Irony: The anti-virus message at bottom has gone viral.
It occurs to me that this is something that should be in every the tool box for every practitioner, particularly those dealing with public health: entertaining, humorous messages that get the point across. I remember going on a cruise some years back, and two of the stewards spent the entire day at the entrance to the enormous spread of buffet bars, singing funny songs to get people to wash their hands. The one I remember was "You gotta wash your hands", a send-up of the famous Beatles' song. They had a million of 'em.
As I thought about it, I realized that this was probably a product of evidenced-based medicine, even though no medical professional needed to have been involved. The cruise ships realized that illness damaged the customer's experience, and hurt their bottom line. I'm guessing they probably tried different approaches, and chose the one that was the most cost-effective.
And then they invested in two guys (I wonder why I never say any ladies?) to stand there, all day, every day, and entertain us while getting us to do the healthy thing.
Then I realize that I often do this with pedes patients. I have argued that every E.R. doc needs at least one magic trick for the kids. Mine is perhaps the easiest, the
. When I'm treating kids, I'll start off with a 5-second magic trick. Or I'll tell them a dumb joke (Why did the bicycle fall down? It was two tired.) It helps them relax and trust me more.
When a patient is fretting too much over some minor medical consideration, or over a situation where the right choice isn't clear, I tell them, "If you do everything the doctors tell you to do, you won't live forever. But it will seem like it."
I also realized I try to use humor to explain to other support staff. If they are surprised that I want to test for something that is non-obvious, or for something which seems counterintuitive, I quip, "Patients and diseases don't read the books."
The problem is that part of our concept of a 'professional' demeanor is a serious, no-nonsense approach. So we don't get lectures on this stuff in medical school.
But we probably should.
So I'm looking for other examples from other folks out there, of low-cost, entertaining ways to promote healthy behavior.
'Stay in Your F***ing House'
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