Get to know your patient!

I believe I have finally settled into my volunteering role, I feel more comfortable when I’m on the ward and I feel welcome in the team I work with.

More importantly, I feel like I have really developed my communication skills. Today I spoke with a patient for over an hour. She told me all her ups and downs in her life, all the amazing experiences she has encountered and what she learned from them. Unfortunately, her health hasn’t been on her side therefore she has had many encounters with a variety of doctors. She told me what makes a good doctor and what makes a great doctors, she also told me what makes a bad doctor!

She told me a good doctor will cure you or treat you, but a great doctor will stay in your corner when times get hard. She said a great doctor is a friend and someone who you can tell everything to.

She is right!

If a patient only tells you half the story you (as a doc) only receives  half of a patients history. When trying to diagnose a patient with half of the facts it can be unsafe and inefficient. But lets say you do diagnose the patient but it is time to treat them. There are several options. The most effective one to treat the condition may not be the most effective to treat the patient.

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