Impersonal Medical Care Creates These Problems | #Healthcare #PeopleSkills

Impersonal medical care doesn’t sound very inviting. Moreover, it creates problems that healthcare executives, doctors, nurses, technicians, and medical assistants seem to push aside. Do they think that being impersonal makes them seem more professional? It doesn’t. Do they think it takes too long to treat people with care and respect? It doesn’t. What impersonal medical care does is block and/or break trust. That creates the following problems.

Impersonal Medical Care: Image is Kate Nasser quote "Doctor, if you want me to trust you, give me your attention when I speak."

Impersonal Medical Care Creates Major Problems. Image via

Image via

Impersonal Medical Care Creates Many Problems

Impersonal healthcare widens the gap between you and patients. Why do that? To deliver top notch medical care, you must connect with the patient because …

  • Trust starts with connection. Your titles (doctor, nurse, technician etc…) do not make us trust you.

  • Look at us. Don’t talk with your back to us. With the focus on all conversations going into the computer, many nurses and techs are asking questions of us with their backs to us. Horrible! Turn sideways so you can use the computer and still look at us.

  • We are not grateful just to have medical care. This isn’t like a starving person who would be grateful just to have a meal. Unless we as patients are having a life/death emergency, you must connect first to build our trust.

  • We see your lack of human connection as arrogant, uncaring, and disrespectful. Why would we trust you in that moment?

  • Your impersonal, detached, impatient behavior makes us angry and resentful. Now how are you going to get our cooperation in the medical exam/ procedure and get us to comply with your follow-up advice?

How to Connect Well With Patients

  1. Introduce yourself and your title. You know our names. Tell us who you are! Human interaction should feel equal even if the roles are different.

  2. Don’t come in to the room with an agenda or to convince us of your view, your credentials, or your power. Have a conversation with us and listen to us for individual care.

  3. Be honest with care. Don’t tell us that a procedure will be mildly uncomfortable when it will be painful. And if it’s going to be painful, be prepared to give us options to minimize that pain. Patting our hands as if we are puppy dogs when we are in real pain is not compassionate. When we report pain, do something real to alleviate the pain.

  4. Show us you care vs. protecting your ego. When we give you negative feedback or raise objections verbally, don’t defend yourself. Listen and learn. Every moment with a patient is a gift of knowledge for your medical practice.

  5. Be empathetic, be clear, offer options!

  6. Be empathetic. A facts only approach only works if the patient wants facts only. Patients who do want that will tell you. With everyone else, be empathetic.

  7. Make sure you communicate clearly. Most patients don’t have your depth of medical knowledge. Skip the jargon, explain medical terms, and ask us if we have questions. Otherwise you give impersonal medical care.

  8. Remember we have options. For example, with all the available genetic testing, some doctors push that on patients. Yet some patients do not want genetic testing that highlights they may someday get cancer. Push us too hard and we will walk away from you and your practice.

  9. Impersonal Medical Care – Train Everyone to Prevent It

  10. Train everyone who interacts with patients to have caring people skills. Doctors, nurses, technicians, medical assistants, front desk staff, etc… all need to use caring people skills. Else by the time we speak with you, the doctors, we may already be angry and mistrustful because of how the others have treated us. And if we tell you how your nurses, technicians, etc… have treated us, don’t brush it aside or explain it away. Otherwise we think you approve of their uncaring impersonal medical care.

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Post:
Patient Experience: Needless Risks and Easy Caring Fixes

©2021 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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