Tag Archives: doctor

10 Ways to Improve Your Bedside Manner

84516963A physician must absorb a tremendous amount of knowledge before he or she is prepared to treat patients.

But computers and robots are capable of absorbing far greater quantities of information. So why is no one calling for doctors to be replaced by computers or robots?

The answer is that medical patients are looking for warmth, support and understanding in addition to expert medical knowledge. These are things that human beings can provide but machines cannot.

It is a part of your responsibility as a physician to cultivate a compassionate and comforting bedside manner, and here are 10 recommendations that can help you improve your performance in this vitally important area:

#1 Focus exclusively on your patient

Doctors are like jugglers trying to keep a dozen balls in the air at the same time. But no matter how busy or pressed for time you are you should never allow yourself to become distracted by other matters when you are with a patient.

#2 Observe the non-verbal elements of every encounter

Listen to the tone of your patient’s voice and watch his or her body language closely. This will tell you a lot about what your patient is really thinking and feeling, making it easier for you to respond in the appropriate manner.

#3 Work hard to make a good subliminal impression

By this we mean pay attention to your own body language, facial expressions and vocal tones. Your patient should see you as authoritative yet receptive, businesslike yet compassionate.

#4 Make your patient feel safe and comfortable.

If the medical problem is of a highly personal nature, let your patient know you would be willing to move to a more private space to discuss it.

#5 Adopt an open style of questioning

Draw your patients out and get them to go into detail about their problem and the symptoms they’ve been experiencing. You’ll gain more insight while validating their desire to be listened to and taken seriously.

#6 Listen closely

Make absolutely sure you understand the nature of your patient’s symptoms. If anything seems ambiguous or unclear ask questions and pay close attention to the answers. If your patient thinks you haven’t been listening he or she will see it as a sign of indifference and disrespect.

#7 Don’t judge

You are a professional and you can’t do your job properly unless you remain detached. Be honest with yourself and hold yourself accountable if and when you come up short in this area.

#8 Choose your words carefully

You must never forget your patients are apprehensive and in an emotionally fragile state. So always try to stay positive, upbeat, hopeful and encouraging, but without being trite, condescending or patronizing.

#9 Be reassuring

Let your patients know exactly what they have to do to get better and explain to them the role you will play in the healing process. Always emphasize healing over illness or injury, it will help your patient stay optimistic and relaxed.

#10 Stay in control but remain warm and polite

If your bedside manner is good your patients may be so comforted by your presence they won’t want to let you go. Be as polite as you can when you have to end an appointment and let your patients know you will always be available if and when they need to visit you again.

Making it Second Nature

At times it may be difficult to put your best foot forward in your interactions with your patients. After all you are a human being who has bad days just like everyone else.

But never forget that practice makes perfect. The more diligent you are about cultivating a warm and caring persona the easier it will be to maintain it in every circumstance.

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Do Doctors Have the Worst Jobs in America?

156506520Do doctors have the worst jobs in America? Wait, that question doesn’t seem right. Aren’t doctors some of the most coveted people in the nation? That may be, but the fact is that doctors are often completely burnt out and exhausted from long hours, immense responsibility and environmental frustration.

Far from being the grand occupation it might seem from afar, the occupation of medical doctor is the second most suicidal occupation in America. According to one WebMD study, only 54% of 24,000 doctors surveyed said they would choose medicine as a career again. In another WebMD study of 12,000 doctors, a miniscule 6% described their morale as positive. Perhaps the most terrifying statistic of all is that approximately 300 doctors commit suicide annually. What is causing all of this exhaustion and frustration?

Firstly, an impossible workload. Doctors have always been overworked and unfortunately over the years their workload has only increased. According to the Archives of Internal Medicine, nearly 50% of medical doctors work more than 60 hours per week, and in order to get through their patient list each day, most doctors have to see a new patient every 11-15 minutes.

This time frame doesn’t allow any doctor, no matter how competent, to fully understand their patient’s situation or generate a holistic treatment plan. This means that the quality of medical care decreases while the requirements for future care increase. Less preventative care given now means increased, and probably more involved, care needed in the future.

