2. Point out positive factors
What if the patient responds with, “Nothing,” or “I can’t think of anything good?” Well, why not take the lead? You could remind the patient that his or her A1c is continuing to trend downward. Or, point out something seemingly small, such as noting the patient has consistently implemented a single change that was identified at the last visit. One of my patients, after expressing hesitation for a few visits, decided to start cutting out regular sodas. About 6 months later, building momentum from this one small tweak, he had lost 20 pounds!
3. You are not alone; look for support
This goes for both your patients and you! Just as you encourage your patients to develop a community of support—spouses or significant others, children, siblings, parents, friends, neighbors, or colleagues—you as the health care professional can also draw upon tremendous resources to help you hit your reset button and stay positive. Health care is a team sport, and we’re seeing more clinics embrace this formally.
None of us, in a brief office visit, can cram in all the discussions we feel are essential—proper injection technique, how to check feet, etc. The VA has dietitians, certified diabetes educators, nurses, and pharmacists working together to help patients and their physicians (or PAs, NPs) optimize their care.
It truly takes a village to stay positive. What are some tools that have worked for you and your team?