John D. Shier, RN, PhD

John Shier is a Registered Nurse and Doctor of Philosophy who entered the profession of nursing at the young age of sixty and after having two prior successful careers.

Prior to his nursing career and his work as "ThatGuyNurse," John was an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay for fourteen years. John also served eighteen years as the Executive Director of the Lake Michigan Area Agency on Aging as well as providing leadership as the Executive Director of the United Way of Brown County.

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John D. Shier RN, Ph.D.
2790 Elm Tree Hill
Apt. 330
Green Bay, WI 54313

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The Professional Patient

It is now probable, for the first time in history, for most people to live to the full potential human life span of ninety to one hundred years.  The challenge is to live in good health throughout that lifetime. The primary function of the American medical system is not to keep people healthy; it is to keep them alive.  Good health is an individual responsibility.

The American medical system is designed to cure illness and to repair trauma…to keep the patient alive.   It is not a system that fosters health and wellness.  There are virtually no financial incentives for physicians, clinics or hospitals to work for the creation of healthy patients.  Insurance, private or governmental pays only for cure and repair, not for preventive maintenance.

The American medical system can perform near miracles in the cure of disease and trauma.  But it can also to great harm and even kill if its power is misdirected.  To a degree never before imagined ensuring that medical care has good outcomes is up to the patient.  Unless the patient in able to participate in his or her own cure with knowledge and intelligence and in partnership with medical professionals, the potential power of medicine to restore and promote health is severely limited.

This program explores and explains the role of the patient in twenty-first century medical care.  It stresses the active role of the patient, working in partnership with the physician, to ensure that the system achieves cure when that is necessary and promotes maximum health and wellness for every patient.

“Professional Patient” provides, beyond an explanation of how medical science has ensured living to the human life-span, specific instructions on what patients and their families must know and do in order to ensure that the medial system operated with maximum efficiency and effectiveness, not only to cure and heal but to promote the achievement of health and wellness for every patient.  It provides practical every-day directions for creating patient-physician partnerships and for minimizing the risks which accompany every visit to the doctor or the hospital.

The Professional Patient…

  • Knows the basics of health and disease and can identify when something has gone wrong. (Note: is an excellent source of good information)
  • Knows when and how to contact the medical system at the appropriate level; e.g. telehealth, primary care physician, urgent care or emergency room
  • Knows detailed personal medical history as well as family medical history
  • Carries at all times a complete and up-to-date list of all prescription and over the counter (OTC)  medications being taken, as well as medical conditions, allergies, blood type and emergency contact.  (Note: www.medids.comallows one to print-out a wallet-sized card containing all of this information)
  • Can describe symptoms fully and accurately, particularly pain in terms of onset, type, location, intensity and what relieves or worsens the discomfort
  • Can critically evaluate claims for medical products, devices and “cures”
  • Participates in supervising acute (hospital) care or has a family member or friend to carry out this function
  • Realizes that he is the President of his life and is always in charge (or has someone to carry out this function).  The physician is the Secretary of Health and, as such, is a key advisor on matters of health and wellness.  But it is the President alone who has executive authority
  • Has created a durable power of attorney for health care (DPOA) and arranged for a trusted family member or friend to have this power if and when the patient can no longer make decisions.
  • Understands and practices the fundamental life-styles necessary for long-term good health:
    • Regular vigorous exercise**
    • Healthy nutrition (Note: as an excellent source of good nutrition information)
    • No smoking!!!
    • Moderate and responsible use of alcohol
    • Recognition and management of stress
    • The practice of daily safety at home, work and during recreation

** Beneficial cardiovascular exercise requires that heart rate be elevated to a rate appropriate to age according to the following formula: 220 minus the exerciser’s age.  Divide the result by four and multiply the answer by three.  e.g. 220 – (age) 40=180.  180 divided by 4 = 45.  45×3=135.  This is the desired exercise heart rate.