Medical conditions, whether mild or severe, can shake up patients’ lives.
So for doctors, skills and experience aren’t the only elements to consider. Excellent communication also makes a world of difference to medical practitioners’ services.
Doing so can transform your medical practice.
But it might have been too long since medical school. Or you were just never taught.
Either way, keep reading for 3 strategies doctors should use when talking to patients. When you’re finished reading, you’ll be ready to hone your skills and start building better relationships with your patients.
- Build Rapport
Being a medical patient can be a very vulnerable status. Not only are their physical conditions compromised, but they may also be lonely if they don’t have other people to talk to. Especially if they’re cooped up in a hospital room for most of their days.
For some patients, talking to other terminally ill patients might not always lift their mood. Either way, having no option for sociality can be isolating. Even in the context of a professional doctor-patient relationship, there’s still plenty of room for positive friendship.
So make a friend out of your patient. Doing so includes efforts such as:
- Maintaining professional boundaries
- Remembering names
- Connecting through common ground and/or experiences
- Remaining attentive during a conversation
Continue these habits, and they’ll become more and more natural for you. After all, both you and the patient know why they’re in the chair. Building rapport with the patient could make their visits and uncomfortable treatments a lot more comfortable.
- Be Empathetic
Having empathy for this line of work can be difficult. It’s even necessary for all doctors to put some emotional distance between them and the patient. But there needs to be a balance.
In your case, empathy is much more important than sympathy. Sympathy requires pity for someone else’s experiences. Empathy requires a closer emotional connection, and for you to be able to understand someone else’s experiences as your own.
This matters even more when talking to sedated patients or if you’re wondering how to talk to dementia patients. They’ll still recognize empathy and true kindness. Simple, empathetic gestures will brighten and warm up some of the most vital parts of their lives.
- Be Clear
Being empathetic and building good rapport does not mean sacrificing clarity. Nor does it mean that you need to compromise your professionalism. Doctors are able to be clear without being clinical.
In fact, clear and direct language is much more accessible for patients to interact with. Throwing out big words when explaining diagnoses and talking like a textbook isn’t going to endear them to you. Patients are, first and foremost, waiting for your medical updates.
So give them just that. Plain, succinct language is easiest to digest and also makes you seem more approachable—and for someone handling their health, approachability is crucial. Continue reading if you’re interested in a medical answering service cost guide to better communicate with your patients.
Talking to Patients Requires No Guesswork
When performing your daily medical duties, there’s a lot of boxes to check off. In fact, the “daily checklist” gets a lot more complicated with the unpredictability being a doctor affords. Nonetheless, talking to patients kindly and giving them great emotional service is part of the job.
We hope this guide helped you learn how to create better relationships with your patients. If it did, check out the rest of our site that’s geared towards plenty of dedicated professionals like you.