No matter what office (or practice) you work in you will come into contact with impatient patients. Regardless of why the patient is impatient, your job is to handle them with respect and professionalism. So the next time you find yourself in the throws with another impatient patient, here are three guiding rules.
Distance yourself from the situation
Getting mad or frustrated is definitely easier. However, your job is to remain calm and resolve the situation. Not contribute to it. Distance yourself both emotionally, and if necessary, physically. Step away for a few seconds to calm down if you need to. When you are ready, have a calm conversation with the patient and ask them to work with you to find a solution to the problem.
Peace with impatient patients
Solving this one problem may not actually be the big picture. Peace in the office – that’s the big picture! What can you do to bring the environment back to a peaceful and calming environment? This includes not spending the rest of the day talking about the incident. Your attitude sets the tone for your patients. If you bring an attitude from a past conflict into the rest of your day, don’t expect your day to get much better.
Learn from the situation
Whether you directly contributed to the conflict or not, learn from it. Every moment is an opportunity to learn from. This encounter will prepare you to handle conflicts in the future more effectively. You will be experienced and possibly stop a situation from escalating because now you know how to cut it off at the pass. Don’t let your frustration force you to miss an opportunity to grow.
If you want to find out from your patients how else to better serve them, send them a survey! Our automated appointment reminders can also be used to communicate with patients more effectively and improve their experience with your office. Sign up for our free trial now to give it a try!