Developing a good bedside manner is of utmost importance for a doctor, whether you’re still in med school or you’ve been a physician for many years. To truly succeed in medicine, you have to treat your patients in a way that helps them maintain their self-respect and maybe even make them smile. Not only will the word of mouth marketing be outstanding, but your patients will physically respond differently.
Empathy Is A Must
A good bedside manner is more than being professional. A good relationship between the doctor and the patient can result in a positive difference in the outcome of the patient’s health, wellness, and the ability to heal. When considering what good bedside manner is, many doctors believe empathy is a must in the equation. Understanding can be defined as the ability of one person to put themselves in the shoes of another. This is an incredibly powerful communication skill. The empath has the ability to listen and understand when dealing with others. Through empathy, some professionals can feel their patient’s fear, their apprehension, and their concern. As a physician, you can put your feet in your patient’s shoes, and when you do, the relationship will deepen between the two of you. Your patient will feel more satisfied holistically, and this will have a measurable effect on his/her health.
Don’t Just Talk, Truly Listen.
Provide your patient with mother’s care. Do not listen like a mother, listen to the way you would want a doctor to listen to your mother. When doctors rush patients or talk down to them by displaying incredibly off-putting behavior, the patient is not going to open up about what is wrong with them. Any details of their health concerns will not be shared, and the patient will get worse, rather than better. From the outside looking in, the patient may seem to be non-compliant, but the reality may be that he or she doesn’t feel as though the doctor has even taken the time to listen to them and does not truly understand what is wrong. When this occurs, patients do not feel like the treatment prescribed by the physician will be effective because the physician does not truly know what the problem is. The ability, or inability, to communicate with your patients will make or break your bedside manner.
First Impressions Do Last
As a doctor, the first impression you give a new patient is imperative. You only have one chance to give that patient an initial feeling of safety and comfort in having you as their physician. By knowing the patient’s name and being sure it is pronounced the right way, you can impress a new patient immediately. If you don’t know how to say his or her name, ask them. Please don’t call a patient by their first name unless he or she gives you express consent to do so.
Additionally, it would be best if you never ignored any friend or family member that may be accompanying the patient. Acknowledge their presence with a handshake and an introduction. If there is a child in the room, maybe offer a high five as a way of greeting him or her.
Have a Seat
No patient wants to go to the doctor and feel like they are being rushed. Their time with you is theirs, especially if you are a primary care physician. Your days are busy; it’s possibly an understatement. You’re juggling appointments and patients, and the time is not there to spend all the time the patient may want you to spend with him or her, but there are ways to help your patients feel as though every minute you are in the room with them is dedicated solely to them. If you stand while you are in the room with your patient, it makes you look like you don’t have time to sit down. You’re ready to be in and out. Sitting is a small gesture that can bring a sense of relief to your patient. Even if you’re truly in a hurry, take the time to have a seat. Show your human side to your patients. If a new patient is anxious, take a minute to help them feel calm by asking about a job or family. Make a connection.
Don’t Lose The Point Inside Medical Jargon.
It may be easy for medical jargon to slip out when talking to your patients, but you should focus on talking to them in a language they will understand. Most of your patients don’t know medical terminology and won’t fully comprehend what you’re saying. You want your patients to understand your diagnosis and even further have a comprehension of how they can get better through the treatment measures you are ordering for them.
To be a truly good doctor, you need to have a good bedside manner. It isn’t just about being respectful; it’s about contributing to your patients’ health, wellness, and ability to heal. A perfect example of the positive impact of a good bedside manner is in the arena of wound care. When a wound care specialist has a good bedside manner, the patient will feel secure, and the mind/body connection will foster an environment that promotes healing.