Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Smile and Smooze

I started this morning with the obligatory consultant ward round, followed by a cup of Earl Grey in the mess. As we haven't been on take for a few days our patient list is rapidly dwindling (thank goodness as it seems like half the firm is on annual leave). Because of this there weren't that many jobs to be done, so with my FY1s permission off I trotted to get some sign ups.

This year as well as sign ups for skills we have to perform there is a long list of different procedures we need to observe, so that we can better explain them to patients in the future. This is why I ended up trawling the hospital sweet talking pretty much every healthcare professional I came across.

Apparently us medical students have a reputation for being demanding, bolshy and rude. I'm aiming to turn that around. It is for this reason that I have perfected the smile and smooze.

The smile and smooze works best if you are genuinely a nice person. It is quite obvious if you're just putting it on.

The technique is simple. When asking if a different healthcare professional will show you something you have to be nice to them. Remember that explaining things to you will probably slow down their already busy day. I always start with introducing myself and giving a big smile. I then ask nicely about what I would like to do or see. It's important at this point to emphasize that they will be doing you a favour so timings are completely flexable. If they frown it's important to keep smiling. This disarms mean people so even they say yes. The smoozing then continues with a very big thank you once they've agreed to what you want.

To perfect the smooze when you return to observe the other healthcare professional at work, bring something for them. A sweetie pilfered from somewhere is enough. Then remember to say thank you at the end. A couple of comments on how interesting/difficult/skillful their job is also doesn't go amiss. Everyone likes to hear when they're doing a good job.

The smile and smooze has yet to fail me. Fingers crossed!

Lily xXx


Jenn said...

I've been working on perfecting that too! I always try to thank the nurses when I leave theatre etc. I feel that, especially when I just turn up unexpectedly, I owe them at least that!

ilovehotchocolate said...

Technique read, digested, learnt and filed for 2 years time :) happy its-nearly-the-weekend day!

Lily said...

Wow... I'm pleased I'm not the only person who counts Wednesday as "nearly-the-weekend"

Lets hope that all medical students adopt the friendly, nice, respectful, smiley approach to hospitals and we'll lose our bad reputation!