At this time, we are experiencing an international pandemic and we have gone through, against our wills, two or three months of abnormal experiences wherein we have been locked down and required to quarantine and socially distance ourselves from everyone we know except our immediate household family.
The resultant anxiety and nervousness that most people are experiencing now when being in near contact with other human beings is influencing our subliminal trust factors. In the grocery stores where most people do have to expose themselves to other contact, some folks actually jump out of the way or get angry if anyone comes within six feet of them. This is not a bad thing or a wrong thing, it is just an erosion of our subliminal trust factor in dealing with others.
On the other side of things, we now look to the eyes that are showing over the mask to see whether the person is smiling, making a joke, or being appreciative. This you could also call abnormal because it too will come to pass when we no longer have to wear masks.
In a practice where your patients are coming back after a long period of being quarantined, you may find them to be a little nervous about how it’s “all going to be.” They may wonder how safe it will be. After all, many of the safety precautions you are taking on their behalf are invisible to them. And so they will have to be inspired to have faith in you and your team.
Relationships are built on trust and the pandemic and social distancing may have affected many people’s ultimate trust of each other. This then is something you will need to rebuild and strengthen with each of your patients.
Right from the first phone call to book the appointment for the patient, the trust factor can begin to be rebuilt. Your staff will explain the new safety measures that they will be pleased to experience when they come in. When the patient arrives and is warmly greeted, it strengthens some more. Keeping things very light and fun is also very helpful as it pulls everyone up out of the band of anxiety and fear.
Each of the staff from front to back have a role in making the patient calm and trustful again. Being sincerely interested in the patient and asking them what they have gone through themselves during the pandemic can break the ice and open the communication lines again.
Your patients may be experiencing financial hardships and it may be difficult for them to talk to you about it. Therefore, it is very important to be very interested in them and urge them to speak freely. Ultimately, they know they need the service that you are offering, but they may have to overcome some barriers to choose to go ahead with your recommendations. The bottom line on this is whether the patient sees the value enough to make it a priority to go ahead despite other needs.
The kindness and respect you show each patient will strengthen the trust factor. A lifelong relationship between you and your patient is the ultimate reward for both of you!