slideshow widget

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Too much information

You can always tell the new RT from the experienced one. The new one is the one you'll hear asking, "So, how did you sleep last night?"

Thirty minutes later, after the patient finishes explaining all the reasons he did NOT sleep well, the RT leaves the patient's room. In this case, he left the room because I paged him, giving him a reason to leave.

When I took a sales class in business college years ago we were taught never to say, "How are you doing?" Well, in the medical field you have to ignore this rule, and actually ask.

Still, the answer you get isn't always the easy answer. Sometimes, more often than I care to admit, I get too much information (TMI). Thus, you learn not to ask a question unless you want to hear the answer.

So, we RTs come up with shortcuts. When I'm doing a procedure like an EKG, and all I have to do is type some reason on the EKG printout, I simplify the question: "So, in three words or less, why are you here?"

Yet, when you're assessing the patient, it's better to ask open ended questions like, "So, tell me what's bothering you?" You and I both know the answer isn't always pithy.

On another note, if you know the patient is quite loquacious, you can have one of your coworkers give you five minutes and then page you. Then, if you need it, you'll have an out.

1 comment:

Megan said...

I just wanted to post and tell you how much I love your blog. I just graduated in December so I'm still a newbie and occasionally get stuck getting a little TMI. This blog helped me through school and now at my job. Thanks so much!!