Practical Pointers: Discover Shortcuts Devised by Colleagues

Practical Pointers: Discover Shortcuts Devised by Colleagues

"Tune In" to Injection Trepidation

To allay children's fears about immunizations or allergy shots, keep a pocket-sized, battery-operated radio in the office. Before you administer an injection, give the patient the radio and allow him or her to select a station or song. Listening to the self-chosen music not only provides a pleasant and relaxing diversion, it also lessens anxiety by affording the child a sense of control over the situation.

A More Tasteful Oral Exam

When you examine the oral cavity of a patient who has an upper respiratory tract infection, use a tongue depressor that has been rinsed in warm water and lightly flavored with lemon juice. The depressor will not stick to the tongue, and it will enable you to evaluate the patient's sense of taste.

Give Patients "What For" on Rx Labels

Pharmacists must write on prescription labels exactly what physicians write on their scripts. To help patients remember what their medications are for, include the indication in the prescription, such as "for high blood pressure" or "for diabetes."

Breathe Out for Better Bruit Detection

If elderly patients or those with chronic lung disease have trouble holding their breath in while you try to listen for carotid bruits, have them take a deep breath, exhale, and hold their breath out. Many patients find it easier to hold their breath at the end of an exhalation than at the end of an inhalation. This approach results in a quicker and easier carotid auscultation with far fewer adventitial sounds.