When you run a healthcare business or clinic, your patients need to feel that they can approach your staff. They need to feel comfortable sharing personal medical information with them, which isn’t possible if they don’t even feel able to get a staff member’s attention when they need them. For those in leadership positions, it’s also important that they are approachable to more junior members of staff. There are various ways these goals can be achieved, from what your employees wear to their body language. Read on to find out how your staff can be more approachable to both patients and their own team.
Make Them Easily Identifiable
One of the most important things in healthcare is that staff members can be easily identified. Uniforms might help with this in some places while wearing branded items like hospital lanyards can also be an option. As well as being able to identify someone as a staff member for your organisation, and the nature of their role, names are also important. The #hellomynameis campaign, which started in the UK and spread worldwide, aims to promote healthcare staff wearing name badges and introducing themselves by name. Just knowing the name of your doctor, nurse, or porter helps to make healthcare more personal.
Show That They Are Tolerant and Understanding
It can also help to take steps that show that your staff is tolerant and understanding of people from different backgrounds and with different identities. For example, some healthcare staff members choose to wear rainbow badges or lanyards to show that they are accepting of LGBTQ patients. This concept is something that you should build into your healthcare business, and it’s important for staff members to reflect it on an individual level. It might not be compulsory for them to wear a specific badge, but they should show that they are accepting of all patients.
Provide Accessible Information
The information that you provide, both written and verbal, can also help to make your staff more approachable. It’s an important part of communication and can show that you are considering your diverse range of patients. You should take into account that you may have patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, visually impaired, have a learning disability, or speak a language other than English. When you provide information that meets these needs, as well as generally ensuring that you are understandable to the average person, it makes your staff more approachable.
Engage with Patients
Openly engaging with patients is another way staff members can be more approachable. This starts with making eye contact and smiling, as well as being sure to introduce yourself, your role, and what you do. Being interested in what patients have to say, and even entertained and impressed when it’s appropriate, can also help employees to show that they are engaged with their patients and willing to listen to them. It’s important to be positive and compassionate.
Approachable healthcare staff improves the experience for your patients. You can help your staff members to be more approachable with the right training.