chair side mannerHaving an excellent chair-side manner is an essential aspect of any medical profession. It involves how healthcare professionals interact with their patients to create a positive and comfortable atmosphere during treatment. A compassionate and friendly approach helps ease patient anxiety and improve treatment outcomes. Chair-side manners play a significant role in establishing effective doctor-patient relationships.

Why Your Chair Side Manner Matters

Patients are more likely to trust and feel satisfied with healthcare providers who demonstrate the following:

  • Empathy
  • Active listening skills
  • Clear communication.

In contrast, a poor bedside manner can leave patients feeling dissatisfied and even traumatized by their experience. This could lead them to switch providers or avoid necessary medical care in the future.

Building Patient Trust

Patients come to healthcare providers for treatment, reassurance, and comfort. A suitable chair-side manner can help patients feel at ease and build trust with their providers. This, in turn, can lead to better communication, more accurate diagnoses, and increased patient satisfaction.

How to Build Patient Trust

  1. Effective Communication- Healthcare providers who take the time to listen to their patient’s concerns and explain their diagnoses in plain language are more likely to earn their patients’ trust than those who don’t.
  2. Show Empathy– Your patients want to be heard and treated like individuals. No two cases are the same. Therefore patients with their issues need to be addressed with empathy and understanding.
  3. Positive Environment– A friendly smile, personalized attention, and an overall caring demeanor can go a long way toward easing anxiety and building rapport between provider and patient.

Pro Tip: Meet your patients where they are. No two patients are alike. Some have only a vague understanding, while others have a more in-depth knowledge base. Listen to your patients. Ask questions. You will better understand what your patient knows and what they are asking, rather than saying the same thing every time.

Communicate with Empathy

Patients want to feel heard, understood, and cared for during dental appointments. Dentists who exhibit empathy and communicate clearly with their patients build trust and establish a positive rapport. This can lead to higher patient satisfaction rates and better treatment outcomes.

  1. Active Listening– Dentists who actively listen to their patient’s concerns and questions demonstrate that they value their input and are committed to addressing their needs. This can go a long way in easing anxiety or fear that the patient may be experiencing.
  2. Clear communication– Use language that patients can understand rather than medical jargon that may confuse them. They should also explain procedures in detail, including potential risks or benefits, so that patients can make informed decisions about their oral health care.

Studies show that patients who feel comfortable during medical or dental treatments have better treatment outcomes.

Positive Patient Outcomes

Excellent chair side manner:

  • Alleviates patient anxiety
  • Leads to improved cooperation
  • Patients are more likely to follow aftercare instructions

Overall, taking the time to develop an excellent chair-side manner can be beneficial for both patients and healthcare providers. By fostering trust and creating a positive treatment experience, healthcare professionals can improve their patient’s overall quality of life.

A patient’s decision to follow through with treatment plans dramatically depends on their relationship with their healthcare provider.


Positive Reviews and Referrals

Positive reviews and referrals are crucial for any healthcare professional. Patients are more likely to visit a practitioner who has a good reputation in the community, and online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations play a significant role in building that reputation. This is why your chair-side manner matters so much. Patients don’t just evaluate you on your technical skills or medical knowledge; they also judge you based on how well you interact with them.

Open Communication

Improving communication and understanding is essential to developing an excellent chair-side manner. As a dental practitioner, you should create an environment where your patients feel comfortable expressing their concerns. This involves actively listening to them and asking open-ended questions that allow you to gain deeper insights into their needs. You can also use visual aids such as diagrams or animations to help explain complex procedures in simpler terms.

Effective communication is about what you say and how you say it. This includes;

  • Tone of voice
  • Body language
  • Non-verbal cues

Your chair-side manner is more important than you may think. Building solid relationships with your patients can lead to increased trust and loyalty, resulting in better treatment outcomes and more successful practice. Patients are more likely to return for future appointments if they feel comfortable and at ease during their visits.

Ultimately, building solid relationships with patients is beneficial for their oral health and the success of your practice. Happy patients are more likely to refer friends and family members and leave positive reviews online – helping you attract new business while retaining existing ones.

Happy employees are more likely to foster positive relationships with staff and patients. Learn more about The Important of Work-Life Balance. 


About the Author Brittney McDowell

I have worked in a variety of roles within marketing, recruitment, and communications over the last 15 years. Supporting organizations with their recruitment and branding strategy is truly my passion. There is nothing more rewarding than supporting those who prioritize and deeply value their teams and employer brand.

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