Physicians: Don't Forget Common Courtesy in Your Medical Practice

August 26, 2014

Over the years, I have found that a common problem in healthcare teams is not the content of the communication shared with patients and staff but how it is presented.

Over the years, I have found that a common problem in healthcare teams is not the content of the communication shared with patients and staff but how it is presented.  No one is too educated or too highly paid to practice common courtesy.

Some of the most powerful words in the English language are please, thank you, and you’re welcome. Unfortunately in our busy lives and high stress jobs, we often forget these powerful words and how they can help us. 

PLEASE, read this.
"Please" sounds nicer than "do this."   It automatically puts staff and patients in a mental state of wanting to help.

Please, have a seat on the table.  Please, draw blood work in room 206.  Please, get me the hospital notes for the patient in room 205.  Please, get off your butt and help.  See, even that last example, sounded nicer with the please before it.

THANK YOU for reading the last paragraph.
I didn’t have to say thank you because I said please.  Right? Wrong. Please should always be followed by a thank you.  If people complete what you asked them, cement that bond by saying, "thank you." Thank you, for calling the pharmacy.  Thank you, for helping Mrs. Smith. 

People may not remember the details of what you asked them to do but they will always remember whether you said please and thank you.

Never forget to thank patients and staff when they say nice things about you.  One of the greatest honors in healthcare is the trust that our patients put in our hands.  

YOU’RE WELCOME
Did part of your brain want to say, "You’re welcome" when you read, "thank you"? If this is not a reflex in your brain yet, make it!  You’re welcome tells the person thanking you that you appreciate his kindness and were happy to help. 

PLEASE, remember these words.

THANK YOU, for your time.

YOU’RE WELCOME, if this was helpful to you and your practice.