How I Developed My Patient Interaction Skill

It’s one thing to read about patient interaction and take a class on it, but it’s another thing entirely when you’re actually in the room with a patient who is waiting for you to act like an expert. When I was in medical school, I realized that one of the most important skills I would need to develop as a doctor is how to interact with patients.

I knew that good communication skill is very essential for anybody that wants to work in this field. Therefore, I needed to understand my patient’s needs and expectations since I will be interacting with them daily. Although, I figured that it takes time and lots of practice to learn how to interact with patients effectively. This meant that I had to start practicing whenever I could.

So, I started by building guidelines to structure my conversations to attain successful communication from small interactions with friends and family. I learned a few tricks which I’ll share with you now.

I got to know that even though there are lots of ways to improve your patient-interaction skills. The best way, however, is to be yourself. If you’re trying to be someone else, your patients will realize it’s fake, and they’ll never feel comfortable with someone who is acting or only pretending to care. This is where empathy comes to play. If you don’t want to pretend to care, you need to know how to work with patients with empathy. You have to possess the ability to put yourself in your patient’s shoes as this is the key to understanding them.

As a medical practitioner, you need to be able to interact with your patients in a way that will make them feel like they’re being heard and understood, and that they can trust you. What I learned from all my years of patient interactions is that every time you interact with a patient, you’re making a small dent in their life. You’re helping them feel better or more secure about themselves or their health in some way; even if it’s just for a second or two.

So how do you develop empathy? It’s simple. All you need is to be aware of your feelings and emotions. You need to be able to identify them so that you can understand what you are feeling and why you feeling that way. If you don’t know where your feelings come from, then it might be hard for you to figure out how to react when someone else has a different reaction.

To be empathetic, you have to be able to connect with your patients on an emotional level; read their countenance, pay attention to the tone of their voice, make eye contact, etc My final advice to you is to listen! Not just that but to actively listen to what your patients have to say, not just what they’re saying about their symptoms.

You can take away so many lessons from the interactions you have with patients, and these are not limited to the science of the illnesses they are dealing with. Sometimes, you learn life lessons too. And they’ll appreciate it more if you pay attention.

I believe in my heart that person-to-person communication is one of the keys to good health. This is why it is so important for you to engage with your patients and make them feel at ease when discussing physical ailments or treatments.

No matter how sick they are, how much pain they are feeling, or how serious their condition may be, you can make all of this easier for them by being understanding, more personalized, and sounding more caring than “just another doctor”.

I would like to encourage you to take advantage of the tips you’ve learned and make sure you are always learning from your interactions.

Hope this helps. As always keep grinding and keep your head up.

Remember: we are here for YOU!


Your Med Mentor

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