The Importance of a Good Bedside Manner

December 20, 2013 General, Health Care 0 Comments

The Importance of a Good Bedside Manner All too often healthcare professionals neglect interpersonal skills in favor of clinical ones. It is easy to forget that a good bedside manner is one of the main tools for diagnosis. As a physician, you should be able to read your patients’ body language and master your own in order to put those you treat at ease. You should also know how to listen and communicate effectively so that you can fully understand the patient’s condition. These skills are collectively referred to as "bedside manner."

The Value of a Good Bedside Manner

Patients are more likely to open up and share with healthcare professionals who have a good bedside manner. Patients may find it awkward to discuss certain ailments with a stranger. A good bedside manner can help you to get the information you need to administer effective care. 

Elements of Good Bedside Manner


  • Give Them Your Full Attention
    Answering calls or filling out forms while a patient relays highly personal information sends the wrong message and can damage your relationship with them. It is better to ask them to wait while you take care of distractions so that you can focus on their problem.
  • Provide the Patient with Privacy
    A private environment allows them to feel comfortable when discussing health-related matters. It is important for you to remember that unlike doctors, most patients do not discuss health issues on a daily basis, so doing so with you may not be easy.
  • Pay Attention to Body Language
    Fidgeting or failure to make eye contact can be an indicator that the patient is having trouble bringing up a particular subject. By adjusting your demeanor, you may be able to calm them and give them the confidence to speak openly.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Health Medication points to interpersonal and communication skills as being among the six most important areas of competence for a healthcare professional. Do your best to have calm and positive demeanor at all times, regardless of your patient's attitude.


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