Seven Ways to Build Immediate Rapport With Staff at the Doctor's Office
Most people don't look forward to going to the doctor's office, but there are things you can do to make your trip more enjoyable. One of the best ways to make your visit more enjoyable is to work on building a rapport with everyone in the office the minute you walk in the door.
Not only does building a rapport with the staff at the doctor's office make your trip more enjoyable, it makes it more enjoyable for the staff to treat you too!
Unfortunately, building a rapport isn't always easy because you don't usually spend a lot of time in the office at your appointment. Make the most of the time you do have by using these tips to build more meaningful relationships with everyone in the doctor's office.
Understand What Nurses Do
Chances are, you will interact with at least one nurse during your visit. Depending on the nature of your appointment, you may see multiple nurses. Although most nurses try their best to be friendly, many of them aren't as friendly as you might like. Instead of getting upset and behaving in ways that make your appointment even more uncomfortable than it already is, it's helpful to understand exactly what nurses do.
Nurses have many responsibilities besides meeting with patients. They are often required to multitask, and many nurses work long or irregular hours. Workplace hazards that can result in accidents requiring a nurse to know how to apply for long-term disability insurance are also sometimes on their mind, especially in the age of COVID-19.
When you take the time to understand a nurse's job a little better, you'll have more compassion and your interactions will naturally be more enjoyable.
Be Prepared to Answer Common Questions
There are things the staff behind the front desk is going to ask you when you arrive. Do them a favor and prepare for your appointment by having the answers to these questions handy.
You'll want to make sure you have your driver's license and insurance card so the secretary behind the desk can make copies. Know what pharmacy you want to use if you require a prescription, and make sure you can pay for your appointment if a copay is required. The office staff will be thankful that you're prepared!
Know Your Health History and Give It to Your Doctor
Compiling your family tree and health history can be surprisingly difficult. It requires you to speak to multiple family members, some of whom may feel uncomfortable discussing these kinds of details. However, it's important to gather as much information as you can so you can bring it to your doctor.
For each person in your family tree, you'll want to gather information like:
Date of birth
Mental health conditions
Ages when conditions were diagnosed
Age of death
Knowing this information and sharing it with your doctor enables them to provide you with more effective medical care.
Write Down Any Questions You Want to Ask
Going to the doctor's office can be a little scary, overwhelming, and uncomfortable. You aren't alone if you try and get through your appointment as fast as possible, but it's important to be an active participant. That means knowing what kinds of questions you should ask your doctor and writing them down so you don't forget while you're at your appointment.
For example, you may want to ask about what preventative care services you should be getting according to your age, or what conditions you should be on the lookout for according to your family history.
Questions regarding medication are important to ask too. Don't be afraid to ask why they are prescribing certain medications, and if there are any natural alternatives to what they're prescribing.
Schedule Appointments With the Same Doctor
Seeing new faces every time you go to the doctor's office can be stressful. You can make things a little better by scheduling appointments with the same doctor whenever possible.
That means taking the time to find a family doctor and scheduling annual appointments. If you become sick or injured, you can call the office first before going to a walk-in clinic or emergency room. They may recommend scheduling an appointment so you can meet with your regular doctor instead of meeting with someone new.
Be Aware of Your Health and Act Accordingly
There are many routine reasons why you might find yourself at the doctor's office, but many times, you're seeing a doctor because you don't feel well. The staff in the building knows how to protect themselves from illness, but they will definitely appreciate it if you are aware of your health and act accordingly.
Protecting yourself and others in the office from getting sick includes doing things like:
Wash or sanitize your hands as soon as you walk into the office
Touch your face as little as possible
Wear a mask if you think you have a contagious condition
Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow
You can also consider scheduling a virtual appointment. Staff will appreciate that you avoided coming into the office if you have an illness that could be transmittable!
No matter who you are interacting with in the doctor's office, it really helps to smile. A simple smile has many powers that include putting others at ease, making you feel better, and it can make people be kinder to you.
It's also possible that you'll turn someone else's day around. Health professionals spend much of their day dealing with cranky, stressed, and sick patients. Dealing with a patient who smiles during their appointment may put them in a better mood for the rest of the day!
Just because you don't want to go to the doctor's office doesn't mean you can't make the most of your time there! With these tips, you can build a positive rapport with everyone you interact with at your appointment, making both your day and their day a little brighter.