Start with kindness

There are lots of reasons why patients may not want to do the things you ask them to. For one thing, they’re usually in a hospital, which is a pretty good indicator that they’re not well. I know what I want to do when I’m not well and it doesn’t involve going to the gym.

I’ve often heard from our students that clinicians on the placements tell them not to be too kind to patients because they’ll be taken advantage of. That they should “think with their heads and not with their hearts”. Really? Is that where we are?

We can do better. Why not start with kindness and see how that goes?

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Michael Rowe

I'm a lecturer in the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. I'm interested in technology, education and healthcare and look for places where these things meet.