I like sitting down with our patients to talk, plan, problem solve.
Recently, I visited a friend in the hospital. As her condition improved, the nursing staff suggested it was time to discuss discharge planning and called the social worker to make the necessary arrangements . The social worker entered the room, remaining close to the doorway, and announced that she had very little time since she had many other things to do. We certainly didn’t feel confident that the plans would go well.
As we rush through our days, we frequently feel just like this overworked social worker – too much to do in too little time. Our patients, on the other hand, are frequently worried and need not just our expertise but our time and reassurance.
Fortunately, there are concrete things we can do to help us balance these opposing demands.
Research shows that when we sit down at the bedside, our patients perceive that we are spending more time with them than…
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