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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hooray for Hello Kitty

"I was a merchant seaman, you know, so I don't need Viagra."
"Sometimes, it just can't get in."

One of the most important things a doctor needs to do is cultivate an excellent bedside manner. This is the key to establishing good patient rapport. By making a patient feel safe and comfortable, he or she is more likely to reveal those details about his or her life that is so integral to forming a diagnosis and later, a management plan.

" was yellow and tasted like cheese..."
"Sometimes, it just can't come out."

Very occasionally, a patient reveals far too much information than is actually needed. I always feel very flattered that my patients trust me and feel that they can confide in me. It shows that I am good at what I do. At the same time, I am also horrified at some of the things they have told me. I can't help it - it's a natural response.

"It's like waving your arm around in a warm room..."
"I occasionally neetta watch a video er two. Make 'em myself. 'Sbetter that way."

I can't let my horror (or amusement, as the case may be) show on my face, though. It would be most unprofessional. As such, I have managed to cultivate a facial expression that I use in this situation. It's an expression of sweetness and thoughtfulness which seems to allow other people to project their feelings on me - this way, they always come up with the reaction they are hoping to see (and find most acceptable to them). This is my 'Hello Kitty' face. I always imagine that my mouth is in a neutral position, invisible to the viewer.

" 'Course, 'salways better when she's fresh."
"I get the dog to lick it for me. 'Course, I have to get out the pate first."

But sometimes, I really, really wish that I didn't know.

Update: The 'Hello Kitty' expression is probably not suitable for amateurs - one has to have complete control over the facial muscles, especially those around the eyes and mouth.

The slightest muscle out of place, and one may appear quizzical (too much 'Pekkle') or confused (too much 'My Melody') or worse, annoyed (Too much 'Bad Badtz Maru'). This would be taken as an invitation to explain or otherwise elaborate further on their previous comment.

Ideally, one should to project an image of non-judgemental acceptance whilst discouraging unwanted eloquence on the topic being discussed.

And looking like this, is probably going a bit too far.


Anonymous Hello Kitty Hell said...

Be careful...a Hello Kitty face doesn't go across as well with some as with others ;)

11:28 am  
Blogger Marcus said...

lucky you neber meet me: I am Mr. TMI...

1:48 pm  
Blogger tscd said...

hello kitty hell: I have updated my post to address your concerns. :)

3:45 pm  
Blogger wahj said...


9:53 am  
Blogger little odd forest said...

oooohh.. i really need to learn the hello kitty face.... my eyes always betray me...

3:51 pm  
Blogger tscd said...

little odd forest: Yeah, I actually have that problem too - people can virtually read my mind by looking at my face. And I'm naturally a giggly person. So, I have to be extra careful when I'm around my patients. I wouldn't ever want them to think that I'm laughing at them!

2:37 pm  

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