Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers A patient who changed my practice

Footsteps and faces

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 06 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:632
  1. Michelle White, anaesthesia senior house officer
  1. Bristol

    It is said that a bird's eye view changes the perspective even of familiar things, but it was a bed's eye view that changed mine. Completely bed bound, unable to use a commode, I had a peculiar perspective on people passing through the ward. Their comings and goings became a series of footsteps and faces and, if I was lucky, smiles and voices.

    I heard footsteps, quick yet purposeful, and a figure came into view. The face looked towards the floor, avoiding eye contact, but I could make out a frown across his forehead. Bustling along, appearing hassled and giving out signals which say, “I'm busy, don't bother me.” It's a junior doctor, wearing a white coat with pockets bulging. I don't recognise him. “He's not part of my team,” I thought, …

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