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Misperceptions about what we do

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edieb

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This morning I was walking down the hall and an LVN said "I want to switch jobs with you: I will listen to patients and you can assess them". How would you react to a comment like that?

I think a lot of people think that 12 years of school culminates in us listening to patients all day, lol
 
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erg923

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Knuckle Sandwich...
 
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PsychBiker

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I have seen the spectrum of awful health practitioners so I would tell them "I give hugs, not drugs" or something completely unhelpful.
 
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PsyDr

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I once told a nurse, "Saying all I do is listen to patients is a lot like saying all you do is wipe butts".

Not one nurse at that facility has every said anything of that kind again.
 
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Therapist4Chnge

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This morning I was walking down the hall and an LVN said "I want to switch jobs with you: I will listen to patients and you can assess them". How would you react to a comment like that?

I try and use it for a chance to educate another person, as me getting annoyed doesn't do much to address the misperception. I have a canned 15-20 sec explanation of what I typically do (within the context of either in-pt or out-pt work), which usually covers the bases. Having another person knowing what you do is almost always a net positive. I've given a quick 5-10min talk / Q&A / presentation for nursing, therapies, other attendings, etc…and that yields more good information than any other approach I've tried.

I actually *don't* do therapy or most of the traditional things that the gen. public assumes, so it is up to me to help them better understand what I do. For the most part I try and pro-actively educate colleagues/team members/others about what I do (and don't do). When new residents rotate onto my in-pt unit I provide a quick run down of typical consults and contact info. I also try and meet with new faculty (within the dept or outside of dept if it is someone who might benefit from my services) for a similar run down. This approach can really help improve consult/referral requests, as now I get specific referrals with a question (or questions) that are actually something I can try and answer. "Assess and treat, as appropriate." does not exist in my referral requests. :D
 
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smalltownpsych

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This morning I was walking down the hall and an LVN said "I want to switch jobs with you: I will listen to patients and you can assess them". How would you react to a comment like that?

I think a lot of people think that 12 years of school culminates in us listening to patients all day, lol
When dealing with nurses or other staff I usually find that type of comment comes when they are frustrated with our patients and feel like we just see the good side of the patients and the patient is just "putting on a show for the docs". Same dynamic can happen when working with parents or teachers or law enforcement, etc. My experience is that it is helpful to align with and empathize with the other professionals who have to deal with our patients frustrating behavior. One way I keep this in mind is by remembering that if my patient is still being frustrating for other people, even if they are pleasant with me, then there is still work to be done.
 

WisNeuro

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One way I keep this in mind is by remembering that if my patient is still being frustrating for other people, even if they are pleasant with me, then there is still work to be done.

True in many cases, but there are certain providers where I'm not surprised patients are reacting negatively.
 

smalltownpsych

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True in many cases, but there are certain providers where I'm not surprised patients are reacting negatively.
Nurse Rached
I think I used to work with her too!
nurse-ratched.jpg
 
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