Being professional does not mean acting aloof or rigid. This simply means that
you abide by certain obligations, which are inherent in your job. Some of these
obligations are given below.
a. Set aside your needs for the needs of your patient. This is an unequal
relationship; it is not reciprocal, as in a social relationship in which you try to do things
for each other on a relatively equal basis. The patient's needs come first.
b. Have an open, nonjudgmental attitude toward your patients. Unlike a social
relationship in which you may choose to reject a person or a person's ideas, you must
be completely accepting of your patient's thoughts and feelings.
c. Avoid taking advantage of your position. Your role as a health care provider
may, in many ways, be perceived as one of authority or superiority over your patients.
As a professional, you will never abuse that power.
d. Consider information regarding a patient's medical history, diagnosis,
treatment, and prescribed medications to be strictly confidential. This information
should be available only to those who have an authorized need to know.
1-10. DEVELOPING A THERAPEUTIC BEDSIDE MANNER
There are many negative aspects of illness over which you, as a health care
provider, have no control. You can, however, help to make the experience more
tolerable and decrease recovery time by developing a therapeutic "bedside manner."
Unfortunately, the best intentions are often lost among crowded conditions, long hours,
and busy schedules. But the time seems well spent when you consider the impact
interpersonal relations have on the healing process. Therapeutic interpersonal relations
between the patient and the health care providers lead to greater patient satisfaction. A
satisfied patient will have a more positive outlook, will pay more attention to what
medical and nursing personnel tell him, will believe what they tell him, and will become
more involved in his own health, treatment, and care. Consider the following points in
developing/improving your "bedside manner."
a. First of all, a smile and a warm greeting can work wonders for lifting spirits.
b. Speak in a pleasant tone and look the patient in the eyes during
c. Beware of the importance of common courtesy. Be polite, even if the patient
is not. Remember, he is experiencing a lot of stress and may not be on his best
behavior. But the worst behavior is often an indication of the greatest need for