How does your bedside manner measure up? Are you a caring and compassionate person who takes the time to do a good job, or are you just going through the motions without much thought? The answer might not seem important at first glance, but it is essential for your patients. Your bedside manner affects how they feel about their experience with your practice. It can even impact whether or not they choose to come back again in the future. This article will discuss five tips that will help improve your bedside manner and make sure that more of your patients want to come back for more visits.

1) Smile

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it is often the simplest thing that makes the most significant difference. A smile can brighten someone’s day and put them in a good mood. It also conveys warmth and friendliness, important qualities for a healthcare provider. If you feel tense or stressed, take a deep breath and smile. It will help you to relax and put your patients at ease.

2) Ask Questions

If you need to ask your patients questions, do it. Don’t assume that they want the same thing every time or that they know what is best for them just because they came to see you in the first place. Patients often have many concerns and are willing to share those if given half a chance. If someone mentions an issue or symptom, ask them how they feel about it. If you are the first healthcare provider who has requested your patient this question, they will be grateful to have someone listen and help them manage their condition finally.

3) Be Cautious

Let’s face it; we are all human. We make mistakes, and not everyone will understand or accept that everyone has bad days now and then. If you have already done your best, but something went wrong anyway, apologize. Admitting a mistake shows maturity and usually gets people on your side right away. You can’t change what happened, but you can make it better.

4) Be Patient

Some patients are just naturally more demanding or high-maintenance than others. It is important to remember that everyone is different, and you can’t please everyone all of the time. If a patient is pushing your buttons, take a step back and try to calm down. You will be better able to deal with the situation if you aren’t so frustrated.

5) Be Positive

Just because it is your job to help people does not mean that you have to talk about disease and injury all of the time. If someone has come in for an appointment, they probably want a moment or two away from their condition just like anyone else would. Try talking with them about something unrelated – maybe even offer some advice on their favorite team or the latest movie. Patients will appreciate your upbeat attitude, making them more likely to come back in the future.