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Practical Pointers

Practical Pointers

If patients complain of numbness and weakness of one or both hands, ask if they regularly ride a bicycle.

Young children are usually fearful of the otoscope and tongue depressor in the hands of a physician. To ease their fears, I give the otoscope to their mother and stand close behind her and examine the throat.

Slightly altering Dr Michael W. Kahn's article for hospital-based physicians, "Etiquette-Based Medicine," for the outpatient setting helps me develop rapport with patients.

Here's a tip for dealing with patients who are hard of hearing and either don't have hearing aids or don't have them in at the time, usually while they are inpatients in the hospital. Take your stethoscope and let them wear the earpieces.

Incision and drainage of an abscess is painful, but it is also painful to pack and repack until the site has healed. I have found that after the initial packing is removed, instilling lidocaine without epinephrine using a syringe without the needle lessens the discomfort and anxiety of repacking considerably.

Two skin carcinomas that are in close proximity can be removed in a single excision.

Be creative with performance rewards. Give movie tickets to employees who go “above and beyond” the call of duty.


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