A first patient consultation may be the only opportunity to convey the trust, care, and commitment needed to move the relationship forward
For injury doctors especially, a first patient consultation is immensely important. Chiropractors, MDs and other health care professionals offer invaluable services and treatments, but the reality is that 50% of spinal ligament injury sufferers will never fully recover.
It’d be an understatement to say that the stakes are high for these persons and others afflicted with injuries. In a very real sense, by deciding upon a practice, booking an appointment, and honoring the date, they’re placing their dreams, futures, and lives in the hands of injury doctors.
Consequently, while it’s easy for injury doctors to view and treat initial consultations merely as components of a busy schedule, they must avoid doing so if they wish to optimize the success of their practices and provide stellar treatments to patients as they face one of life’s toughest battles.
Patient consultation: conveying trust, care, and commitment
When it comes to first patient consultation appointments, failing to convey trust, care, and commitment to the patient will compromise the professional relationship and the efficacy of treatment.
It’s imperative that injury doctors demonstrate their dedication to the patient through the entirety of this initial visit (most care recipients will assume its presence after the fact). That means giving undivided attention to his or her words, body language, and unique needs, which will enhance the doctor’s understanding and emphasize that the sufferer’s wellbeing is a priority.
Paperwork and other obligations — however pressing — must temporarily be placed on the backburner.
The advantages of this point are multifaceted, in that patients will become more likely to adhere to doctors’ treatment recommendations, express concerns, and openly relay the progress they’re making against their injuries.
During a first patient consultation, attentiveness helps injury doctors lay the foundation for comprehensive relief and an expedient recovery process, whereas inattentiveness, predictably, has the opposite effect.
Neglecting to note symptoms, pre-existing conditions
Injury doctors must note and grasp each symptom and pre-existing condition that new patients display and disclose, respectively.
Documenting these symptoms and conditions requires just minutes but neglecting to do so will have a far-reaching impact on the patient-doctor relationship and, in turn, the recovery journey. Patients recognize when doctors are personally invested in their recovery, and this knowledge will foster trust in and compliance with treatment recommendations.
More concretely, injury professionals can better tailor treatment when equipped with a thorough understanding of the patient and his or her underlying conditions. An active, physically fit 26-year-old’s path to recovery will resemble that of an obese middle-aged individual only in the most basic sense.
Additionally, charting ailments and symptoms during initial appointments will make it easier — and possible — to gauge improvements. Injury recovery is a long game, but that doesn’t mean patients won’t experience incremental improvements.
Informed doctors can provide support to still-suffering patients by reminding them of the progress that they’ve made — of the symptoms they’ve already overcome.
Overlooking self-care history, ligament damage
Analyzing a patient’s self-care history and ligament damage during a first patient consultation grants injury doctors an intimate look at the injury (or injuries) at hand and makes clear to sufferers that they are a priority.
During a patient consultation, it’s easy for an injury doctor to ask the patient about his or her prior care (especially efforts to repair the damage from home) in addition to informing the patient that a couple of basic examinations will serve to better identify the location and the extent of any injuries they’re suffering from.
Similarly, injury experts would be wise to explain the essence of ligament damage — a topic that is undoubtedly second nature to them but likely new to the patient — and describe the role that stress X-rays play in pinpointing it.
Patients’ care — and their impressions of the care — will improve dramatically as a result of these simple questions and examinations.
Reverse the role
The typical injury-recovery process is fraught with challenges, frustration, and adversity. Accordingly, injury doctors must illustrate their duty and dedication to patients by treating them as they would like to be treated if the roles were reversed.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that a first patient consultation affects each of the appointments that come after as well as the recovery process itself. Whether this is positive or negative depends upon the behaviors, attitude, and initiative exhibited by the injury doctor.