction.


For some patients, when they are armed with information, they often request antibiotics for their self-diagnosed conditions. Often these antibiotics are not warranted but at times providers prescribe these drugs due to pressure from their patients.


Having worked with providers who stand their ground and don’t prescribe drugs just because of patient pressure, I have witnessed angry patients who feel they have not received the expected standard of care they wanted. They will leave upset and often seek out treatment of another provider. I have listened to patients demanding antibiotics, some rather insistently. One particular physician told a demanding mother whose son had a cold, “He will be better in a week without antibiotics or better in 7 days with.” She went without, but with a huff.


Over prescribing is not the only the only concern physicians and the healthcare community have with antibiotic use. Globally, there is concern that antibiotics are incorrectly dosed or the duration prescribes to be taken is incorrect.


When a patient becomes ill, the patient is infected with a particular bacterium. Antibiotics will kill the majority of the invading bacteria, but not all. Some are left and will develop a resistance to the antibiotic. When antibiotics are used and the bacteria level is not high enough to cause disease, the bacteria can still develop a resistance which will be passed on to future generations.


According to the CDC, another avenue of resistance is the excessive use of antibiotics given to animals raised for human consumption. The resistant bacteria may be passed from animal too human if not properly handled or prepared. This antibiotic resistant bacterium can be spread among the community. The end result is that providers and consequently hospitals will have a hard time properly treating resistant patients.


So when the provider recommends not treating with antibiotic, the reasons are many. Should the patient become worse they can return and receive antibiotics at that time.


If you are interested in working in the healthcare field, Northwest Career College has exceptional programs in Medical Assisting, Medical Administrative Assisting, Pharmacy Tech and others which are taught by seasoned, credentialed professionals. Please call one of our enrollment specialists today at 702-254-7577 and start your new career in healthcare. We are waiting to hear from you!