4 Ways to Build Rapport with your Patients
As a healthcare professional, it is important to foster relationships with your patients. Why, you ask? Because they are your livelihood, the people who keep your job in tact. Sometimes the day is stressful and busy so it’s easy to forget to put in the extra effort when meeting with a patient. Here are some ways to connect with your patient and leave a lasting impression.
Communication is Key
Communication is important in most any job nowadays, but it’s especially important for healthcare professionals. The way you communicate with your patients sets the tone for the visit and visits to come. Not only are you making them feel comfortable and more apt to share pertinent information, but you are also building trust. Being a good listener is just as important. When a patient is talking, be sure to be soaking in all of the information rather than letting your mind wander and thinking about what to say next. A good way to show them that you are listening is to make eye contact and repeat information back to them.
Projecting a calm demeanor when talking to your patients about stressful situations is a great way to let your patient know that you’re in control. Patients can sense your stress and that can cause them to be more nervous. As the healthcare professional, even when you might be uncomfortable in a situation, exude confidence. This can also help you make objective decisions for their treatment plan, as well.
Empathy is something that not everyone is good at, and that’s okay. Even if empathy isn’t your strong point, there are still ways to show that you care! If a patient is upset, try saying things like; “I understand why you are upset,” or “I am sorry you are feeling this way.” Relate to the patient, while still having the boundaries needed to remain professional.
Taking notes by writing down appropriate personal information that your patient shares with you can help you bring up conversation at their next visit. For example, your patient tells you that they are taking a trip to California next month. Write that down and at their next visit, ask about their trip! This makes the patient feel like you listened and remembered what they said and gives them a personalized experience.
Sometimes being a healthcare professional is stressful and emotionally exhausting so it can be hard to put these to practice. Before each day, remind yourself that you are doing a very important job and leaving a lasting impression can make the difference in these patients lives.