Another First

I walked out on my first patient last night. The guy was being a complete A-hole, refusing to answer questions in a constructive manner, refusing to get in the bed, to change into a gown so he could be examined, being a complete jerk to the nurse etc etc.  I tried playing the empathetic listener for a bit, just let him vent for a minute or two, expressed my sypmpathy for his plight and willingness to help and what not, but that made no difference. So finally I was just like “Sir, I don’t appreciate your attitude. W’e’re doing our best to help you as much as we can, but you are being a hindrance to your own care right now. So I’m going to leave for a little bit. While I’m gone, I want you to think about if you want our help or not. If you do, I expect your cooperation when I come back. If you don’t want to cooperate, you are free to leave” And then I just walked out. I’ve never done something like to somebody in my entire LIFE, haha.  I was all nervous walking away down the hall, waiting for him to start pitching a fit. But he didn’t.  When I came back after seeing another patient, he was much more cooperative, and we got him successfully treated. Yay.


About ER Jedi

I’m a resident doctor in Emergency Medicine and I’ve learned during the past few years that 1) I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences 2) I have a very bad short-term memory. So this blog is just a place for me to write about some of these experiences, from the ER, medical school, the wards and life in general. At least that way I’ll have some idea as to where I’ve been all this time. A scrap-book of sorts, a place to vent, organize some clinical tools and post a few good songs I’ve heard along the way.

Posted on April 1, 2012, in Patients. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Well said .Always better to give a choice rather than an ultimatum.A basic concept of Dialectic Behavior Therapy [currently in vogue ] is that the patient is doing the best that they can at any particular time while at the same time they have the capacity to do better.I try to remember this when dealing with difficult patients-not always successfully.

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