Connecting through touch
Physical touch is essential to Beth Meyers' job as a certified orthopedic technologist in our Orthopedic Clinic. She applies and removes casts, braces, and dressings for patients with injured joints and bones, and also works in the operating room as a first assistant to the orthopedic surgeon. Beth uses touch not only to perform tasks, but also to connect with patients. "Touch can change ‘clinical' into ‘cared about,'" said Beth. "Touch strengthens relationships, encourages trust, and increases cooperation." It can be expressed as a simple gesture like offering a blanket, a pat on the back, touch of the hand, a high five, or a smile. "The care of our patients can be a very intimate experience. We shouldn't be afraid to be touched ourselves and in turn care better for our patients."