Blog entry by Meguid El Nahas

Picture of Meguid El Nahas
by Meguid El Nahas - Wednesday, 17 October 2012, 10:13 AM
Anyone in the world

 

Read this weeks Lancet 13th of October 2012:
WARDS ROUNDS: WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND!
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have released on the 4th of October 2012, a guidance entitled Ward Rounds in Medicine. 
http://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/resources/ward-rounds-medicine-principles-best-practice. 
 
In it they stress the importance of ward rounds and regular as well as genuine patient-doctor contact.
 
The importance of communication between doctors and patients is highlighted by the growing number of patients' complaints to the General Medical Council (GMC) about poor or failure to communicate and lack of respect!
It has been said that "....our conversations with patients are a critical part of the bedside care..." to take time and sit by teh patient's bedsite can make all the difference to him and his families.
 
I remember with nostalgia my social ward rounds; when I used to go round the patients in the evening before going home and chatted to them and their families...these were the good old days!
 
Nowadays, doctors are too busy....we keep hearing! Too busy for what I ask? Talking to patients....????? Instead doctors and nurses spend hours talking to computers and entering endless data from their doctors/nurses stations!?
 
So...back to Ward Rounds in Medicine. The document suggests the use of checklists for ward rounds from preparation, to team, to medical review, to decision making, delegation, etc....but it also reminds doctors and nurses that they need to focus on communications: "Pause: confirm team understanding...", "Pause: confirm patient understanding....". We all too often mumble a few jargonic expression from the end of the patient's bed, leave the patient bewildered..."what did the doctor say...???" and move on to repeat this performance at the next bed....
 
It is time we teach younger doctors the art of Ward Rounds...an art lost along with that of history taking...or physical examination....
 
After all, in this day and age we are good at talking to computers...why bother talking to patients...they also have the internet to chat and socialise with....!!!!! Thats perhaps one sad way of looking at it....NOT MINE!
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