A good patient-doctor relationship is important for any health care professional. For pediatricians, however, it’s important to establish a good relationship not only with your patients, but also with their parents or guardians. Confidence, communication, and a genuine interest in your patients’ lives can all help you gain their trust and treat them better. Here are four ways pediatricians can build rapport with families.
Great First Impression
The first time you greet your patient and their parents is an important moment in your relationship with the patient. Greet the child first—after all, it’s their doctor’s appointment. Do your best to be a positive, calming presence. You may have to adjust your behavior based on how the child reacts. Timid children will react differently than those who are more comfortable with strangers. Either way, prioritize your patient while communicating with their parents so that everyone feels welcome in your office.
Confidence is key. When you’re calm and assured, your patient will pick up on it and be more comfortable. By easing their fears and discomfort, you make the appointment that much easier to bear. Plus, a calm child means calm parents, which makes the process easier for everyone involved.
Communication is an extremely important aspect of health care. This is especially true when you’re communicating with both your patient and their family. Always give the patient your full attention. They’re your priority, but you should always listen to their parents’ concerns as well—especially if the child is too young or timid to communicate with you. If everyone in the room feels comfortable voicing their thoughts, every interaction you have in the future will be smoother and more successful.
Kid at Heart
One of the best ways pediatricians can build rapport with families is by building a sincere relationship with the child. Ask them questions about their favorite cartoon or what they do in their free time. Don’t be afraid to break out the Play-Doh or coloring sheets to make a nervous child more comfortable. Hand over your stethoscope for a minute so that they can see for themselves how it works. By being someone a kid can relate to, you show the child and their parents that you genuinely care about their entire well-being.