Secondly, the cooperation that is required between the medical profession and the insurance companies adds a level of frustration. Unfortunately the practice of medicine is often driven by the requirements of insurance companies rather than the needs of the patient. For instance, a doctor may be required by an insurance company to prescribe a certain generic prescription to his patient before he can prescribe the medicine that he knows will be more effective. This is an incredibly frustrating experience for the doctor because it keeps him from using his medical expertise and wastes additional time and money for both himself and his patient.

Thirdly, many of the technical tools provided to doctors are sub-par and outdated. The software many doctors use is inefficient and adds to the time they have to spend doing administrative tasks instead of seeing their patients.

Add to all of these elements the fact that doctors have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on their education—which, as we have seen, they may not always be allowed to use—and you have a perfect recipe for the exhaustion and burnout that we see in the medical community today. It is unfortunate that a field built upon a desire to help others has become such a demoralizing environment for those who have invested their lives into doing just that.

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Facts About The Measles

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. Since the virus travels airborne, one can easily get infected, especially if exposed to a room where the virus lurks. Because of the virus’ ability to travel through a sneeze, cough or just mere talking, it is one disease that is rampant everywhere in the world.

Common Symptoms

Within 10 to 12 days after being infected, the symptoms start to appear which are varied. It can start as a simple running nose that later is accompanied by a cough, fever, diarrhea, body rash and watery eyes. Sometimes the virus can cause ear aches in the person infected. Some patients may show later symptoms which may be after 21 days from infection.

The virus is mostly contagious between four days before body rashes appear to four days post rash symptom. If the symptoms are not diagnosed in advance and the patient treated, the virus can trigger deadlier symptoms like severe diarrhea, brain inflammation and infection in the middle ear, pneumonia and in worst cases, death.

Does It Have A Cure?

Luckily, one can be vaccinated against the virus to prevent infection. A homeopathic vaccine known as MMR is administered with a cocktail of other drugs for vaccinating against rubella and mumps. People born on and after 1957 should be vaccinated with one dose minimum of the MMR vaccine. They should then receive documentation that they have been vaccinated against the virus. College students, people travelling internationally, and health practitioners are also at risk of getting measles thus should be vaccinated in advance.

The MMR vaccine is quite effective and safe for use. Only few people register reactions to the vaccine, but these are minor reactions like swelling, redness on skin or slight fever which clears away. More facts about the measles side effects are pain and body stiffness in adult women, but this is because of the cocktail drug which contains rubella as well.

Measles is highly preventable using MMR vaccine. Infection is highly contagious and people who travel to neighboring countries should be vaccinated prior to their departure.

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Signs That You May Have An Addictive Personality

The term addictive personality can describe billions of people in the world. The reason that the term is so versatile is that it can have many subdivisions. A person can have an addictive personality that responds to one item and does not respond to another item. The following is some information on addictive personalities and how someone can tell if he or she has one.

What Is an Addictive Personality?

An addictive personality is a type of personality that causes a person to develop habits too quickly. Some habits such as cleaning and reading are healthy. Other habits are extremely unhealthy. Unhealthy habits that a person may develop are habits such as drug addiction, alcohol addiction, sex addiction, gambling addiction, Internet addiction and unhealthy relationship addiction. An unhealthy habit or addiction can cause the person to lose friends, family members, loved ones and health components. An unhealthy addiction can cause a person to die in an extreme case.

How to Tell if You Have an Addictive Personality

It may be difficult for a person to tell that he or has an addictive personality. Some signs and symptoms can help a person to see a clear picture of such a personality.

Signs of an addictive personality include:

  • Strong need to do something repeatedly
  • Impulsiveness
  • Extreme need for instant gratification
  • Addictive person gets a rush from certain activities
  • Stress when the activity is not repeated
  • The habit or activity becomes the person’s main priority
  • Finances and relationships suffer because of habits and activities

A person may want to schedule an appointment with a psychotherapist if he or she believes that an addictive personality exists. The specialist can conduct an intake and perform testing to see if the individual shows enough symptoms and signs to qualify. The specialist can then help the person to develop a recovery plan and work with that person to improve addictive behaviors.

The key to solving addictive behavioral problems is getting to their root. An experienced specialist can help an affected person to find that root, which may be found in genetics, childhood experiences or the person’s current environment.