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    Patient Voices

    The patient is a character who is in the care of a doctor. The patient character may have a variety of reasons to see the doctor, ranging from going in for an annual checkup to being in the emergency room after an accident. The patient character may have varying degrees of understanding or distress regarding his or her condition. Patient characters may feel a wide range of emotion, and usually have a broad support network.

    The patient character can have different levels of discomfort, pain, severity and recovery progress. These factors often affect the attitudes and reactions of the character, as well as the setting the patient character is in. If the patient character is in for a routine checkup, all comes back normal, the patient is usually happy, or simply calm. If a patient character is having a minor operation or was given bad news, he or she may be nervous or upset. If a patient has a fear of doctors, blood or needles, the character may panic when one of those triggers presents itself. If a patient character is in a hospital or care home in a long term care scenario, he or she may be happy with his or her recovery, content with, and accepting of, his or her situation, or be anxious, saddened and fearful of a poor prognosis or the level of damage from his or her injury. In the case of a baby’s delivery, the mother and father are happy. In scenarios with pain and fear present, the patient character may have a weaker or strained voice, and make involuntary gasps, yelps, groans and other sounds as a reaction to pain. All of these scenarios can also be affected by the traits of the character; with a more level and tenacious patient character expressing less discomfort and doubt when compared to a patient character who is inclined to anxiety, and has a lower pain tolerance.

    Patient characters can be seen most often in movies and shows that revolve around the themes of natural disasters, first responder channels, war, characters in their old age, media with medical themes and medical documentaries. Looking at patients, both fictional and non-fictional, can help you understand the attitudes and emotions patients feel, in numerous settings. You can even volunteer at a hospital and interact with patients to get a first person experience in the life of a patient. Learning how patients think and feel can help you understand the nuances in voicing a patient character.