What Doctors Need to Know About Chronic Pain Patients
It’s easy to forget what it’s like to go through chronic pain if you don’t personally endure it. Here are the top 5 things that doctors need to know and remember about their chronic pain patients.
5. Insulting Only Does More Damage
When you hear the descriptions of the pain of your patients, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that they are just exaggerating. Remember that you don’t know what it feels like to be this particular person. The last thing you want to do is mock or insult the patient. This will only dramatically increase the pain that he or she is already feeling.
4. No One is the Same
Continuing with the point above: No two people will experience pain in the same way. What one patient may be able to handle may feel crippling to another patient. We all have a different reaction to pain so it’s important to remember that.
3. They Aren’t Wasting Your Time
Yes, it may be frustrating at times to listen to these seemingly grandiose tales of pain but these are your patients and you need to treat them as such. These people are there for your help. You can’t make them feel like they are wasting your time. Give your patients an attentive ear and truly listen.
2. Believe Before You Distrust
Yes, there are some bad apples out there but those people are few and far between. You shouldn’t let the possibility of one bad person coming into your practice stop you from truly listening and believing your patients. Sometimes, it’ll be difficult to believe some of the stories but try to do just that before you begin distrusting or becoming suspicious.
1. Practice Empathy
Above all, you need to remember what empathy is. If you aren’t suffering from chronic pain, you’ll have a disconnect from what these patients are feeling. Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine what their day-to-day must be like with this pain. Practice empathy with all of your patients.