We’ve all heard the term ‘bedside manner’ before and we probably all recognise it when we experience it, whether good or bad, but defining what qualities make a bedside manner what it is can be a little difficult.
Why is it that you can feel completely at home with one health practitioner, but another leaves you cold? Why does an easy manner and reassuring style come easily to some professional health care providers and not to others? What is it that really makes a good bedside manner and sets West 1 Physio apart from the rest?
We put an awful lot of store by the personal qualities of our physiotherapists – and with good reason.
In the main it’s because we tend to see people over a prolonged period of time and when you spend that much time involved in the health and wellbeing of another person, it’s really important to develop a close working relationship with them that’s built on trust.
The personal information you share with your physio will depend very much on what’s brought you to us in the first place, but some conditions – especially when we’re dealing with women’s health issues – can be very personal and sensitive and so it’s absolutely vital to us that our clients feel totally secure and safe discussing anything with us.
But beyond the obvious advantages to you and to us of having a personable and trusting working relationship, there are other good reasons for us to make the way we work with you a key part of the service we offer.
Often, our clients arrive at our door after being referred by other clinical health practitioners. Typically, we work very closely with a great many Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons, osteopaths, GPs and other clinical health professionals who entrust the ongoing care of their patients to us. We don’t take that responsibility lightly – and we never forget that we’re caretakers for the professional reputations of others.
That means we work hard to understand the medical history of the client so we can provide complementary therapy that is geared to achieve the same outcomes you and your consultant or GP are working towards. Again, that’s easier to do when we have a mutually trusting and honest relationship with you.
And then there’s our old friend, pain. Pain is an interesting and complex character in the lives of both the patient and the physio. It’s interesting because it never exists purely in a physical form – there’s always a mental or emotional dimension to it.
Pain can be psychologically corrosive and it’s not unusual for us to see people who have reached the end of their emotional tether. If you’re dealing with chronic or persistent pain that has had a debilitating and destructive effect on the quality of your life then we have a responsibility to meet you with empathy, sympathy and an honest assessment of your future.
That means being understanding about the challenges you’ve faced until that point and those you will meet in your recovery and it means being objective and honest about what awaits you in your rehabilitation.
We don’t make promises we can’t keep, and we won’t lead you up the garden path – but we will treat you with respect and we’ll make sure we frame your rehab in a way that’s positive and supportive to make sure you get the best possible opportunity to achieve the outcome you want.
We think that in the end bedside manner is about respect. There are enough health care providers, including physiotherapists, who treat clients like a production line of broken machines that require reassembly. The world doesn’t need another one.
So, we go out of our way to make sure you’re treated for who you are the problem you’re dealing with – for your sake, for the sake of the professional health clinicians we work with and for the sake of believing we’re trying to provide a better service than you’ll receive from any physiotherapist in London.
If you’d like to talk to us about any element of our work, we’re always happy to welcome you in the clinic or speak with you over the phone prior to a visit. Just contact us to get in touch.