Day 7: Touch your patients

I can’t say it any better than this.

Patients come to the clinic and operating table expecting to be touched, clinically, humanly, and emotionally. It goes beyond the routines of physical examination. The touch on the hand, the squeeze on the shoulder, the hand on the back as they walk, all work towards providing hope, encouragement and comfort. In fact, it is these touches that patients sometimes remember more than your quoted survival statistics. Do it today. Touch your patients, with consent and compassion. It may be the most important thing you can do for your patients today.


4 thoughts on “Day 7: Touch your patients

  1. crgilvr

    Excellent reminder! I think touching the patient as they go to sleep with anesthesia is very important! Many patients are fearful of surgery – of not waking up or not being asleep enough! I try to touch an arm or shoulder, even hold a hand, & reassure them that “we” (the surgery team) will take good care of them.

    1. Otorhinolarydoc

      That’s fantastic. I never thought of how important that moment is and how much patients need to feel a human touch more than just that plastic mask on their face. Thanks for sharing.

  2. drlj

    I share your thoughts about the power of the human touch, and love the TED talk by Abraham Verghese. I wrote about this not so long ago: http://drlj.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/the-human-touch/ Thanks for sharing your #betterdoctoring ideas – I look forward to reading more.

    1. Otorhinolarydoc

      You’ve got a great blog. thanks for dropping in. I loved your piece on touch.

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