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Monday, August 18, 2014

Past the pleasantries, now what?

You have moved past the pleasantries, it is recommended that you now ask the patient specific questions about any concerns or problems they may be experiencing. Empathetic listening at this stage is very important. You want to paraphrase to make sure you understand what the patient is saying, ask clarifying questions to better understand the problem, look them in the eye and nod to show understanding.  

Empathetic listening is the art of hearing what the person is saying and showing that you care through listening. Leaning in towards the patient and nodding your head demonstrates that you care about what they are saying. This is a critical step that is often overlooked by teams because they are busy. However, taking the few extra minutes to do this correctly can increase your relationship with patients.

 Once you and the patient have had the important conversation, relay this information to the doctor in front of the patient. You do not want to isolate the patient at any time. Your dialogue may go something like, “Mrs. Jones is having sensitivity on the left side. She notices it more when she is drinking cold drinks than hot.” Once you have informed the doctor of the situation, ask the patient if there is anything else they want the doctor to know.  

Great communication is not built over night. Practice this simple technique to improve. 
Great communication takes time and great teams. For more information contact Salt.
Salt Dental Practice Management
Article was first published by Tri-County Dental Society

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