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Good Bedside Manners Make a Difference

Good Bedside Manners Make a Difference

Megan Malugani | Monster Contributing Writer

Opinions differ on whether bedside manner can be taught. “I think [it] can be taught, to an extent, but it does depend a little bit on the raw material,” Schneider says. “I think, ultimately, if you can get someone to appreciate the importance of compassion and coming to an understanding of a patient, they will be able to develop bedside manner. You can teach them some skills in terms of ways to say things and ways to approach difficult topics.” For example, physicians need to be reminded to eliminate medical jargon and check to make sure patients understand what they’re being told.

Medical students do receive some formal training in bedside manner, Schneider notes. During the first few years of medical school, students conduct practice physicals with volunteer patients or actors. The sessions are videotaped or audio taped, and students receive feedback on their approach to patients. Also, medical students are encouraged to observe practicing clinicians in action.

The bottom line is that health professionals with good bedside manners may be happier in their jobs, experts say. Mahoney, who has been at Children’s Memorial Hospital since 1984, says her most memorable experiences occurred during her days as a bedside nurse. “You really have an ability to impact patients’ and families’ experiences with your organization,” she says. “You can help them heal. Sometimes you feel you don’t have the time to sit and have conversations, but you can do little things. You can touch a child’s hand, make eye contact or acknowledge their emotions in 30 seconds.”

This article first appeared on

DISCUSSION: Got Any Tips for Good Bedside Manners?

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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    3 months ago


  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 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


    about 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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