As a healing and wellness provider, you should have two objectives during every interaction with patients. The first is identifying the root of the problem and/or conveying what you already know, and the second is making the patient feel comfortable. Naturally, both call for good communication skills, which you can improve by following these tips.
3 Tips for Communicating With Your Patients Better
1. Let Them Finish
Physicians are inclined to interrupt their patients—whether they realize they're doing it or not—because their time is incredibly valuable. Even if you simply want to explain something, though, interrupting patients might make them feel as though you’re dismissing their concerns. It could also mean missing out on pertinent signs and symptoms that might otherwise help you diagnose the issue at hand.
2. Pay Attention
This is a relatively obvious tip, but it’s worth remembering because there’s a difference between listening to your patients and actually hearing what they’re saying—and to foster healing and wellness, it’s up to you to hear what your patients are saying.
For example, it may be tempting to stop listening once you’ve heard enough symptoms to make an assessment. As mentioned above, though, the only way to be sure you have all the information needed to make a diagnosis is by listening to everything the patient says.
3. Exhibit Empathy
It’s easy for healing and wellness providers to become detached without meaning to. In fact, doing so may be necessary in certain scenarios in order to perform their duties. When you’re actually talking with patients, though, it’s essential to exhibit empathy. This is the foundation of establishing a bedside manner that puts patients at ease. Even if you’ve seen a particular illness or injury a thousand times, remember that it’s likely the first time for your patient, and he or she is understandably scared.
For more advice on connecting with your patients, turn to Metro Collaborative™. Based in New York, NY, this health care networking group supports healing and wellness providers in a variety of ways. Whether you attend a leadership retreat or take part in one of their peer-to-peer dinners, you’ll meet like-minded clinicians who have the same goals you do when it comes to providing quality care. They also offer comprehensive business coaching services for owner/operators who need help managing a private practice. To learn more about upcoming events, visit their website or call (609) 876-9163.