Case Management

Mentor moment: How to approach busy physicians

Case Management Weekly, October 10, 2012

If you were trying to do five things at once and were already 10 minutes late for an appointment, and someone approached you with a question that appeared to have no relevance to your job, what do you think your response would be?

This is what you must consider before you approach a physician. Don’t assume that physicians have an abundance of free time even if it appears as though they are just sitting at the nurses’ station with nothing better to do.
 
Be positive and professional. Know your audience. Be aware of not only who you are asking, but also the condition of your immediate environment. Can you interpret how the physician’s day is going or know when to approach or not to approach? Sometimes it is all in the method of the contact and in the manner of the subsequent discussion. For example, determine which communication style best fits a particular physician’s personality—action oriented, process oriented, people oriented, or idea oriented.
 
Editor’s note: This article is adapted from Physician Queries Handbook: Guide to Compliant and Effective Communication published by HCPro, Inc.

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