A Few Words…

The four most important things I have learned never to say to/around patients:

“Uh-oh.” It does not even matter what the context happens to be, these syllables should never exit your lips. Ever. You can (think) it but never, ever say it. No one needs an insecure pansy in a crisis. If you don’t know something, by all means say so, but do it with confidence.

“That’s interesting…” when doing an exam. For instance, when listening to someone’s heart saying, “You have a new murmur,” is much nicer than, “Well, that’s interesting…” Vague comments are very scary in a clinical setting.

“That feels nice.” when palpating anything. I watched an OB attending doing a bimanual exam (two fingers of one hand in the vagina and the other hand pressing on the abdomen) on a woman with post menopausal bleeding. He sort of grunted, looked up at the ceiling, then said, “Oh, yeah. That feels real nice.” It didn’t help that he was wearing long scruffy hair, pointy cowboy boots, ragged out blue jeans, and a T-shirt with rolled sleeves…. I am very careful now what I say during sensitive, embarrassing exams. First and foremost to preserve dignity. Second, so as not to end up as an amusing anecdote on someone’s blog post.

“She/he only has X amount of time before they die.” The powers that be always have a way of showing that YOU are not the person in charge here.


64 thoughts on “A Few Words…

  1. Yes, doctors need to be VERY careful.

    In 2004, I was MISdiagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer. The gynecologist told me not to even consider surgery because, due to my extensive previous surgeries, no surgeon was going to be able to tell my liver from my spleen … Thanks Doc.

    I was semi-hysterical until a doctor friend of mine suggested I just bring flash cards. (The rest of the hysteria evaporated when it turns out she was just a really poor diagnostician. I never had ovarian cancer. I had a few (non serious) polyps

    I’m still mad at her though. And I will remember this statement anytime I may need surgery in the future…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: My Article Read (12-19-2014) | My Daily Musing

      • I always just blame the computer, time and time again even if I type in the wrong thing by mistake and it takes longer to get their prescription ready. or i blame another tech (who usually typed something incorrectly 90% of the time) lol it lets the patient know you acknowledge things are taking longer, but you are still in control and fixing things for them. Sometimes I through in anti-apple rants as well while we are waiting lol.

        Liked by 1 person

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