Improving medical students

Being your Best on the Ward

Posted by medliorator on December 22, 2007

Two different residents, the same exact situation, and both handled in polar opposite ways.
this story… has everything to do with communication and coming across professionally.

Resident 1:

a meek lady with a white lab coat walks in and just starts asking medical questions. Medical professionals need to introduce themselves when they walk in a room. So my answer to her first question was “Who are you?” She apologized and said she was the pediatrics resident and asked a bunch of questions that didn’t seem to us to have much bearing on the situation at hand. We asked about why my son was making unusual gasping breaths ever since he woke up and she said it was because he was crying. We said that he was making these breaths before he started crying. She then said it was probably hiccups. My wife, who is a registered nurse, said there was no way it was hiccups because she felt him pressed against her body and could tell. The resident then said that it was probably due to the anethesia. I could tell she was just giving that answer to say something but really had no clue what was going on. So I challenged her on it and said “Have you ever seen this after aneshesia before?” She paused and said, “Maybe once.” That’s nice. Then how can that be thrown out so cavalierly as the explanation?! If you don’ know, say you don’t know, and get someone who may know such as a senior resident or attending physician.

Resident 2:

His first comment to my wife and I was “You two know your child better than anyone and you are the first line of defense.” OK, so instantly he is acknowledging we have some insights that need to be listened to since after all, we are his parents. Good. Then he demonstrated he was taking our complaints seriously, examined my son, acknowledged this could be an allergy to codeine, explained the pros and cons of Benadryl at that stage, and assured us this would be appropriately and closely monitored.

A Tale of Two Residents [The MedFriendly Blog]

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