If you are a chiropractor, then you already know that many patients will come to see you as an alternative to the more established physicians of mainline medicine. Perhaps it is the fact that mainstream medicine has failed them, or maybe it is a bad doctor-patient relationship that has soured them against physicians in general. On the other hand, maybe it is the fact that as a chiropractor you embody everything that is new, different, and therefore more healthful than simply shots, pills, and hospital stays. Whatever your patient's’ motivation may be, it is imperative that you understand how to build a successful chiropractor-patient relationship.
Here are some tips that will help you to build that relationship which will be the foundation of healing for your patients:
When patients come to see you, they do not usually come simply for a check up but instead they will have some bona fide complaints. Considering that sometimes it is hard for your patients to find the words needed to express their ailments, it is important that you listen intently to what they are saying, and document every twinge, hurt, or odd feeling. More often than not you will find amazing connections between a heart skipping a beat now and then and a disc that is slipping forward.
Do not only rely on your patient’s complaints to assess their overall health but instead also use your gentle touch to check out the body for a complete assessment. Oftentimes a patient will have an ailment that has gone on for so long that they have learned to live with it and very often will not think to mention. At this point it is up to you to find this ailment and to add it to your overall assessment and diagnosis.
Employ medical imaging and other tests as an addition to your diagnostic tools, and thus make sure that you truly have a good understanding of the patient’s overall health.
Work together with other health care providers your patient is seeing to ensure that she or he gets the best care possible. While many a chiropractor is proud of being an alternative health practitioner, it is important to note that this does not put you above or below another medical professional. Chiropractors who forget that they are a member of a health team will do their patients a disservice and as such fail to build a beneficial chiropractor-patient relationship.
Make your patient part of her or his case management. This means that your patient shares your goals, understands them, agrees with the impact they will have on her or his overall health, and is committed to following your recommendations. You will find that very often patients are unaccustomed to being thusly involved in their own care, and it is an empowering experience for any individual, yet at the same time it will take a bit of training on your part to ensure that the patient will learn how to take responsibility for an improved health.