See the whole person
One of my favorite aspects of His Hands Free Clinic is that the clinic does not only focus on the illness a person has, but also provides emotional and spiritual support. Patients may have other life challenges when they come in for their clinic appointment. Domestic violence, human trafficking, homelessness, lack of insurance, and mental health are just a few of the concerns some of our patients face.
Recently, there was a homeless gentleman that needed help applying for insurance. My office is small and I could tell that the longer he was in here the more anxious he became. Noticing his non-verbal cues, we were able to find some simple solutions. First, he felt much more comfortable with the door open. Second, I handed him a stress ball to squeeze. As soon as he got it, his hand started pumping it so quickly. With his hand busy squeezing the ball, he was able to focus much more clearly on the insurance application.
I have a bag of stress balls that I keep in my office drawer. Many times when people come into my office as the Patient Advocate, we are discussing insurance needs. Insurance can be an overwhelming and difficult for patients to understand, so grabbing a little stress ball and sending it home with them at the end of the appointment is such a simple thing, and yet, people appreciate it so much. The stress ball also opens up the opportunity to talk about the importance of following through, that when we get overwhelmed or something is hard to understand, we cannot just give up. It is important to find coping mechanisms and solutions to help us be more at ease so that we can accomplish the task at hand.