Image and text showing lollipops and connection
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The Lollipop Connection: The Power of Kindness in Healthcare

Lollipop Power!

It was my first week in dialysis training. Connection – especially as it pertains to patients – was not my priority. I was so focused on learning stuff like priming the bloodlines that I drowned out everything else happening around me.

Now and then though, my concentration was broken by some commotion or sound from fussy patients.

Some were cranky and irritable so I tried to stay out of their way. 

After some time, the patients would usually calm down. 


I say that because some patients continue to be restless even when they have already settled into their treatment chairs – while others have contented themselves into either dosing off or watching TV, some would still be fidgety.

In this instance, a grumpy patient was making a big deal of everything – from the chair she was sitting on, to how cold the treatment room was, to why she couldn’t find the channel for her favorite soap opera. 

I willed myself to focus on what I was doing and drowned out everything else. 

After some time, though, I felt that something had changed. The atmosphere had a subdued state.

I turned my head and looked at my surroundings. My gaze fell on the patient who was finicky earlier.

Lo, and behold!, she was now quiet, her eyebrows furrowed in concentration as she stared at the TV monitor in front of her, while her hands unwrapped something.

Creating Connection

I was intrigued.

A few minutes earlier, I could’ve sworn we’d be hearing her grunts and complaints throughout the shift.

As I observed her, I couldn’t help but wonder what happened. 

Was this her usual demeanor? I was about to shrug my shoulders, thankful for the peace and quiet, when, at the corner of my eye, I saw one staff giving something to another anxious patient –

… a lollipop!

I watched in amazement as the previously feisty patient transformed into a docile, content individual, all thanks to a simple piece of candy.

I couldn’t help but smile beneath my mask, impressed by the ingenious solution. 

It was brilliant!

What an effective way to soothe a patient by tapping into their inner child and leveraging their love for sweets!

Image of lollipops and text saying "Life is like a box of lollipopos".

Sweets and Connections

As I kept my eyes glued to the transformation unfolding before me, I couldn’t help but think that this lollipop trick was like a magician’s secret in the world of patient care. 

The staff members had cracked the code on understanding the unique quirks and cravings of their patients and pulled off this sweet, unconventional solution – way to go for connection!

It got me pondering about the importance of tailored care in the medical realm.

I mean, let’s face it, each patient is a unique puzzle with their own special preferences, fears, and, well, mood swings.

Some might be all sunshine and rainbows with just a warm smile, while others, like our emotionally expressive patient, need a bit of candy-based diplomacy.

This experience made me realize that healthcare is more than just mastering the machinery; it’s about connecting with patients on a personal level and helping them navigate a challenging and sometimes uncomfortable journey.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work 

Let’s not forget the squad work involved here. It wasn’t just one hero with a lollipop; it was a tag team effort to ensure patient well-being.

This kind of “thinking outside the box” teamwork should be celebrated and encouraged everywhere in healthcare.

As my training continued, I kept this in mind. I started to become a bit of a patient-whisperer, trying to predict what could make their dialysis day a tad more pleasant.

Sometimes, it was a cozy blanket, a friendly chat, a wave or nod of acknowledgment, or simply being that reassuring presence in the room; that’s creating and maintaining connection.

Shared Smiles and Shared Trust

One of the remarkable aspects of the lollipop ritual is how it sparks conversations.

Simple questions like, “Do you want a lollipop”?” or “What flavor would you like?”, can open the door to stories, laughter, and shared moments. 

I certainly use this ritual to spend a bit of time with patients and encourage them to talk. 

Heck, some of them, don’t speak to other people- either because they don’t have anybody to talk to or they just don’t have confidence in others. 

I’ve seen how this gesture stopped tantrums and earned the trust of even the most untrusting of patients. 

It’s a small but powerful reminder that even amid medical procedures, humanity prevails.

Care And Connection On A Stick

Passing out lollipops is like sprinkling kindness confetti! It’s the staff’s way of saying, ‘Hey, we’re not just here for your medical needs, we’re here to brighten your day.”

In a world of whirring dialysis machines, it’s a small gesture that speaks volumes.

Here’s the thing though: it’s not just about the candy. It’s about the warm, fuzzy feeling it leaves behind.

It’s a tiny pat on the back that reminds both staff and patients of the positive impact they have on each other’s lives.

So, with a simple lollipop, they’re not just sweetening your taste buds, they’re sweetening your day and your heart.

Just for fun, check out this YouTube video.

I know, I know, it’s an old song but it does sing about our favorite sweets:

You guessed it right- Lollipop!


One insight was that the little gestures, those tiny acts of kindness, could make a world of difference to a patient.

It’s not always about the big, flashy medical interventions but the small things that say, “We’re here to make this journey as comfortable as possible for you.”

The lollipop ritual is a reminder that compassion, empathy, and a dash of creativity are the magic ingredients in the healthcare recipe.

Sure, the technical stuff is important, but it’s the human connection and the ability to adapt to individual needs that truly make the healthcare profession shine.

Sometimes, all you need is a simple lollipop to turn a growling tiger into a snuggly bear.

Who knew candy could be a super weapon in disguise? 

Image showing lollipops of various colors.

Wrapping Up

This journey wasn’t just about lollipops; it was a masterclass in the art of patient care.

It’s more than just the medical jargon; it’s about getting to know each patient’s unique quirks and needs.

Some patients crave lollipops, others cozy up with a warm blanket, and a few just want a good old chat.

Those small acts of kindness are the secret sauce, I tell you- they matter a whole lot.

Sometimes, it’s the simplest things, like a lollipop and a sprinkle of humor, that can turn even the grumpiest patients into the happiest campers.

In the end, I discovered that the sweetest medicine isn’t always found in a pill bottle; sometimes, it’s right there on a stick.

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