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Does your doctor shake you by the hand?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Firestormm, Jun 17, 2013.

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Does you doctor shake you by the hand?

  1. Yes - Always

    19.2%
  2. Yes - Sometimes

    19.2%
  3. No - Never

    61.5%
  1. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I have NEVER had a GP shake my hand thou Ive seen at least 25 of those. I have thou think experienced hand shake by a couple of specialists (a bowel specialist.. and I think it was an immunologist.. note never of these were at a public hospital, Ive never experienced a handshake at a public hospital).

    How do I feel about it? Im not sure. I do like the physical contact and its a caring gesture but I probably too would wonder if the doctor has washed his hands after touching his last patient.
    Firestormm likes this.
  2. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    You are so right there! Two experiences I have had with doctors:

    Hospital doctor takes a blood sample. Goes to pick up a tissue with which I have just blown my nose, obviously about to put it on the puncture wound. Stopped her in time.

    GP takes a blood sample. I accidentally drop the cotton wool on the floor after briefly holding it on the puncture wound as instructed. I pick it up, doctor tries to put it back on the wound! I stop him, pointing out where it has been. He does not acknowledge that this was a bad idea but mercifully gives me a clean pad of cotton wool.

    However, as long as I don't have broken skin on the area being touched (and it is not an orifice!), I'm not too worried.
  3. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I'm only generalising here, but some men don't seem to be aware of how to touch a woman appropriately and what is inappropriate. There are some who think it appropriate to rub a distressed woman's thigh to comfort her!
  4. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I'm sure most nurses can. During my last hospital stay I was happy with almost all the staff, from the cleaners to the nurses, but not the doctors, at least the senior ones. The more senior they were the worse they seemed to be on average in terms of attitude, notably arrogance but also ignorance.

    I was chatting with a nurse about it one evening, and was telling her this, and didn't even have to tell her which group of people I was not happy with - she finished my sentence for me!
  5. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Now arrogance yes - the NHS doctors are up there with the best of them During my first hospital admission when I first got ill I was sitting on my bed cleaning my teeth, my husband holding a cup with some water in (I couldn't walk to the bathrooom)- halfway through this doctor comes to the bed with his entourage, instead of going on to the next bed he proceeded to start questioning me - I was well mannered, naive and foolish at the start of this illness - I tried to respond and ended up spitting into the cup in front of everyone as I hastened to answer him.
    He was totally devoid of manners - I would tell him so now but too late.....
    Firestormm likes this.
  6. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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    This really reminds me of one of Mum's tales, Mary - from her nursing days. This was some time ago, but anyway: whenever it was time for the doctor to 'do his rounds' the nurses would 'prepare the ward and the patients'.

    This essentially meant a clean-up exercise with military precision and engineering! I tell you these people expected to have their egos stroked :)

    These days I'm not sure you can depend on wards being clean or on nurses being available - let alone doctor's regularly doing the rounds.... but I dare say the attitude is still there.

    I know your experience was totally out of order but I am also now imagining those 'carry-on' films - you remember? Where that bearded doctor/professor would be on his rounds and the ward would be prepared. It totally exposed this practice as a sham :)
  7. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    I have met many doctors over the years. Some have been absolutely wonderful to work with and very kind and respectful to their patients. Others have been arrogant so and so's who believe a medical degree entitles them to be rude know-it-all's. I actually had a doctor yell and scream at me in front of staff and patients because I dared to ask him a question about a dose of morphine he had written on his orders. I was at the nursing station and I was trying to let him know as quietly as possible that he had ordered a dose that would have likely killed the patient -- he misplaced a decimal point. He totally lost it without even hearing me -- I was just a nursing student, what did I know, how dare I question his knowledge and authority blah, blah, blah. He was just as nasty to patients. He would often tell them to stop being ridiculous if they questioned their medical treatments or said they were having side-effects. He treated patients very much like naughty children who must obey authority. I don't know of one staff member or patient that actually liked this man. It would have been beneath him to shake the hand of anybody.

    I don't look up to those who look down on me.

    I think doctors who show respect for their patients, value them and their opinions, listen to them are the best doctors. Even if they can't do anything for us, the least they can do is be nice about it.
    MeSci, WillowJ, Valentijn and 2 others like this.
  8. Xandoff

    Xandoff Michael

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    Kina,

    My out of State M.E. specialist always shakes my hand. My local GP who doesn't believe in my disease said to me the last time I saw her " You have thirty seconds to tell me why you are here."

    This just locks up my brain and spirit. I guess I should take Will Rogers advice and find a local veterinarian. Now that would be a shaggy tale.
    golden and Firestormm like this.
  9. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    I would have replied and you have thirty seconds to watch me walk out the door.
    Xandoff and Firestormm like this.
  10. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    In some religions/cultures it's considered improper for men and women to touch, even handshaking. So it's important to be sensitive to the fact that not everyone wants to be touched, too. ;-)
    MeSci, ukxmrv and Firestormm like this.
  11. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    Clear Light

    Lol - i am booked in to see a holistic Vet shortly :) (lateral thinking :) )
    Valentijn likes this.
  12. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Woof! :p
    MeSci likes this.
  13. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Oh dear - are we all the offspring of nurses?

    (I seem to be hearing those old comments about nurses, teachers and risk factors again)
  14. LaurieL

    LaurieL Senior Member

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    Kina said...
    [QUOTEThe worst experience I ever had with a doctor was when he told me some devastating news and then he proceeded to pat me on the head as he was leaving. I think if he had extended his hand to me after that, I would have lost it.][/QUOTE]

    I realize my comment is a bit late but.....

    If a doc was to pat me on the head and then extend his hand for shake, I would lob it off for him. I am not a puppy to be petted, although vets are sounding more and more appealing. :D
    MeSci likes this.
  15. LaurieL

    LaurieL Senior Member

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    Kina said...
    I realize my comment is a bit late but.....

    If a doc was to pat me on the head and then extend his hand for shake, I would lob it off for him. I am not a puppy to be petted, although vets are sounding more and more appealing. :D

    I voted sometimes yes. I have never been turned down for a shake, although when meeting anyone, my grandfather was big on initiation of the shake. It is so ingrained that I can't remember but a few whom initiated "the shake", its usually me and I am judgemental of the quality of the shake..

    After my illness, and working in the hospitals for 20 odd years, a doctors shake is on different grounds. In the hospital setting, I don't shake, hands are the place to carry lots of little nasties. I don't eat in the cafeteria's either. Look at the studies of those, yuck.

    In the office setting, a shake is acceptable. In the hospital, caring and time over-ride a shake, curtness, and matter-of-factness in bedside manner. A good chief of staff will set the tone for his partners. Most will not shake outside of the office or consult setting as a caution to the patient first, and then themselves.
    MeSci likes this.
  16. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    I would rather not have to shake doctors hand, I don't think there is a need to unless meeting for the very first time.
    My doctor always welcomes me with a lovely warm smile and seems interested in " what he can do for me today":)
    And when I leave, as I go out the door he warmly puts his arm around my shoulder and says goodbye. :) I notice the majority of the GP's there are warm like that, so I do walk out feeling " that was nice" :)
    WillowJ and Valentijn like this.
  17. valentinelynx

    valentinelynx Senior Member

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    Interesting. I'm a doctor (anesthesiologist). I always shake my patients' hands when I meet them for the first time, and often, the family members' hands, as well. It seems simple common professional decency. Unfortunately, with my finger joint pain acting up, people who squeeze fingers instead of a real handshake make me think twice about this practice lately!
  18. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    That would be going too far for me and I would not like it. I would try to wriggle away from the arm. Too familiar and rather paternalistic.

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