Archive

Thursday Thoughts #20: How to Manage the “Sinking Feeling” or Other Distressing Sensations

  Anxieties and fears are often felt as a physical sensation – a knot in the stomach, a tight throat, a “sinking feeling” or some other unpleasant experience. The main job is to get that idea out of the body to be able to look at it more objectively. Once it can be viewed objectively […]

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Thursday Thoughts #19: Radiology – The Specialty With an Inferiority Complex?

Radiology – the specialty that has a hard time to promote itself. Could it suffer from an inferiority complex? Or from being out of (patient) touch? What gave me the incentive to write today was an article by Drs. Gunderman and Fogler in Academic Radiology about “Educating Radiologists about Pain in Radiology.” The authors amassed […]

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Thursday Thoughts #18: The Caregiver Designation

  A new buzzword seems to be popping up by which hospitals describe their staff: “Care givers.” Years ago I heard Cleveland clinic representatives during an “Empathy Summit” proudly proclaim that this is now a byword they affix onto all their personnel’s clothing to show how they care. The other day I saw the term […]

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Thursday Thoughts #17: Touching Can Be Touchy

As healthcare professional you may be surprised to find out that even well-intended touching on the job can be quite “touchy” and cause negative reactions in patients. In healthcare, you have to take a pulse, examine the belly or feel out an injured area. Did you think that even then it would be wise to […]

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Thursday Thoughts #16: Learning Even When One Doesn’t Want to

Preparing for a banquet speech I will give on 9 October 2016 at the Annual meeting of the Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis prompted me to review our training experience in advanced communication skill and hypnoidal language for healthcare professionals (Comfort Talk®). Research data clearly showed improved patient outcomes and higher patient satisfaction after […]

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Thursday Thoughts #15: Fake It Till You Make It

  When you are down and sad, your shoulders likely are drooping, your head hangs down, and a frown goes over your forehead. When you are happy, your body is probably more upright, and you may show a smile and twinkle in your eyes. These feelings express themselves in facial expressions and body posture is […]

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Thursday Thoughts #14: Bike Lanes

  My first sight when stepping foot in the Netherlands during a recent Comfort Talk training visit: People are slim, fit and seem to peddle as a nation. Bicycles are everywhere, massively stacked at train stations, office buildings, parking garages, and traffic cross points. People ride them everywhere. Bike lanes are spacious, clearly separated from […]

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Thursday Thoughts #13: Anesthesiologists – the Modern Comfort Advocates

Anesthesiologists’ main job used to be to put patients to sleep or “knock them out.” No more. They increasingly face awake patients even during hour-long long cases managing their comfort and emotional needs. Surgeries and procedures are becoming increasingly minimally invasive. It is no longer necessary to cut people wide open for removal of a […]

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Thursday Thoughts #12: QI, QA and Research

  Do you have to or want to write a proposal for a project in QA, QI, HCAHPS, QPI, JCAHO, safety, patient satisfaction, or any of the other new requirements? I thought to share some time-tested tips after I received a call from an RN in Labor and Delivery: She knew first hand how well […]

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Thursday Thoughts #11: When Pain is Definitely No Gain

How about better helping patients manage pain when it really counts now and then – such as in surgery or during medical procedures? This may also make a real dent in the opioid crisis, which is largely fueled by prescription drugs. The majority of surgeries are now performed in outpatient settings or fast track admissions. […]

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Thursday Thoughts #10: Grieving After Tissue Loss

You might have thought that getting rid of a tumor, tissue from a breast reduction, tummy tuck, or getting rid of a condition that had been bothering you a while would just be good riddance. Don’t be surprised though if instead a grief reaction starts. If unacknowledged and managed inappropriately, your subconscious mind may prevent […]

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Thursday Thoughts #9: The Ethics of the Sting and Burn

Some professional societies consider it as ethical when healthcare providers use words that are known to hurt and harm, but find it unethical to intentionally use words that are known to make patients feel better and produce better medical outcomes. The same logic is applied when it comes to use of placebos, e.g. medications or […]

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Thursday Thoughts #8: Who Owns Your Body Parts?

After tissue is surgically removed who owns it? Can you take it home? Can you at least have a look at it? When, as an interventional radiologist, I used to remove gallstones through a small tube leading through the skin to the gallbladder, patients often asked to see them and take them home. I tended […]

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Thursday Thoughts #7: Calling Names and Missing the Deed

Calling others names is much en vogue. The political landscape is ripe with the habit of putting a label on a person or whole group. The label may be a noun (hero, rapist, genius, moron) or adjective (brilliant, crooked, small, untrustworthy). Labels target the whole person in the image in the mind of the user […]

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Thursday Thoughts #6: Scrub the Scrubs

A picture of four surgical intensive care nurses sitting cross-legged on the lawn and enjoying their lunch before a press conference accompanied an article in the Boston Globe about the averted nursing strike at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (1). Three of the nurses wore scrubs with their hospital ID badges attached, one sat in […]

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Thursday Thoughts #5: Evidence and Common Sense

  A response to my Time Distortion blog/Facebook post inspired me to reflect on “evidence.” The blog addressed how a patient-centric communication made the time spent with the healthcare professional seem longer even though on the stopwatch it was faster. The reader commented, “I’m just shocked it took a ‘study’ or training session to understand […]

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Thursday Thoughts #4: The Opioid Crisis – Where It Starts

The opioid crisis is raging with close to 80 overdose deaths every single day in USA (1). It is crazy that at least half of these deaths involve legal prescription opioids which are heavily marketed by the industry for their benefits. Physicians are urged to cut down on prescribing, but may not know how to. […]

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Thursday Thoughts #3: Who Will Read Our Scans?

Putting together results from our NIH-funded trial “Amelioration of Claustrophobia and Disruptive Motion in MR Imaging”, I became aware of an interesting phenomenon: The market may have become saturated with MRI scanners. The building of new state-of-the-art cancer hospitals or other specialty medical palaces, each with their own imaging facilities, in addition to free-standing and […]

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Thursday Thoughts #2: Another Type of Time Distortion

  Another Type of Time Distortion The saying goes “time flies when one is having fun.” Unfortunately, in modern healthcare time whooshes by on clock time, and there is no fun in the speed. Patients then leave with the feeling of not having been given enough time or having been heard. Thus two weeks ago […]

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Thursday Thoughts #1: Advanced Hindsight

While visiting Duke University Medical Center, one of our Comfort Talk® training sites in MRI, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Dan Ariely. He is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of the New York Times bestseller “Predictably Irrational” (1). It is a terrific book […]

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