Even those who don’t suffer from anxiety can get a little nervous in a doctor’s office. The stark environment, unknown details about procedures, and anticipation about test results all work to put patients on edge. Medical professionals have a responsibility to not only care for their patients but to also make them as comfortable as possible throughout their visits. If you’re helping a patient before, during, or after an ultrasound test, there are a few things you can do to put someone at ease. Here are three ways to reduce patient anxiety of ultrasound tests.
Talk Them Through the Process
A large part of your patients’ fears likely stems from the unknown. If you work silently throughout the ultrasound test, you leave your patients sitting there with unanswered questions and concerns. Instead, make a point of talking through the procedure. Let your patients know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, how long it will take, and other details they can expect. Not only will you ease some of their fears, but you also help distract your patient from their anxieties.
Be a Reliable Source of Information
In addition to talking through the process, it’s important to answer any questions your patient might have. Give clear and direct information so that you can help them understand exactly what’s going on. Make sure you give them the information they need without overwhelming them with details or technicalities they might not understand. At the end of the day, you are your patients’ best source of information. Do your best to give them the answers they need to feel comfortable and confident about their visit.
Patients often sit through their ultrasounds alone. This can make any preexisting anxieties even more intense. Try to connect with your patients on a more personal level. While it’s important to remain professional, you can ease loneliness, worry, and other negative emotions by simply getting to know someone a little better. Ask about lighthearted topics like pets or upcoming vacation plans. Crack a joke or two when appropriate or listen to your patients’ stories. Offering more personal care for your patients will increase their trust in you, allowing both of you to feel more comfortable and work better together throughout the ultrasound test.
Empathy and knowledge are key to putting your patients at ease. One of the other ways to reduce patient anxiety of ultrasound tests is to use the best equipment possible. High-quality, comfortable equipment such as our ultrasound scanning tables can help ensure an efficient and easy visit for every patient who walks through your doors.