There are many challenges facing the healthcare industry today, including breaches in cybersecurity and a lack of price transparency. With major issues such as these, it can be easy to overlook the smaller details of the job. As trivial as it may seem, healthcare workers must observe proper etiquette when interacting with their patients. Using soft skills to improve patient satisfaction is incredibly important and has been linked to better clinical outcomes and other impressive benefits. To help you enhance your patients’ experience, here is a guide to hospital etiquette for staff members!
Hospital Etiquette for Staff Members | 5 Tips to Improve Patient Satisfaction
As a physician, minding your manners makes all the difference in the world. It helps to build trust with your patients and makes them feel like they are a priority to you. Here are 5 tips to help you put your best foot forward while you practice!
Don’t Skip the Meet and Greet
First impressions are everything. Make sure that you take a moment to introduce yourself to your new patients. Even if you are wearing a name tag (which you should be), this introduction is still important because it’s a more personalized approach. It’s also helpful for your patients to know your role so they can distinguish you from other staff members. A friendly welcoming will also put your patient’s mind at ease. Being hospitalized is stressful, so you should do everything in your power to help each patient feel calm and cared for!
Focus on Your Patients
Dedicating your attention to your patients absolutely essential. They will definitely notice if your mind is elsewhere when you’re talking to them. Try to address them by their title and last name until they give you permission to use their first name. This is will help you establish familiarity and trust without seeming presumptuous. Remember to make eye contact with them frequently and either nod or paraphrase what they say to show them that you are listening. It’s also very important to not cut them off or finish their sentences for them. This could cause you to miss crucial information. Our final piece of advice is to smile whenever it’s appropriate! This will help you seem more approachable and friendly.
Be Clear and Transparent
Once introductions have been made and you know a little more about your patient’s situation, you should explain what the next steps are. Do this in a clear and transparent manner, avoiding medical jargon and sugarcoating. Make sure you allow time for them or their loved ones to ask questions. If you’re dealing with a sensitive issue, read up on how to handle these difficult situations. Each patient is different, so do your best to prepare yourself and then use your best judgment when it comes to each unique situation.
Keep Up With Your Appearance
Looks aren’t everything, but presentation does matter when it comes to establishing credibility in the medical field. Make sure you know your facility’s dress code and follow this policy closely. If you work in a hospital that is lax about your attire, there are plenty of resources that you can reference online! Looking put together will not only make a good impression on your patient, but it will assure them that they are in good hands.
Respect Your Colleagues
Hospital etiquette for staff members shouldn’t only be reserved for patients. Acting professionally with your peers is just as important as doing so with your patients. Not only will this promote a better work environment for everyone on your staff, but it also shows the patient that you are a team that is dedicated to helping them. Staff members should be supportive of each other both in private and in front of patients. Under no circumstances should you expose a patient to gossip or badmouthing. If you or a colleague have an issue, be mature and bring it to the attention of a higher authority.
Soft skills are crucial for any practicing physican. But, there are only so many tips that we can mention in this blog. Do you have any advice when it comes to hospital etiquette for staff members? Share it with us in the comments below!