One of the most difficult things to contend with in a hospital is the assumption on the part of the staff that because you have lost your appendix, you have lost your shame. As for the patients, they think that their illness should be the prime concern of every doctor or nurse and the visitors to the hospital think that it is a picnic spot.
To you, a patient may be just another case to be studied. But remember he has faith in you. So switch on your bedside manners. Keep your frown for inefficient nurses! A smile, a word of encouragement and sign of involvement- you’ll have cured the patient 50 per cent. When you take your students to explain a case, don’t make the patient feel like part of the furniture whose salient features you are describing. Exchange some pleasantries, introduce the students and with a polite “may I?” proceed with your business. While speaking to nurses, be polite. After all, the real work is done by them. Acknowledge with an appreciative nod or smile. The nurse will feel more motivated to care for the patient.
You have entered a profession, which is tough, of your own free will. Whatever your grouses, don’t take them out on the patient. Soften your tone and keep a pleasant countenance. Don’t be harsh with a patient who constantly demands attention. Befriend other patients and request them to divert the attention of the disgruntled ones. When you have to bathe or change the patient’s clothes, don’t be indifferent to his sense of modesty. Close the door or get a screen around the bed. When relatives and friends of the patient make a nuisance of themselves, be polite and firm but not rude. No doubt you are rushed for time, but spare a few moments to enquire about the patient’s family, interest or anything other than if he had his dose of medicine!
To begin with, please remember that visiting hours are meant for you. Except during the time allotted, don’t try to barge or sneak into the hospital. When you go visiting, don’t take the entire family along. Leave small children at home. Speak softly and don’t get into heated arguments or agitate the patient by discussing controversial matters. Don’t carry eats for the patient, as you may not be aware of the diet prescribed. If you genuinely want to get some, find out from the staff or duty Sister, what the patient is allowed to eat and bring only that: It’s better to make sure that the patient is allowed to read, before carrying books, or magazines. If you want to take flowers, avoid those with a heavy fragrance and don’t carry huge baskets.
- As your name suggests, be patient.
- Don’t keep ringing the bell or shouting for the nurse, for trivial reasons. She has other patients too.
- Do your bit towards getting better by obeying the doctor’s or nurse’s instructions and don’t take the attention you get, for granted!
A “thank you” and grateful smile work wonders!