Dehumanized provider relationships

by

Taking a full head to toe assessment is vital in the care and treatment of patients. Sometimes having someone listen to your problems, make eye contact, touch your hand during conversation, smile, or even make a joke can make patients feel better. I use all of the above when it comes to assessing patients. When providers or nurses are harsh and have poor interpersonal skills, patients sense this. Even if you resolve the patients problems and give them the best medication, the patient will forever remember that healthcare worker as "not nice". When an interaction is formed between the provider and patient that is positive, it may make the patient feel better instantly. Countless times I have cared for an anxious, worried, or even angry patient and was able to turn the situation into a positive one by listening and providing care tailored to each individual patient. What if that interaction is taken away? When a provider enters a patients room and only makes eye contact at the start then directly looks at a laptop for the whole assessment, the interpersonal connection with the patient significantly changes. I would even say there is no connection at all. I have seen this take place at the hospital I currently work at. The younger, more savvy doctor walks in with his cool laptop and begins his interview. Business transactions are sometimes warmer than this technique in the hospital. Then I have seen the older providers grab a seat, cross their legs, lean in and listen to the patients. What a difference it makes! The patients feel special, listened to, and this may even help the provider obtain more information from the patients. Although there are many reasons electronic charting is beneficial, the way of going about obtaining the information is crucial. Maintaining eye contact, smiling, therapeutic touch are all vital during an interview, even when the laptop is the focus of attention.

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