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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

7 ways to win hearts of your patients

Be courteous. Politeness travels a long way and helps disseminating your reputation to the remotest of places. Well-mannered words are the best emollient to soothe the nerves of your already irritated and depressed patient; so take a leap to travel the extra way.

Don’t make them wait as long as it’s in your hands. Shed the temptation of that freshly brewed coffee, of that nicotine break and of that cat nap when it’s the stipulated time to see your patients; provide your best in reducing the sufferings and that just doesn’t include rendering medical consultation. Behave as if you really care, as if they mean the world to you.

Don’t hide any fact. May it be a fact related to the prognosis, cost implications, disease course, expected duration of hospital stay, the fine words in treatment consent form. Don’t hide anything. A patient has no choice but to put the faith of his life to you; and you must come out a winner in helping him negotiating his illness in the most transparent manner.

Practice ethically. One must not indulge in accepting gifts from corporate that in turn want the return favors. One must adhere to the regulations laid by the respected councils of medical constitutional bodies. I am sure we can reduce the rate of nosocomial infections a great deal if we start following the protocols strictly. We can find innumerate faults in the system, but to say the fundamental fact, the cleaning of the system starts from the self.

Offer out-of-the-way help to the deserving patients. You came across a poor patient and you refused to take your charges; you have won a heart forever. You tried your level best to dwell deep in latest scientific literature to find out the best treatment modality for a patient suffering with a very uncommon disorder. You must not behave as robots while sitting in your OPD chamber; add a human touch and be sympathetic. The rest of the things will automatically follow a great deal.

See the world from the patients’ eyes. It can help you allay your feelings of frustration that you come across so frequently while taking rounds or while catering to a patient immune to all the counseling. Circumspect the circumstances of your patients and you might start feeling a sense of belonging to them. You are there to heal, not just to write a prescription and leave.

Remain approachable. For your patient, you are the God personified. Though I must say these definitions are getting a jolt every passing day but still, ethically, you hold a very responsible position in the context of your patients. Don’t refuse to see any patient who adamantly seeks your consultation. Help, just like hope, follows the trajectory of a boomerang. The more you give, the more it comes back to you.

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