How many times in an average day would you discuss a minor ailment with a patient?
Do you aim for a quick sale, or do you really engage and help with meaningful solutions?
What about considering your own “script pad” with your name and pharmacy details imprinted, and on which you list your solutions, in writing, so that there’s no confusion and more especially, self-identified so that there is no mistaking that caring professional attitude to which we all aspire.
This system was introduced in Germany in 2004, highlighting the fact that “self-care” is quicker and more convenient than the invariably long wait for the local GP.
We used to do this years ago, but the pill-for-every-ill, rapid dispensing and quick turnaround seems to have pushed the patient focus into the background.
We are more excited about disease states and co-morbidities, but that keeps us in the pigeon-hole where the medical modalities like us to remain.
We are directed to stay in our silo and never, ever impinge on theirs.
In my view, our patients deserve better and we can control our own destiny here with some creative thinking.
Let’s look at an example…….a sore-throat presentation….
- Quick sale – throat lozenges, with maybe a concern about being sugar-free in a person with diabetes
- Throat lozenges/spray first up
- A written “green prescription” outlining isotonic nasal spray (no preservatives) because nasal congestion will be next if it isn’t happening already, immune support to reduce the risk of lingering symptoms (Echinacea purpurea, olive leaf extract, astragalus et al), electrolyte replacement (to offset dehydration and maintain electrolyte levels), higher pillow, decongestant nasal spray, saccharomyces probiotic if an antibiotic prescription eventuates, and anything else that is relevant to that person. Diabetic – look for these issues as you are testing your blood sugar levels….how is your test kit?
In written form, that list will form a reminder of your care and intervention skills.
If you were actually that person, and you felt miserable, what option would you prefer?
As renowned educator Hilary Kahn says………”put yourself in the mind of the person with you who seeks your advice”.
Until you get into that mindset, you miss the point of being a health practitioner.