Monday, May 21, 2018


I don't want to overgeneralize, but when it comes to patients, all old women love me.

Partially because I really try to relate to them.  I ask them about their kids and their grandkids.  Again, I don't want to overgeneralize, but all old women love to talk about their grandkids.  Although I do pretty well with the ones who don't have grandkids too.  Like, we talk about bridge.  I think deep down, I'm actually a 70-year-old woman.

The only problem is that once I get them talking, it's hard to stop.  I find it very easy to do a directed history on a chatty patient, but I feel bad interrupting someone in the middle of a story about their grandchild.  But if I let them, each of these patients would go on for hours and I'd get home sometime after midnight.

Any advice on how to cut these conversations short after a respectable amount of time?


  1. That's a tough one. My husband will talk the doctor's ear off and still not answer the question being asked, so I go with him and constantly redirect. The male doctors don't seem to have much issue with interrupting him, but the females seem less willing. I think as females we are more empathetic. As an RN this was sometimes a problem for me too. Usually I would say something along the lines of "I want to hear all about it, but first I have to run do (whatever)", and try to escape. When I noticed a doctor trapped in a room I would knock on the door and apologize, but there was an important call for the doctor. If you know that you might be stuck in a room, maybe you could ask someone to bail you out if need be.

  2. Look with horror at your watch - oh my goodness look at the time! I don’t want to keep you waiting, so...

  3. If I ask a patient a question and they start going off on a tangent, I try to interrupt the flow with something related to what they're saying. So if they start mentioning how they went to the shops on Tuesday and I can see that they're going to be a while, I might say something like 'Oh the weather was good on Tuesday, wasn't it? Did you have a fall on Tuesday?' And they don't realise I've interrupted them because they're thinking of the answer to my last question.

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