One way to better protect yourself in the exam room is to be more aware of your surroundings. Aaron Rubin, MD, of Fontana, Calif., offered these three tips in a recent Practice Pearl:
1. Consider the layout of your exam room. You don't want an angry patient between you and the door. You also don't necessarily want to get in the way of an angry patient who wants to leave. The optimal arrangement creates a triangle where you and the patient have equal access to the door.
2. Make sure there are no objects available in the exam room that could be easily used to harm you, such as a heavy bottle with which a patient could hit you.
3. Consider placing call buttons in each exam room, which can serve multiple functions, including alerting others when emergency help is needed. Panic button apps are also available for mobile phones.
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