Friday, May 6, 2011

Manners

I might be one of the most polite doctors in the world. You might be surprised to hear that, considering I can sometimes be a bit of a bitch in my online posts and comments, but I promise that in real life, I'm pretty much ridiculously nice to everyone. To a fault, really.

For example, when someone asks me to sign an order and I do it, I then say "thank you" for some reason. If a nurse alerts me to a patient having pain or nausea or whatever, I always end the conversation by saying, "Thank you for letting me know about that." (Sometimes I wonder if it comes off as sarcastic.)

Also, whenever I write an order such as to take out a Foley catheter, I don't just write "D/C Foley," I write "Please D/C Foley." I'm fairly sure I never did that as an intern, but I guess I write fewer orders now or something, so I have time to be polite in my orders.

I guess I sort of learned to do this as a med student, when I had a resident who was really gung ho about writing "please" before his orders. He took it a step further though. After his orders, he would also write "Thank you."

Overkill, maybe?

17 comments:

  1. Definitely not overkill, in my opinion.

    The sad truth is that some people will probably see it as weakness, but that's always the case when you're being polite.

    The overwhelming majority, however, will appreciate it.

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  2. Na. It's always a nice gesture, even if it's just a pithy "thanks". Better than the alternative.

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  3. Don't stop.
    You can't believe how much Nurses appreciate it.

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  4. I work in purchasing at my company. The folks that say "Please order this" or "When you get time I would appreciate it if ..." get immediately bumped to top of the line. They are the ones I would do just about anything for.

    Keep it up!

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  5. I think it's lovely. So many people aren't considerate in this age of immediate gratification and entitlement.

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  6. Heck no! Do you know how awesome it would be to have ANY of the doctors that I work for say "pleae" or "thank you" for anything?! I have one that does it on a pretty regular basis and she is, hands down, my favorite one to work for. Keep it up - you may feel weird, but I can tell you that you may be the only person that ever says it to us low-level shmucks and it can seriously make your day.

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  7. I'll repeat that. I love it when the docs are polite. There are a few oncologists on our floor who are unfailingly polite, and at are great at at least faking being interested in what I'm telling them about a patient. I'd do ANYTHING they asked, with a smile. (Give the 500 pound guy an enema? SURE!)

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  8. I do this too, actually (not with orders as I am nottadoc yet!).

    My son told me the other day, "You know Mom, you're just too nice sometimes."

    Like when I get french fries with my burger at BK and say "Thank you" to the person that gives me the food that I paid for as I requested.

    Or when I get my DQ blizzard with the extra cookie dough that I asked for and paid for, I say thank you.

    Manners are a lost art. It is a respectful attribute and one I hope I never lose... bet your nurses love you!

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  9. I always liked (and pointed out to coworkers) when doctors would write please and thanks with their orders. Please keep it up - we appreciate it. Thank you!

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  10. Being on the receiving end of of "DC foley" orders, I always really like it when it's a "Please DC foley" instead. For some reason, it just seems nicer! So, thanks :-)

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  11. Very rarely do doctors say "Thank you for calling and telling me that." They typically seem generally pissed off that they must answer phone calls from nurses in general. Its such a relief when the doctor makes it easy to call them as well as give us a pat on the back for picking up on something. Nurses talk you know and we will ALWAYS ALWAYS go the extra mile for the doctors that clearly respect nurses. We nurses always notice the little things like when a doctor says please and thank you in their orders. I think it is because it is in stark contrast to the abuse that we typically get from the doctor, patients, family, other departments, you name it.

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  12. OK, that's good to know! I'm going to keep up the pleases in my orders. I might leave out the Thank yous from my orders, but I'll try to keep saying it a lot to nurses.

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  13. I do the same thing. I begin all free text typed orders to both Nursing and Pharmacy with "Please."

    Like you, I always reflexively thank nurses when they come to me with a patient care issue that requires my action. It just feels right to thank them for identifying and helping me to fulfill a patient need or for updating me about an ongoing issue. I've found that when we communicate well and work closely together our patients end up getting much better care.

    Lately I've noticed that I also tend to thank patients after I examine them and work to address their issues. Sometimes, a simple "You're welcome," might be more appropriate.

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  14. I read this post today, and then subsequently started my AMCAS app. I had to request transcripts from my colleges, and under special instructions, I wrote, "Please See Attached Page. Thank you!" :)

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  15. The other huge benefit of being (perhaps even overly) polite to nurses is that then they probably won't ho and hum over whether or not to inform you of a change in a patient's condition. no one likes to be yelled at or treated rudely. I think to treat the other staff with manners / respect is also to provide better patient care, in the long run.

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  16. Agree with all of above. I *always* took note of two habits in docs I worked with: the ones who said 'please' / 'thank you' and the ones that washed their hands regularly.

    I think both things actually speak volumes regarding their practice and attitude towards staff and patients as a whole.

    (Plus it made me *really* go out of my way to ensure I made their lives easier--like not calling them for BS stuff, or giving them the 'heads up' in certain situations, etc.)

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  17. ABB: I'd wash my hands more often if the only sinks weren't in the bathroom! I do use the foam though :P

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