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Good Bedside Manners Make a Difference

Good Bedside Manners Make a Difference

Megan Malugani | Monster Contributing Writer

With health care employers increasingly measuring patient satisfaction levels and rewarding their employees for providing high-quality customer service, health professionals are realizing a good bedside manner is more important than ever. Good bedside manners not only improve interactions with patients, but also advance health professionals’ careers. Evidence suggests those who have strong relationships with their patients are less likely to get sued, and may be more likely to move up the professional ranks.

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Physicians who communicate well are less likely to be sued for malpractice than poor communicators, says Dr. Greg Schneider, assistant professor of family practice and community medicine at UT Southwestern Medical School at Dallas. “There is a clear association between rapport with patients and incidence of lawsuits,” Schneider says. In addition, Schneider has observed situations where intuitive physicians who have the ability to connect with patients thrive in a group medical practice, while less-personable physicians flounder.

In hospital settings, health professionals who effectively relate to patients and families are also rewarded. At Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, employees’ performance appraisals include an evaluation of soft skills like respect, courtesy, listening and anticipating patients’ needs. The hospital offers skill-building opportunities for nurses and other employees on topics such as how to keep families best informed of their loved ones’ conditions.

“I think there has been a much stronger emphasis on the service aspect of the whole health care experience,” says Maureen Mahoney, a nurse who is the corporate manager for service excellence at Children’s Memorial Hospital. The best way for health workers to learn good bedside manners is by example, she says. “Our leaders need to be good role models for what good bedside manner looks like. You don’t necessarily learn some of this in school, but it really makes a difference for patients and families.”

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    3 months ago


  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 6 years ago


    I do agree with it to have excellent bedside manner will foster heathy relationship with patients and their families.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 6 years ago


    I have worked with physicians who have excellent bedside manner and nurses who were really awful. You cannot generalize. I believe and have seen this bourne out, nurses who are well read and well rounded are able to "break the ice" with the patient faster. If you don't read, then you can't notice what the patient is reading and start a discussion.

  • Img_0116_max50


    about 6 years ago


    Bedside manner is becoming a hot topic in hospitals. I am glad more attention is paid to this area. Nurses are rated so well because of this good manner. Physicians are slowly coming around to this area and changing their ways. I look forward to the day when all health care services provide a climate of caring with excellent bedside manner.

  • 008_max50


    over 6 years ago


    I think bedside manner is almost as important as medically helping the patient. Everyone needs to feel human warmth an caring.

  • Nurse24_max50


    over 6 years ago


    Good bedside manners are very important for nurse/pt relationship.How the pt and family perceives your manner and competency can affect pt care.Pt's and families have to know 1)you care about their well being 2) you are their advocate and 3)You are competent (not particularly in that order :))I have been an R.N. for over 18 yrs and in the medical field over 20,time and experience helps create comfort and rapport, for both the nurse and pt/families.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 6 years ago


    I believe that a good bedside manner is important in developing a good working relationship with your patients.

  • Pic_with_logo_max50


    over 6 years ago


    i greed with this article. having rapport to your patients is really one way in getting your patient's trust, in that, you can do your task properly.

  • Chris_copy_max50


    over 7 years ago


    This article about sums up the importance of bedside manner:)

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 7 years ago


    It is almost sad that management need to offer rewards/incentives to encourage nurses to improve their bedside manner. One of the fundamentals of nursing is good communication, be it spoken, body language etc. On the other hand if people are improving their bedside skills, then I guess overall it is a good thing. For some medical professionals some lessons in basic communication skills can be good, but at the end of the day, if someone genuinely cares, then that will show through.

  • Nana_and_grandkids_minus_noah_max50


    over 7 years ago


    I have worked with many highly intelligent MDs who did not have good bedside manners. This makes all the difference to the patients. My son is currently in a PA program and I have stressed to him the importance of good bedside manners. I do think they can be learned to a certain degree. But they come from compassion and caring. I think most people in the medical profession have these qualities. They can be made more aware of seeing things from the patients point of view. Being a patient yourself is an excellent way to get a different point of view.

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