The Importance Of Good Bedside Manner

Good bedside manner is the one aspect of being a health care practitioner that is often overlooked. However, the way you treat your patients can often be the deciding factor of a successful outcome for your patient. Here we will discuss the basics of good bedside manner and a few things you can do to help you in your interactions with your patients. For more information on the latest healthcare news and scientific findings, visit Review Critic.

What Is Bedside Manner?

This may seem like an obvious answer, however, we feel that it is important to look at the basic definition of bedside manner before we go any further. According to the Cambridge dictionary, “bedside manner is the way in which a doctor treats people who are ill, especially showing kind, friendly, and understanding behavior”. We feel that this definition is the key to understanding how you, as a healthcare practitioner, should approach your patients. The very definition of this phrase indicates kindness and empathy. However, far too many doctors and nurses have a reputation for having a poor bedside manner.

Why Is Good Bedside Manner So Important?

According to a recent research study, a good provider-patient relationship has numerous positive impacts on the patient. This research study found that health care practitioners who have undergone relationship-focused training have a significant impact on the health outcome of patients with obesity, diabetes, asthma, or osteoarthritis. It has been shown that patients who have health care practitioners who focus on their relationship are able to lose weight effectively, have lower blood pressure, blood sugar levels and lipid levels. Additionally, these patients are able to deal with pain more effectively. However, a good bedside manner is not only vital for the well-being of the patient. Good bedside manner may also improve the morale of the staff involved with patient care. Another study by Purdue University has found that health care practitioners who practice good bedside manner report feeling significantly more satisfied and content with their work. It is also important to remember that it is not only the bedside manner of doctors and nurses that have an impact on the patient. Even the manner in which housekeeping approaches the patient has an impact on the patient’s overall experience.

What Are The Effects Of Poor Bedside Manner?

To understand how important good bedside manner is, it is crucial to look at the effects of poor bedside manner on the patient. A doctor or nurse with poor bedside manners will be less likely to pick up symptoms that are mentioned by the patient. Additionally, the patient of a doctor with poor bedside manner will feel ignored and their recuperation process will be stunted. There may even be physical risks associated with poor bedside manners. Studies have shown that patients are more likely to report that they still feel ill after being discharged from the hospital when they are unsatisfied with the level of service they received from their healthcare practitioner.

How Do You Improve Your Bedside Manner?

  • Introduce yourself: When you are dealing with an emergency the last thing you want to do is introduce yourself. However, a simple introduction can do wonders to set your patient at ease. Certain studies have also found that patients find it very reassuring to see photos of the healthcare practitioners posted somewhere with their names.
  • Explain Your Role: if you are going to be caring for a patient over an extended period, it is vital that you clearly describe your role, including your responsibilities involving follow-up care. Doctors or nurses who only come in for consultations on specific issues should also express this to the patient.
  • Be Conscious Of Your Body Language: Be careful to maintain eye contact, sit up straight and use open body language when talking with a patient. Avoid defensive posture such as crossing your arms, fidgeting with your pen or stethoscope, or repeatedly tapping your fingers. This will help your patient feel comfortable with you.
  • Ask Open-Ended Questions: Avoid asking your patients yes or no questions. Open-ended questions create an opportunity to have a discussion with your patient. This way they will feel happier, as if you understand, and care.


By Robbie Agar

Sacramento native Robbie Agar is an English major at Cal Poly, SLO and has been in the EDM scene since attending the inaugural SnowGlobe music festival in South Lake Tahoe in 2011. Some of his favorite artists are Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Zomboy, Tchami, and GRiZ just to name a few. He’s stoked on combining his passion for electronic music and writing for the blog and states, “Discovery augments creativity; that’s why I’m here.”