I read recently about a patient who spent 4 hours in an ER but was never experienced touch by a human. Not surprising, really. Technology is doing a lot of what we used to do with our eyes, ears and hands. For better or worse.
While physicians often associate touch with the physical exam, it can facilitate more powerful things. Here are a few things the hand can still do:
- Emphasize and express.
- Clear up the ambiguous.
- Guide and direct.
- Connect and convey.
- Calm and support.
- Reassure, relate and respond.
Touch has the remarkable ability to make up for what’s lost or inaccessible through language. And in a time-constrained, increasingly ‘less present, environment’ human contact may be more important than ever.
Image (modified) from Ricardo Angel on Unsplash.