In the last three or four weeks, I have had cause to spend quality time with quite few medical people. And I've noticed a distinct difference in the way they're behaving from say...a year or two ago.
For one thing, they smile more. Now you might not think that means much, but let me tell you, when you're apprehensive or even outright afraid a smile makes all the difference in the world. A smile says, "You're not gonna die right this minute. Maybe tomorrow, but not right now." So smile. A lot.
They look you in the eye. Hello, if you're gonna be touching body parts that only my spouse usually sees, then at least have the courtesy to look at me like I'm a person. Grant me that much dignity when I'm sitting on a gurney in a paper gown that leaves a whole lot of uncovered territory. Let me know I'm more than a name on a clipboard.
They answer questions. I remember a time when a doctor pretty much brushed off all the bits and pieces they considered minor concerns. Let me tell you...nothing is minor to me. If you believe that, I have a spot reserved for you on a deserted island (and I do mean deserted). If I ask you a question, its because I need an answer. I'm quite intelligent enough to find out most things on my own. If I can't, that's why I came to see you. And paid you good money for the privilege.
They listen to the subtext when you're talking. Heh. The question to me was, "What triggers your asthma attacks?"
Technician looks around. "Where's your inhaler?" (Subtext: I understand this is a stressful situation for you. Let's be prepared.)
And finally, they take the time you deserve. Yep, I understand that time is money. But I'm worth it. And if I'm not, then I need to see someone else, you know?
Like I said at the beginning, I've had quite a bit of time with doctors, nurses, technicians, clerks and I want to take my hat off to all of them. In terribly stressful situations they've all gone out of their way to make my days, nights, minutes to hours, bearable. Thank you!