I see a lot of diabetic patients and have to check their feet regularly. Sometimes they are on the exam table with their shoes on and I realize they need them off. In this situation I make a point to help them take off their shoes and socks before the exam, and help them put them back on after the exam.
I feel like this is a reminder to me that I am serving the patient. I am there for them – not the reverse. It is my way of acting like Christ did when he washed his disciples’ feet. It isn’t clean and isn’t always pleasant, but it is humble and I think it builds trust.
Yesterday I had finished with a foot exam on a patient and started to help her put on her socks.
“I can do that,” she said to me.
“No, that’s all right. I am good at putting on socks. I do it every day.”
She looked over at the sandals on my feet – the ones I wear nearly every day – and laughed, “I don’t think I have ever seen you wearing socks.”This material, written by me, is free to re-post and share under the Creative Commons agreement. In other words, use it all you want; just give me credit.