Your ability to communicate well with your patients is one of the most important factors in inspiring confidence in your patients, getting your patients to perform their exercises, modify their load, and ultimately achieving great treatment results. One of the keys to communicating well with your patients is creating a connection with them, and a large part of this connection is made in the first 10 seconds after you meet your patients.
In this weeks 5 minute physio tips you will learn 3 simple strategies you can use in this vital first 10 seconds when you first meet your patients, to connect with them, inspire confidence and get the best treatment outcomes possible.
For further great information on communication and how you can have a positive impact when you meet someone, I highly recommend the book “How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less” by Nicholas Boothman
Hi I’m David Pope from Clinical Edge, welcome to this weeks episode of 5 minute physio tips on how you can connect with your patients and have maximum impact with your treatment.
I’m sure when you went to school or university you had a teacher that you connected really well with, that you felt comfortable with and that you learnt really well from. And I’m sure you had other teachers with whom you had personality conflicts, you just didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of subjects and it actually makes it a lot harder to absorb the information they are trying to teach you because of these personality interactions.
So what I want to talk you through today is some ideas to help you connect with your patients when you first meet them. You can overcome any personality interactions that might interfere with what you’re going to be teaching them. And also so that you can connect with them and have a good relationship and get the maximum out of the education that you’re providing them and also to help get the best treatment outcomes.
The first sixty seconds when you meet a patient are some of the most important moments of the whole treatment career that the patient will go through. If you can connect immediately with your patients then you’re going to be able to start to develop that bond or connection that will enable them to take in what you’re trying to teach them. Or if you get off to a rocky start, you’ve lost them from the start. So we’re going to focus on that first sixty seconds and a few easy steps you can use when you first meet a patient so that you can set them at ease. You can help them feel comfortable with you and create that connection.
The first step is to look. You want to look them in the eyes, making eye contact. Remember, it’s not a staring contest, you are trying to make them feel comfortable but you don’t want to be looking away as soon as you make eye contact either. So make eye contact, make it a warm friendly eye contact but make sure that happens. That’s the first step - “look”.
The second step is to smile. There are a number of different ways you can smile. You can just smile from the mouth but that is a pretty cold smile. Or you can smile from your mouth and then the smile can go to your eyes. And when you’re actually tying that in with your eye contact that we were talking about. That smile through your eyes to the other person really creates warmth and connection. So we’ve got look first, create that eye contact. And then smile, smile with your mouth as well as your eyes.
Our third step is touch - shake hands with your patient. So you look at them, you smile at them and then extend the hand, shake their hand so that you’ve created some kind of physical contact. For most people that helps to set them at ease. Immediately you’ve broken down some of those barriers mentally between yourself and the other person and helped you to connect. And that’s all it really needs to be just that warmth, that human connection. And you’re setting yourself up for successful treatment outcomes.
So to summarise in the first 15–20 seconds the main things that you want to do are to look them in the eyes, you want to make that eye contact. You want to smile and then you want to shake their hand or make some kind of physical contact.
I hope that’s helped you, try this over the next few days, use this for your new and your follow up patients, and see how much that changes your interactions with your patients by getting that first sixty seconds working really well, create that warmth and that human connection.
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