A Rewarding Responsibility
When patient and tech meet for the first time, it can be an uncomfortable situation for both parties. I always take this as a personal challenge. My main goal above all else it to make the patient feel comfortable. If you can develop a relationship and trust in a short amount of time, everything else seems to fall into place. Of course this comes natural with some patients and with others it takes a strong effort. You know the ones.
My strategy is to find some common ground to take some of the focus off the reason for the visit. Talking about a familiar and comfortable topic helps whether it is love of animals, children, work... and if I must, I will even talk about football. I don't pretend to like it but am happy to listen to their enthusiasm about their favorite team.
I try to care for every patient as if they were my own family member or best friend. Often patients will even confide in me in the way that they would their hair stylist, barber or bartender. I like the environment to feel welcoming, safe and professional to the patient. I let them know that I am there for them and that I am sincerely interested in their safety and comfort. And I address anxiety about sleeping away from home, being monitored, wearing wires, or any other concerns right away and let them know that it is normal.
Developing trust with the patient is one of the most difficult (at times) and important parts of this job. It is always rewarding to earn trust and then have the patient tell me that they had every intention of walking out until I made them feel comfortable.