How to Build a Rapport with Your Patients

How to Build a Rapport with Your Patients

Medical professionals must ensure any patients under their care feel comfortable, secure and able to approach any given topic that may be troubling th

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Medical professionals must ensure any patients under their care feel comfortable, secure and able to approach any given topic that may be troubling them with ease.

A survey of 2,471 patients across three NHS Trusts in England during 2019 conducted by the National Institute for Health Research revealed that over one-fifth (21.7%) were concerned about how communication could affect their care and recovery.

If something goes wrong when you are treating a patient and you have not established a rapport with them, they could be less forgiving than they may otherwise have been. This could result in you facing a potentially damaging clinical negligence claim.

We look at how to build and maintain a relationship with patients so their worries can be kept in check and managed effectively.

Make Introductions

Making genuine introductions to your patients is essential to building positive relationships from the outset.

Being open and conversational about exactly who you are and what your role within the clinical team is helps your patient feel at ease. It displays to your patient that you want to familiarise yourself with them through total transparency.

Be Inquisitive

Taking the time to really get to know your patients makes them feel valued. Not only this, but as they are putting their health in your hands, it helps to cement trust by showing them you are invested in them as an individual and that you care about their lives.

You may be able to discover an interest you have in common and make them feel comfortable by discussing it with them.

Listen

To build on the trust with your patients, you must listen to any fears or concerns that they may have.

Invite them to ask as many questions as they feel they need to so they can wrap their head around the circumstances of their health.

Your responses can ensure they feel fully informed about the course of treatment that needs to be taken for them to get better.

Empathise

Empathy is possibly one of the most important traits in a customer-facing role. In a medical environment, it can be the difference between a good health practitioner and a bad one.

Showing sensitivity in any given circumstance is crucial to making your patient feel safe and understood. If you lack empathy or deliver medical news in a manner that is too matter-of-fact, you may unintentionally come across as cold or uncaring.

Be Honest

Honesty should be at the core of everything a medical professional does. No matter how nervous or upset a patient may be, honesty must be always be upheld.

You can be honest with your patients about much more than just their health. Detailing how many years of experience you have in the medical world and any fields you specialise in are ways of reassuring your patients.