PAST EDITOR'S MESSAGE | SUMMER 2005
Camille Mayorga, DRT
Sometimes we have difficult-to-work-with patients, but it doesn't have to be. At our x-ray lab we make it a challenge for our team to change the attitude of a cranky patient. Instead of thinking, "Oh no, we got a tough one", we make an effort to soften them, and have them leaving our office feeling satisfied that the expenses incurred were justified and necessary. It does not always happen, but 90% of the time we are successful. This type of patient comes in with an attitude and they usually get it thrown right back at them. It is a cycle. We try to break that cycle. Most of the time this type of person just needs some extra TLC.
When I have a patient that is reluctant to do the procedures and says things like "I don't know why I need these x-rays, etc." I have a technique that works well for me. I stop and gently ask the patient if they need more time to think about if they want to have the procedures done. I let them know that I feel uncomfortable doing the work-up if they have reservations. Perhaps they have some questions they want to ask their referring doctor and need to reschedule. This must be done kindly and genuinely. I have never had a patient decide not to proceed. Then after they have made the decision that they do want the x-rays, I feel I am back in control and the patient is then very compliant. They leave our office assured that we took excellent care of them.