Feeling Less Hopeless & Helpless1st Nov 2014
When people used to visit their doctor years ago, they were almost bundled out of the room, with the prescription written before they had time to finish what they were saying. Later, when doctors started using computers, there was little eye contact with patients as they struggled to add to the patient's records, deal with screens freezing, programmes crashing and other computer-related problems.
In doctors' waiting rooms these day, there is often a television screen offering tips on diet and lifestyle, plus contact details for all sorts of specialised help. Occasionally the screen displays the message ‘It doesn’t matter what your appointment is about. If you want to talk about your lifestyle, we can help you.’ Another message states ‘If you are concerned about anything you think we can help you with…………’
So now doctors have even more multi-tasking in their ten-minute patient slots. After listening to the patient’s health issue, considering a cure or test, typing a prescription and updating the patient’s computerised Personalised Care Plan, the patient can then talk about his or her lifestyle, or any other concern. All this in ten minutes?
Even so, the approach is comforting and welcoming, especially for many people who feel hopeless and helpless, the two major symptoms of depression and stress. Being encouraged to come forward to talk to their doctor about their lifestyle concerns will help those who may feel too embarrassed, self-conscious or too much of a burden on others to broach the subject with anyone. This is an enormously positive step towards helping people to cope better.
Copyright © 2014 Brenda Martin