As a medical professional, you may be focused on providing each of your patients with stellar care and an accurate, quick diagnosis when possible. Conveying a diagnosis can be stressful, and this is especially true if the diagnosis involves a serious or incurable condition. Remaining professional with your valued patients at all times is important, and these tips can help you to convey the diagnoses to each of your patients with the highest level of professionalism.
Fully Confirm Your Diagnosis Before Communicating It
Your patients can easily feel stressed and uneasy when they receive bad news in the form of a medical diagnosis, and their stress may be even more significant if they are told that they could possibly have a serious condition and additional tests are needed to confirm it. In a sense, they are left in limbo to think of a worst-case scenario. It may be more professional and easier on your patients to simply wait until you have an accurate diagnosis before providing them with any specific information.
Be Compassionate and Respectful
When a diagnosis is severe, your patients may understandably be upset. For any type of diagnosis, they may have numerous questions and concerns that you will need to address. At all times, show your patients compassion and respect, and give them ample attention until their questions and concerns have been fully addressed.
Avoid Cliffhangers that Could Create Stress
Some medical professional beat around the bush for several long minutes before stating the diagnosis and treatment options. During this team, your patients could easily assume the worst and feel increased anxiety and stress. Rather than leave them with a cliffhanger while you venture off on a side topic, it is best to provide them with the diagnosis upfront and the additional details after the diagnosis has been explained.
Understand the Risks of Misdiagnosis
Doctors can easily make mistakes from time to time, and the unfortunate reality is that a misdiagnosis can create a serious malpractice issue for you. When in doubt, confirm your findings by consulting with another physician. You can always pursue additional testing for confirmation as well.
Providing serious diagnoses to your patients may be one of the more emotionally challenging aspects of your position. You can see that there are numerous steps that you can take to convey a diagnosis professionally. By keeping these tips in mind, you may be able to more easily navigate through this challenging aspect of your position and potentially keep misdiagnosis legal issues at bay.