Why having a good bedside manner is crucial for HCP’s

Unilever Health


When one becomes a healthcare provider, it usually indicates the individual’s innate desire to help and improve the lives of others as a calling or purpose in life. However, as time passes, it’s easy to become desensitised to the “human” aspects of healthcare. Healthcare providers admittedly have one of the toughest jobs around. Here are a few reasons from the team at Unilever Health as to why you should ALWAYS remember the positive effects that a good bedside manner can have on your patients.


Patients share and engage more

When a doctor is liked and respected by the patient, the likelihood of the patient disclosing more relevant information is greater. This leads to improved diagnoses and better patient management, which helps to improve the patient’s experience and recovery overall.


Better communication, better healing 

It has been shown that some communication techniques have proven to make people feel better, which in turn helps them heal faster. Whether this is due to a patient feeling noticed or whether they become more amenable to the treatment protocols, no one is sure. Regardless of these questions what is commonly accepted – is that patients who feel acknowledged and respected by their healthcare providers perform better than those who don’t.


Poor bedside manner leaves the patient stressed

Having a poor bedside manner leaves the patient feeling unsatisfied, worried, frightened, or alone. As one can imagine, this has a negative effect on the patient and does not have a beneficial impact on their health or recovery. A 2007 study proves that stress markedly reduced the body’s ability to heal and recover from injury.


Better patient satisfaction ratings

While some might think that they has great patient communication skills, research has shown this not to always be the case. Research conducted on 700 orthopaedic surgeons and 807 patients found that, while 75% of the surgeons perceived they satisfactorily communicated with their patients, only 21% of the patients were actually satisfied with this communication. These ratings affect hospitals referral to new patients and likewise the hospitals management of staff and tenure of surgeons. Improving your communications skills not only means that patients are happier but your career and the institution you serve will also benefit from receiving better patient ratings in the long run.

The “bedside manner” aspect of caregiving is often covered as part of Medical Ethics courses in continuing professional development in healthcare should you want to conduct a refresher. It’s more important than you think.