Thanks to the Internet and Dr. Google, patients are more scared of doctors and hospitals than ever. This fear can have devastating effects because it means that what likely started out as an easily treatable malady could become a more serious medical issue. Thus, when the patient finally does visit a doctor, they are given the news that the treatment required will be extensive and costly, ultimately reaffirming the patient’s hesitation for visiting the doctor in the first place.
What can reverse this trend? The answer is simple: education. The best doctors aren’t just great at diagnosing and treating ailments, but they are also excellent at educating their patients in regards to prevention and treatment. Here are a few tips that all doctors should follow:
Caring for Injuries at Home
Whether you want to admit it or not, people are going to first attempt to treat themselves at home before they even think about visiting your office. So why not make sure they know how to self-treat safely? For example, when a patient comes into the emergency room with an infected laceration that should have been sutured instead of bandaged, don’t lecture the patient about delaying treatment or fault them for trying at-home remedies first.
Instead teach them how to tell the difference between a cut that needs a bandage and a cut that needs stitches. Make sure they have the right first aid supplies (send them home with a “goody bag” if you have to) for treating wounds and basic injuries. Show the patient, and their primary caregiver if they have one, how to properly bandage a wound, how to prevent it from getting infected, and how to change the dressings to ensure a speedy recovery.
Talk Through Diagnoses
Perhaps the most frustrating thing to experience as a patient is to be told “you have [insert medical ailment here]” and then become inundated with MD level jargon that goes over their head, or worse, be left with no explanation as to what the ailment is and how to effectively treat it.
K.I.S.S – Keep It Short and Simple: The patient doesn’t need to know the Latin name [Read more…]