Medical Receptionists and Patient Interaction
Medical Receptionists often have this natural ability to remain calm, professional, and supportive of their patients’ needs. What if you find those abilities to be more challenging. Basically, you struggle when patients become upset or dissatisfied, or perhaps you become very defensive or taut during interactions with your clientele. There is no perfect way to handle certain situations that arise within your office and at the front desk but you can make a difference with your response, reaction, body language and overall demeanor. One of the most important pieces of advice is to not take it personally. it is often hard to separate yourself and your feelings from your job responsibilities. When you have a passion for what you do, you may find it very unnerving when people are not happy with the service and address you directly about it. On the other hand, if you are not passionate about what you do but work very hard to complete your responsibilities you may be more likely to find yourself on the defense.
How can you keep calm during challenging situations?
Listen-Before you make any assumptions. Giving your undivided attention during a patient interaction can be very indicative of the potential outcome.
Take Notes-This generally applies if the patient has a complaint or an issue that you must share with another colleague such as a manager or physician. You want to make sure they have enough information to take corrective actions. It also improves the communication and reduces the chance of the patient having to repeat the entire situation again. Lastly, it allows your management or provider the ability to resolve any concerns and be prepared in the event they have to speak directly with the patient.
Express Understanding-Always let your clients know that you understand. You may not “know how they feel” but you can understand their point, their concern, or their grievance. Ask how you may help them have a better experience. Let them know that you will have the situation reviewed by management if needed.
Get Assistance-If you have been working in an office long enough you learn when to recognize a patient who is being abusive or rude. You know what acceptable behavior looks like for your practice setting. If you feel threatened or unable to positively respond to a patient it is your responsibility to request help or a witness. Have management step in when needed. Do not provoke an unhappy patient. Remain professional and calm. You will have more success when you are thinking clearly.
Focus on Solutions-Whenever you encounter a problem in the office you should immediately consider ways to solve it. Instead of being engulfed with the negative aspects of the issue or the attitude of parties involved, do your best to offer ways to mitigate, resolve, or be supportive in the situation. This works well with patients and coworkers. When a fire starts you try to put it out, not spread it. It only takes one person to be the change. If you can deal with adverse situations without taking things personal you will have a much more fulfilling career.
Most interactions within the medical office are quite cordial, professional, and without many complications. It is when something does take a turn for the worst or becomes an unusual occurrence that you must be prepared to handle what comes in your direction. “You are the Bridge” and you have the opportunity and deserve to make the best of every day.