In any performance, people will remember the beginning, and the ending most. First impressions, and last impressions are important.
This is no less true in many other situations.
I came across a video yesterday that I like, talking about the last things the medic in the video says to his patients. Go check it out.
I think he's right on the money.
I've mentioned before that we have developed the habit, the SOP, if you will, of introducing ourselves to the patient, and telling them "we are here to take care of you until the ambulance arrives."
Then, when we transfer care to the medic, we always introduce patient and medic to each other by name, and I tell the patient that I know these people will take good care of them.
We don't get to transfer care in the hospital, since we're non-transporting, so our situation is a little different than in the video. We are still there after the patient care transfer, and often still assist in the care for some time. I always make sure to tell the patient goodbye and wish them well, but it isn't usually at the same time as the introduction to the medic(s).
I like the suggestion in the video of using these two phrases:
1. Is there anything else I can do for you?
2. It was a pleasure serving you today. (Or a pleasure meeting you.)
I have said those in some cases, but not both of them consistently.
Usually, it's "It was nice meeting you. I wish the circumstances had been better." or "It was nice to meet you; I hope your day gets better."
As for asking about anything else we can do, that's fairly common, eliciting a number of responses ranging from calling a family member or employer to making sure the cat doesn't get out or is fed and watered, or shutting off lights, and either locking or unlocking doors.
At any rate, I appreciated the reminder in the video to always do these things, that they are important. Not only does it make a good first and last impression for us, but it also helps the patient to feel cared for, and sometimes, that's what they need more than any intervention we might be able to do. Certainly, it's always an important part of our job.