How many times have you had patients come to your office after who suffer from multiple health issues: a recent surgical procedure, or surviving chemotherapy only to be burdened with one, or all, of the following:
- Pain that us unmanageable, despite medications.
- Loss of normal mobility, and inability to do even basic daily functions
- Disability, as well as the financial and emotional strain that results.
You cannot only feel their pain, you can feel their frustration.
They’ve been through so much already, they just don’t want to face any more medical problems.
They feel like they’re at the end of their rope.
So, what do you do?
How do you help these patients the most? Where do you the clinician actually begin?
First Things First – Talk About the Big Picture
After doing a very thorough patient intake, but prior to treatment, you must honestly discuss a specific, defined outcome with both the patient and, if it’s their choice, their family. Make sure they understand what is and is not possible. Explain all the components of a proposed treatment plan. Determine what the patient wants to accomplish and design your treatment protocol by taking the patient’s intent into account.
But, be alert!
If you start talking about adding exercise and diet and their eyes glaze over or they start looking around the treatment room at anything but you, you can be pretty sure you have not effectively communicated why these are crucial. Maybe you’re looking at a potentially non-compliant patient. Make sure they’re as dedicated to their outcome as you before you ever talk finances or begin care.
Stay tuned…next time we’ll talk about the next area you need to address when treating patients with multiple health issues
I wish you the best along your journeys!
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Have a great day!