Being in the field of healthcare and medicine can be incredibly trying. It takes a specific type of person to be able to work in the healthcare industry. This is one of those industries that is always changing, evolving to the next iteration under the weight of new discoveries and further exploration. And then there is the building and maintaining of client relationships and trust. Medicine is one of the few fields where a patient’s trust is literally life-altering, and as such it is incredibly important to understand that and to do everything possible to ensure that clients genuinely feel respected and valued by you. So, what are the three steps to achieving this ideal, and how are they best carried out?
Building doctor-patient trust and confidentiality
It is very important that your patients trust you. While this is an obvious statement to make, what is less clear cut is exactly why this is so phenomenally important. What it really comes down to, is making sure that you create an atmosphere that makes clients feel comfortable. Going to a doctor can be a nerve-racking experience. Regardless of if you are going in for a standard appointment with your GP, or presenting in the emergency room for an allergic reaction to a toy from an adult shop (or anything else in between, for that matter), a medical practice often feels like a daunting place to go. So, ensuring comfort is the best way to build up that foundation for doctor-patient trust and confidentiality. But that is just the start.
Creating a professional relationship built on mutual respect
Yes, you are the doctor. The patient has come to see you for your professional advice. But more than that, patients want to feel respected, as well as to be able to respect the healthcare professional they are speaking with. There is nothing more off-putting than going in for a doctors appointment and being made to feel belittled or disrespected in any way. Patients respect you enough to trust in your advice, so make sure that you give them the same respect back. If you strip away your profession, and the circumstances in which they usually come to meet you, you are the same underneath it all.
Ensuring that you can maintain professionalism and be trustworthy
The most important thing of all is making sure that you can maintain the balance between being professional and being trustworthy. The second that your patient feels like they cannot trust you, they will seek out a different healthcare professional. The same can be said for if they feel you are not the most professional person for the job. It can be difficult to walk the line between maintaining professionalism and ensuring that there is a level of trust between yourself and your client, but it is important that you do the work to ensure you can successfully manage it. Without that foundation, the building blocks can fall apart easily.