How to Ease Patient Stress


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During a recent examination one of my physicians began to diagnose my issue and began to speak in either Aramaic or some such hieroglyphic. This reminded me of working many years ago Wall Street while selling technology; there were more acronyms used than people on a New York Subway during rush hour.

There is a reason why professionals use acronyms so often; they fail to provide customer focus. They are so involved in their own comfort zone that they speak with what is comfortable for them-not the client. Unfortunately this places the client on the defensive. First many will not ask to explain things rather illustrating they understand and depending on the professional they will not stop to explain. However such attitudes due frustrate your patients so here are some suggestions:

  1. Do not speak in a foreign language. Provide lay thoughts and ideas in terms of what the patient will understand.
  2. Refrain from long lectures. Too many doctors want to profess their experience but few are not short. Speak in short sentences so that you can engage in conversation.
  3. Ask questions. Stop every now and again to engage the patient. There is too much at once and it will be good to either paraphrase or simply ask questions.
  4. Use process visuals. Pictures say a 1000 words so where and when possible use pictures or parts to point to areas patients need to comprehend.
  5. Paraphrase. Summarize what you believe the patient said to ensure both sides are in agreement.
  6. Comfort. If the patient is with another party make certain you involve all in the conversation. This appointment is about the patient experience.
  7. Follow Up. Have your assistant call a day or two after to ensure that there was comfort and comprehension. This will ensure there were no disagreements and allows better approaches to patient service.

© 2012 Drew Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Drew Stevens
Drew J. Stevens Ph.D. (Dr. Drew) is the author of Split Second Selling and the soon to be released Ultimate Business Bible and six other business books on sales, customer loyalty, self mastery and business development solutions. Drew helps organizations to dramatically accelerate revenue and outstrip the competition. He conducts over 4 international keynotes, seminars and workshops per year.


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