Saturday, June 19, 2010

The [CCNM] Hour

As an ND intern, I have the privilege to spend an hour visit with my patients. Initially, I thought this would allow ample time to ask all the pertinent questions, perform a relevant physical exam and ensure the proper care was provided for the patient by the end of the visit. Although this may be true in some straight forward cases, I have found that patients often see us as a last resort and have an extensive story and medical history to share. Furthermore, I think patients find some therapeutic value in just being able to freely tell me their story, in full, without me limiting their responses or cutting them off to one or two concerns per visit.

As such, I have already listened to (while carefully charting) some extremely complicated cases and the hour flies by before unearthing all the potential contributing factors to the person's current state. And, I still need to remember to at least take the person's blood pressure! However, when I review the patients case, I recognize the tremendous value of the information I gathered to point me towards treatment options and areas where I need to research. Furthermore, I have realized that most patients with complicated cases (that have stumped other health professionals) do not expect me to have an exact solution by the end of one hour. Although that would be nice, my assurance that a health improvement - at the very least - in the near future is possible is more important.

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