Looking to become a more effective health care professional? Follow these 10 tips to make 2013 your best year yet!
- Find common ground. Relate to the patients you interact with yet keep your distance emotionally. It is indeed a balancing act. Tread lightly.
- Remain professional. Connecting emotionally with your patients or empathizing greatly with their pain, shows you are human. The ability to detach as appropriate, shows you are a professional.
- Treat everyone with respect. From the janitor to the doctor to the patient, everyone deserves respect regardless of his or her title.
- Aim to master medical terminology and technology. Your patients rely on you for sound medical advice and proper care. Of course, we’re all human and make mistakes, but the slightest mistake or oversight in the medical world can have devastating consequences for a patient and your professional career.
- Improve your communication skills. When you’re communicating with patients, please use laymen terms. Doctor: We will be performing intervention for an acute case of ankylosing spondylitis. Non-doctor speak: We will be treating you for pain and stiffness in your joints also known as rheumatoid arthritis. Comprehension facilitates compliance.
- Further your education. Earn a certificate in an area of specialization. Enroll in courses to expand your knowledge base.
- Relieve your stress in a healthy way. Take a vacation. Attend a comedy show. Do something fun to relieve yourself of the emotional demands of your job. Long-term stress can cause sickness and depression. Find ways to manage stress before it takes a toll on you mentally and physically.
- Take care of yourself. Make time for you. Consistently providing care for others makes it easy to neglect your own needs. Engaging in proper self-care not only benefits you but those around you. The last thing an ailing patient needs is a grumpy doctor or a belligerent nurse jamming a needle into their arm.
- Be present. Life is busy but your patient needs you in this moment. There is great pressure on health care professionals to operate within strict time frames, however, put yourself in the patient’s shoes. How would you want to be treated?
- Get social. Communicate with your patients where they are—online. This tip is for employers. Having a social media strategy helps the company image and engages patients. With all the bad press (i.e. malpractice claims), it doesn’t hurt to share all the great things your organization is doing to make a difference. Going social can help build a connection before the patient even steps into your waiting room.
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