3 Reasons You Need To Be Adaptable In Medical Practice
It almost goes without saying that the pandemic has brought change in just about every setting you can name, so much so that if you took any one-hour period of your waking life and showed it to the you of 2019, they’d wonder what was going on. It should not be a surprise that one of the sectors most affected by the last few years has been healthcare. With additional complication coming from the early uncertainty and equivocation about the best way to deal with the virus, and from new variants with new complications in tow, people working in healthcare have needed to be adaptable.
However, in many ways, this isn’t news to anyone working in medicine – what the pandemic has helped to do is drive home just how adaptable medical professionals have needed to be.
The below examples show clearly how you’ll need to be quick on your feet when running a medical practice – and how this has been emphasized by the last couple of years.
Communication is essential
It is hardly surprising that when a pandemic descends, one of the first places that people will look for guidance is to the medical profession. This is where clear messaging is absolutely essential.
In the early days of the pandemic, it was tough to be 100% certain of anything, and the changing messages were seized upon by conspiracists to imply that medics were making it up as they went along.
In any future public health emergency – and even in times of relative quiet – it is important to let people know that even the best doctors don’t know anything, and sometimes they’re learning in real time. Make clear that every decision you make is based on the best information you have, and that patients can help with that.
There’s always a reason for regulatory compliance
Medicine, because of the high stakes involved in getting it right, is one of the sectors that has the most regulation to deal with. As frustrating as some regulations may be, and as pointless as they may look from some angles, they’re there for a reason.
Things like medical waste disposal need to be done a certain way to ensure the eradication of contamination risks. That’s particularly important in a pandemic, of course, where any loose waste can be a transmission vector, and during a vaccination drive when you may be working your way through more sharps in a day than you usually do in weeks or even months.
Patience with patients is a virtue (within reason)
If you’re running a healthcare facility, you’re going to be dealing with people who may be in a highly emotional state, and everyone in a patient-facing role will need to be skilled in dealing with emotional people. This does not, however, mean that anyone should have to stand for abuse.
Concern for our health and that of our loved ones will always make us edgy.
If things turn nasty and even aggressive, that is not something that can be justified on the basis of emotional turmoil. Also on the subject of patience and people skills, bear in mind that patients may on occasion be frustratingly vague with details. Be aware that they’re probably very anxious and this doesn’t lend itself to mental clarity, and give them space.