A physical exam yesterday:
Me: "OK, I'm going to check your reflexes."
[I take out reflex hammer]
Patient: "Oh my god, are you going to hit me with that?"
Me: "Um... yes?"
Patient: "No, please don't."
Me: "It's just a tap."
Patient: "I don't like having my reflexes checked. It's just... ugh!"
Me: "Well, I guess I can tap you with my fingers. Would that be OK?"
Patient: [grudgingly] "I guess so."
Seriously, what's up with this fear of reflex hammers? Are my patients talking to each other?
Did you mispronounce "reflex hammer" and say "cattle prod" by mistake?ReplyDelete
Hilarious. I actually am also afraid of the reflex hammer, embarrassing as that is to admit. I think it's just the creepiness of watching your limbs react without having actually done anything yourself. It's weird, and I do try my best to contain my horror, but it is what it is.ReplyDelete
So do we need to consider conscious sedation for reflex exams now?ReplyDelete
Why am I hearing Duran Duran in my head right now?ReplyDelete
I made patient cry yesterday... By taking her blood pressure. Seriously. She was yelling before I even got up to 30mmHg, and I never managed to get past 120mmHg because at that point she was screaming and crying and begging me to stop. Needless to say, I never got a blood pressure because I couldn't hear a thing over all the yelling.ReplyDelete
Patients can be so odd. I always take about five minutes just to get them to relax their legs.ReplyDelete
I, on the other hand, love having my reflexes tested. I have super-brisk patellar reflexes (apparently it's got something to do with my hypothyroidism? I dunno) and it tickles when I test them. It's fun, it's become a hobby. I gave myself bruises the other day from testing them so much. Oops.
At the end of a miserable call night, I leaned over to flush the toilet and my reflex hammer jumped right out of my pocket into the toilet and disappeared. I was so stunned I just walked away. 2 years later (!), one of the nurses returned it to me, having come across it in the lost and found in the basement...why, oh, why did I have to write my name on the stupid thing???ReplyDelete
My reflex hammer has a long pin (for testing sensation)that screws into its tip. It could probably be used for a shiv.....I can understand being afraid of that :-), not reflex hammer itself.ReplyDelete