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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Most of them love it: A surgeon's use of humor

Here's Nurse G.P.'s letter to a nursing advice columnist:
"Dr. Sam," a good-natured general surgeon in our same-day surgery clinic, enjoys chatting with patients before procedures. To put them at ease, he regales them with humorous stories, and most of them love it. Last week, Dr. Sam told several of his favorite stories to a patient who was clearly anxious. After he left, she confided to me that she was still dreading surgery. "I had some questions that I never got to ask because he was too busy being a comedian," she said.

Advice to patients about to undergo surgery: Bring a written list of your questions to hand to the doctor or nurse, in case it's hard to get a word in edgewise.

Read a story about physicians' attempts to build rapport with patients.

Thanks to Susan Salladay, the nursing advice columnist, for the source article in the July 2008 issue of Nursing2008.

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