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musicislife

Whats your "opening line"?

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I have watched lots of doctors and how they approach patients. Couple things stick out to me.

1. A professional demeanor: Professionals don't run in like a bat out of hell. Take the time to look at your patient, look at the surroundings, and begin your assessment just by looking. This takes no more than a few seconds to do.

2. As mentioned Introduce yourself and your partner: You have the privilage to see the patient in their environment. They have no clue as to who you are. This is how you begin to have a rapport with the patient. Don't be like "Hi I'm Will whats the problem today? That lacks empathy. Remember an emergency is perception, and perception is that persons reality. Be professional.

3. Find out the patients name and use it often: This conveys that this is not just another patient. It is personal. You are using their name. This again builds a rapport and will help you along way.

The more professional you come across, the better information you are going to get. If you show a lack of empathy, lack of wanting to be there, or come off as immature. The patient can read you like an open book. You come off like this think about how much information your NOT going to get? This is one reason stories change when there is a hand off in care from us to the hospital (not the only one, some people have agendas). Be professional no matter how you come across and you will do fine.

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Since I'm in such a small area, I know a great many of the pt's that I treat/ transport. If I don't, my partner or AO usually do. If I know them, I usually call them by Mr/ Mrs as appropriate unless I've been given previous permission to call them by their first name. I have a neighbor down the street (VERY nice man) who is elderly. I called him Mr. F***** one time when he first stopped to introduce himself to me and my daughter and my dog almost 10 years ago when we moved here. He told me his name wasn't Mr. F, it was Rex. So I've called him that since even though he calls me by my married name all the time. He's the only person I know that still does it. If I don't know the person, I introduce myself and my partner, and ask my pts name then ask how I can help them. If it's emergent, I try to keep the introductions short but I still do them. Your pts need to be able to trust you and trust that you know what they need for help. If you can't be professional about an introduction, how can you be professional about your treatment?

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Here's a question for everyone, when I'm referring to patients, sometimes I'll call the men "partner" and the women "dear"... It's a bad habit I picked up from my partner, and even though it's meant to be endearing, but I can't help but wonder if I might be being unintentionally condescending, especially to the women. Thoughts? I still use "ma'am" and "sir", and I've only ever had one patient complain (but she complained about everything, so maybe that was just her personality). Maybe this is more of a "patient by patient" basis kind of thing. I usually do it more with the older patients.

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When I have been a patient I hated being called "baby, dear, sweetheart, etc." I an't speak for everyone but it just rubs me wrong. As a provider, I am guilty of doing this, mostly to the elderly patients who are nervous or seem lonely. I'm interested to learn what others think...

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HUGE pet peeve of mine. I had a partner that did that to everyone and it drove me up the wall.

They are not your dear, sweetheart, or what ever pet name you give them. That is something your wife/husband/gf/bf/mother... call you, not some total stranger that just walked into your life not 3 minutes ago.

I remember when I was in the hospital and a nurse called me dear. I asked her if we had some sort of a personal relationship, she said no, I said, then why are you calling me dear?

I find it disrespectful and always call my patients sir or ma'am until they tell me otherwise.

(nothing personal towards you, I'm just very passionate about showing the proper level of respect to my patients)

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I love being called 'babe' or such by female providers, assuming they're looking at me when they do it...But I can't even tell you how bad I hate being called 'pardner' or such...It couldn't be more obvious to me that it's not meant to be endearing, but to create emotional distance instead.

I use "Brother" a lot if it feels appropriate, even when I know their names sometimes, and it seems to be well recieved. But it's sincere...

I think that most things are ok, as long as you're truly 'seeing' them when it's said, "Babe" or "hon" or "pardner" are all offensive when delivered with unfocused eyes while writing a report, or returning a text on your cell phone...

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I usually open with "Don't any of those cars in the driveway run?"

In the South, it seems to be appropriate to call everybody "Mr". or "Miss" and then the pt.'s first name. IE "Mr. Jim". I have yet to have anyone object to it although not being from the South originally, I don;t like it much. I prefer Sir or Ma'am.

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Chicks are so demanding....

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Once, in another life, an evil twin I used to have, who I have since killed, was trying to buy a gun at a store that was being shut down by the ATF. There were guys 5 deep at the counter. After a while asking to see a gun without success, I asked the girl behind the counter who had her keys on a chain and a Buck knife on her belt "Would you let me see that 12 ga hon?" I was instantly chastised with a very loud "Don't call me hon". Everyone at the counter goes silent. My evil twin responds " I am sorry, could I see that 12 ga? .... sugar? She seemed to mind less after I made a sizable purchase.

The lesson was most definitely that people should be called by their name when possible.

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