1. I address all IM with their last name and a Mr. or Miss before it. Just as I would in a hospital. (I work in a jail, so male and female IM) I have found you get respect by giving it.
2. Being firm, fair, and consistent, to me means that I treat all of my patients the same. You do get to know certain IM who are frequent fliers, or who have been their a while, and you therefore may have a good rapport with them, but no matter what, I always give the same care to each and every one of them.
3. They will try to manipulate you, especially before you build yourself a rep. It could be as little as giving one an extra snack bag, or allowing one to know personal information about yourself. Whatever the case may be. FIRM=No means NO!, FAIR=The same goes for all of you. CONSISTENT=It will be the same tomorrow!
3 b. That doesn't mean that I am a d*** about it, but my favorite word some nights is NO. Especially if it is a new IM that hasn't met me yet. But like I say, you build a rep pretty quickly, and after a while, they know where you stand, that you are going to follow the rules, and not to bother playing games. (most of the time)
4. I avoid any and all personal conversations. Meaning the IM have no idea where I live, if I am single or have a finance, what kind of care I drive, and etc. I also refrain from asking personal questions such as these, unless it is part of an assessment i.e. to assess the support system that an IM with psych issues has on the outside.
5. Last piece of advice, for now...See everyone, meaning if it is 0dark30, and Mr. John Doe is c/o CP again, for the third time this shift, and you are about an hour behind on your paper work, or med pass, or a million other things that need to get done. Never say no. I would rather waste 5 mins explaining what heart burn is to Mr Doe, than sitting in front of a jury explaining why I failed to act. Which brings me to another point...if you don't have mal practice insurance, get it!
Well, hope this has been helpful, That is about all I can think of for now...been up for about 24 hrs, and tonight is number three in a row, so I need to get some sleep. Welcome to this wonderful and challenging area of practice! And continue to read this blog, always an interesting conversation going on.