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July 26, 1958


Author Affiliations

Bethlehem, Pa.

From the Section on Neurosurgery, St. Luke's Hospital.

JAMA. 1958;167(13):1616-1618. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.02990300042009

It is necessary that the instructions given to a patient be systematic and complete if intelligent cooperation is to be expected. This is especially true of surgical patients and their families. Whenever possible a separate room should be allocated for this purpose. It should be equipped with comfortable chairs for the patient and for responsible relatives. Chalk board, anatomic models, printed material, a viewing-box for roentgenograms, and facilities for showing parts removed at operation can be extremely helpful. Directions given orally for nursing care, special diets, and the use of drugs or apparatus at home are too easily misunderstood or forgotten; instead, such directions can be put on paper by using standard duplicating equipment. They save countless hours of the physician's time. Attention to this aspect of the physician-patient relationship helps to secure better therapeutic results and to improve public relations.