"It's the way you tell them - Message to Newcastle Immunology"

About: Campus for Ageing and Vitality / Infectious diseases

(as the patient),

I have to confess I have always been a coward when it comes to injections.

However, I am beginning to get the hang of it as I get older and rely on more tests.

I always make a point of mentioning my fear and my wife is often with me to "hold my hand". In the majority of cases the staff involved are very supportive (even if privately they may have other views about my cowardice).

Recently I attanded the above clinic and required bloods to be taken. On the first occassion if you needed a model of both personal communication skills and clinical expertise you could not have got a finer example.

On the second occassion (different staff) the clinical experience was just as good, the personal skills were shocking. They didi not want my wife to be there as they sais it would be too crowded - it wasn't and she came any way. This lead to her being completely ignored and as a nurse herself upset (to the point of tears of frustration) that another colleague could act this way.

A further tip is to ensure your comments about patients are not overheard by relatives. Fortunately I was not told this until I was away from the clinic.

Over the years as a patient and relative the message I would give is all the clinical expertise in the world can be negated by poor personal skills with patients. They remember the little things that surround the clinical care.

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