Today I have decided to use one of the bonus prompts provided by WEGO Health. The bonus prompt asks us to provide advice for newly qualified doctors and nurses.
I am sure that many of you reading who are also battling chronic illness, have all had negative experiences concerning doctors – those who don’t listen to the symptoms you are experiencing daily, perhaps brushing them off as psychosomatic. Doctors who are constantly checking their watches for the time, due to the limited time they do have with patients. Doctors who just fail to listen to their patients; not listening to their situation or concerns regarding their health.
So, wouldn’t it be great for patients such as ourselves to be able to advise new doctors and nurses on the care that WE would like to experience from them.
So here are my top tips for new doctors/nurses:
- Take an interest in your patients; learn our names and get to know our likes and dislikes, and everything there is to know about our health condition. I think we would all agree that going to the doctor’s office is not a pleasant experience, and we all could think of many different activities that we would rather do than visiting our doctor. So, consequently, it would be great to have a doctor who is warm, friendly and actually has an interest in us; a doctor who doesn’t simply see us as a set of symptoms. To have a doctor who is warm and friendly are important qualities to be able to establish rapport with another person, and if patients are able to build that rapport; then it is that much easier to open up to them and talk about everything that is going on with their health. I know I haven’t been able to get on with certain doctors at my local surgery and as a result I hadn’t fully opened up to them, of all what I was experiencing due to embarrassment and fear of not being believed.
- One of the most important tips that I could give to a newly qualified nurse or doctor is to simply LISTEN to their patients! I have had so many experiences with doctors whom didn’t listen to what I was telling them, and instead just heard what they wanted to hear or simply made their own assumptions. With so many years living with dizziness, many of the doctors that I have seen over the years, after failing to find a cause for it, just assumed that it was a psychological issues – and each time I challenged it by stating that although anxiety is a factor, the dizziness always comes on before the anxiety – but each time I told the doctors, I was simply short down and again it was reinforced that the dizziness was “all im my head”. So, listen to your patients, after all we know our bodies more than anyone else, even someone with a medical degree – and know when there is something wrong. And believe them – and fight for us, fight to get answers, even when all tests come back ‘normal’, don’t give up!
- It can often be intimidating and frightening visiting the doctors’ office. And this is more often the case, when the office is obviously belongs to a doctor – the stereotypical white, sterile room with the obvious medical paraphernalia. So, try to make is as welcoming as possible, a nice pot plant, pretty prints for the walls, and perhaps if possible, paint the walls a neutral colour to make the room appear bright, warm and welcoming.
- Refrain from behaviours such as checking your watch every few minutes as this can be distracting to the patient, and in addition can appear that the doctor does not take an interest in the patient
- Be upfront and tell the patient all of the information regarding tests results and so on – This is for me is one of the most important tips that I could offer a new doctor or nurse. There really is no point, in my opinion, to sugarcoat information – the patient has to know everything there is to know so that they can make an informed decision. I remember that I only found out about part of my condition, the spastic paraparesis after reading about it on a letter that the consultant had sent my G.P. This consultant had never mentioned about this during the appointment I had with him, and if I had not read the letter, then I would not know anything about it. And if I hadn’t know about it, and after searching about the condition online then I would have been very worried and distressed when the condition in my legs started to deteriorate as I would not have had a clue what was going on due to the lack of information!! So please, newly qualified doctors, make sure to tell your patient all there is to know regarding the results of tests run, or even regarding the condition that has been diagnosed so the patient knows exactly what to expect.
And there are my most important tips for newly qualified doctors/nurses to make the experience for patients the best it can be! And to make the patient feel at ease from the first visit. Are there any other tips that you can think of, that you would like new doctors to take on board? Feel free to add them to the comment section.