Friday, November 9, 2012

Bedside Manner

We had a little scare with Olivia last week.  She was struggling to breathe and that was causing her to panic and become hysterical, which obviously didn't helping the whole breathing thing, and so I decided to drop by her pediatrician's office on our way home from work.  I'm glad I did because her oxygen was low and her heart rate was high (a sign that it was working really hard to get oxygen to her little body!).  Next thing I know she was hooked up to an oxygen tank and we were on our way to Primary Children's Hospital in an ambulance.  By the time we were loading up my baby, my tears had been shed and I was pretty calm. 
Here is the one awkward picture I got of her in the ambulance.  She was being so cute and flirting with the EMT, but I had to sit kind of behind her and so I reached up to take this pic.  She looks so distressed!!  She was having a great time at this point.  She even loved putting her oxygen mask on and off.
I was so glad I took Olivia in when I did.  So glad I didn't have to have a rough night of worrying about her (we got discharged from the hospital after two hours and some medicine.  She was awesome the rest of the night and following days).  I was so relived that it was her doctor working in the sick child clinic that day.  Honestly most doctors would have done the same things he did, but knowing that he knew us helped me not freak out so bad.

This got me thinking: What is most important in a doctor?  When you look for a recommendation for a new doctor, what qualities are you looking for?  What I like most about Olivia's pediatrician (not even a real doctor actually, just a NP) is that he's very calm.  He speaks very softly.  When you're raising your first child a lot can seem overwhelming or cause for alarm.  Just having someone with a soft voice explain things helps me a TON. 

What I like most about the doctor that delivered Olivia is that he's relaxed and good at remembering things about me.  He remembers what scared me about Olivia's delivery (an almost C-section) and wants to make sure I feel comfortable with my second one.  Also he's a BYU fan. 

What I like most about my chiropractor is that he is super awesome at getting knots out of my back in the most painful ways possible.  That good pain that you know will feel better tomorrow?  I love that.  Plus he loves my impression of Kip from Napoleon Dynamite.

Most of what I love about the doctors in my life doesn't have anything to do with medicine, but more bedside manner.  I'm sure that if my medical issues were more severe I would have more selective criteria, but I really don't.

I never realized how important bedside manner really is.  Sucks to be a doctor if you're not a people person I guess.

What do you think?  Is it more important to actually help the patient with their problems or make the patient feel at ease about their problems?


  1. I saw your comment on itsahuntlife and I must say your family is so adorable you should have been doing Xmas cards LONG AGO! I'm sending them out this year and I don't even have kids. Well, my dog is obnoxiously front and center though, so maybe she counts?

    But this post reminded me of the show "Parenthood" where recently one of the main characters had to choose a doctor when she got breast cancer. The one doctor was really short with her, impersonal, and seemed almost apathetic, but he was THE best doctor for her condition with an amazing track record. The other doctor was compassionate, sweet, and soft spoken. Kristina ended up choosing the impersonal doctor. I guess I'd rather have a doctor who is the best even if he doesn't want to be my buddy.

    Wow...sorry. long comment. Hi, I'm Lauren!

    1. Thank you!!! YES! I saw that episode too, I can't believe I didn't think about when writing this post. I'm sure that in a life threatening situation I would rather have the best man for the job, regardless of personality.


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