The Patient Doesn't Like Me
Recently I had a patient who really didn't like me. The person was not mean about it but, simply stated, we did not hit it off like great buds. I can admit that it was probably the situation rather than me (at least let me think that), which created this dislike.
The person was on vacation, got sick, wound up in a hospital and then finally at our facility. Since she was from the South, she was probably thinking that "all the folks here speak weird, and believe you me, if you can't hardly understand what others are saying you can't rightly trust ‘em."
I rarely take it personal if a patient does not like me. I chalk it up to the situation he is in and if I happen to be in the wrong place at the right time for him to vent, I wish him well and walk out of the room. Before I go, I ask him if he would like to speak with a social worker who can more effectively handle his complaint. Those poor social workers; they must hear more than we do and more.
Sometimes it can be a blessing that a patient does not like me. The ones who are extremely demanding and think they are at a day spa come to mind. When I have treated them, they usually reward me with, "You're such a nice boy." Or before I go, they say, "Be a good boy and bring me a fresh wash cloth." If only I could grit my teeth harder and not smile so much.
I try to make a Pollyanna game out of it and look for the good in those that I have trouble with. I try to overlook what they say, how they say it and understand their circumstance a bit better. But believe me, it is hard to keep my mouth shut once it gets going (ask my wife). I sure hope I don't open it too wide the next time I am called a "good boy."