When it comes to strengthening the patient–physician relationship, there may be no better way to do so than with the true “bedside” encounter, when the patient is most vulnerable and the physician can be most caring and compassionate.
patient in the holding area and delegation of patient contact to others on the surgical team until the patient is asleep and prepared for surgery. It should be stated that while this is not necessarily unprofessional behavior, valuable opportunities to put the patient at ease and strengthen the patient–physician relationship may be missed. This relationship is an ongoing, dynamic one, begun at first contact and built upon throughout the length of the professional relationship. It is strengthened through mutual respect, along with attentiveness to visual and oral cues, and is primarily the responsibility of the surgeon/physician.
Although emergency department interactions often afford limited time for the establishment of a relationship between patient and physician, a patient who is awake and alert wants to know that the surgical procedure(s) will be undertaken by a surgeon who believes in the sanctity of human life and will care for the patient to the fullest of her/his capabilities. This relationship can be further developed in the postoperative period, when the patient needs reassurance and attention.