#TOTW from 24-11-15 ‘Terms of endearment’


How is everybody this week?

This week I decided to make use of the Twitter poll functionality and my #TOTW was:

Do you ever use such as “love” when talking with your patients?

This all came about following a piece I read on the Care Quality Commission website about the use of terms of endearment in a care setting. I have to say I was rather surprised and ever so slightly saddened by the results. Only 25% of those who took part said YES, they did use terms of endearment when talking with patients and the remaining 75% said NO. I was expecting it to be a much closer result than that. Now of course I don’t know the demographics of those who voted – age, gender, how long since qualified, country, county etc etc! This would maybe give me a greater insight into why the vote went the way it did. Now I’m a northern lad and am quite happy using terms like ‘love’ and ‘sweetheart,’ so it’s not something I think too much of. I have always used these terms when talking to some of my patients, and have never had one of them said they were offended or looked disapprovingly at me. I feel it’s all about making a patient feel comfortable and at ease in the time they are in my X-ray room, and if by using these small terms of endearment that eases there experience of hospital at a time when they may be feeling vulnerable then I make no apologies for using such language.

I would be interested to know if there has been any research to date in the field of radiology and the use of terms of endearment, but this is not something I have had the time to pursue lately. I think this is a topic that I will be returning to in the future when I have had the opportunity to have a look at what research is out there, but I just wanted to put my marker down, and say despite being in what would appear to be a minority, I shall continue to make appropriate use of such terms of endearment as I feel comfortable using, and my patients are happy to hear!

Goodnight loves!



2 thoughts on “#TOTW from 24-11-15 ‘Terms of endearment’

  1. This is a difficult one – I do use terms of endearment with my patients (I too am from the north!) but probably less now than I have in the past and I tend to save them for children.
    Why is this? There are a couple of reasons: I no longer live in the ‘north’ where love is a commonly used form of address. Also, as my parents have got older I have found it hard to see some HCPs treating my intelligent, high achieving parents as generic ‘old people’. No-one who knows my Dad would ever call him sweetheart!!
    On the other hand, I have no objection to being addressed as love in shops etc when I go back up north to visit family. In fact, it is one of things that makes me feel back at home again…
    As diagnostic radiographers we usually have a different kind of relationship with our patients to other HCPs. We tend to care for people for only short periods of time and have little or no continuity of care. This does affect how we interact with patients and carers, but I usually find time to ask “can I call you (first name)?” If the answer is yes, I am also much more likely to use a term of endearment. I figure that someone who prefers the formality of a title won’t like being called love…
    There’s no easy answer but it really is down to what the HCP and the patient feel comfortable with. It would be a tragedy if we lost the ability to use our professionalism to judge each interaction individually.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: November’s #TOTM from 29/11 ‘Terms of endearment’ | radiographerben

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