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I was trained to be hands off with patients but now I think a hug might be the best medicine

They reassure and comfort and offer thanks and condolences, so hugs between patients and healthcare professionals can be a welcome part of the job, says Jane Bates
Hugging

They reassure and comfort and offer thanks and condolences, so hugs between patients and healthcare professionals can be a welcome part of the job, says Jane Bates

The young doctor reached over and held the patient in her arms. She had delivered a difficult diagnosis and the hug she gave was spontaneous, straight from the heart. Later the patient told me how much she was comforted by being physically held and what a difference it made. Would I have done the same as the doctor? Definitely not. I have been conditioned into acting in a particular way with patients, and it is too late to change.

No more stiff upper lip

It seems I am stuck in a time warp, because most people nowadays are huggers. My family is not physically demonstrative; it has always been awkward handshakes and stiff

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