“Please stop, I can’t lie still while you inject my face.” The patient’s plea, infused with fear, would not be numbed by the local anesthetic that the young physician was trying to administer for this awake procedure. Pausing outside the procedure room, I heard the curt response of “Just be still” by this pressed-for-time young physician.
I do not know the circumstances or what happened next to this patient or young physician, or to their relationship. However, this interaction brought to my attention the likelihood that such a situation involving a hurried young physician and a vulnerable patient might occur more often in the classic clinical scenario in modern medical practice. Although technological advances enable many procedures to now be performed on patients who are awake rather than under general anesthesia, elevating the art of patient comfort during such awake procedures is an important point to instruct in our teaching programs.
Hom DB. Enhancing the Art of Care During Awake Procedures. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2015;17(1):5-6. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2014.1026