For many patients, going the doctor can be an anxiety-riddled experience. When you add in the stress of a mammogram, it can cause your patients some real discomfort. It may be a scary experience for them at first, but with the right techniques, you can help them find calm and realize it doesn’t have to be such a stressful situation. Here’s how to reduce patient anxiety during a mammogram to make the exam a better experience for everyone.
Create a friendly atmosphere
Few things are as intimidating as a sterile, uncomfortable waiting room. If your patient already has anxiety, this environment will only exacerbate it. Avoid this by creating a friendly, comfortable atmosphere anyone would enjoy. Make sure the receptionist greets them warmly, and leave nice touches out for them, such as:
These will provide a nice distraction and give patients something to do while they’re waiting. Magazines can reduce anxiety in a simple yet effective way.
Don’t make your patients wait around in stiff, uncomfortable chairs. Give them a more luxurious experience with comfortable seating, whether it’s cozy couches or plush chairs. Letting patients wait in comfort will make all the difference.
Anxiety can make people feel thirsty or jittery, so give them a bit of relief with some refreshments. Even something as simple as a cold glass of water can work wonders on one’s nerves.
Streamline the process
The only thing worse than being anxious is having to sit and wait for long periods of time while you’re anxious. Streamlining the process of getting your patient in and out of the office won’t just make their worries go away; it’s also more effective for your office as a whole. Get patients from point A to point B more quickly by utilizing on-file documents, having them check in online beforehand, and handling all patients in a timely manner.
Let your patient know what’s happening
When it comes to reducing patient anxiety during a mammogram, transparency is important. Patients are often stressed because they don’t understand what’s going on. Be sure to describe what you’ll be doing, why you’re doing it, and what information you’re hoping to glean from it. That way, they won’t go into the exam blindly and end up stressing over nothing. Information is power, and it has the power to bring your patients peace of mind.
Anxiety is a natural part of life, especially when it comes to one’s medical well-being. As a medical professional, however, you have the tools to effectively calm patients and make the process a much more pleasant one. From the minute they sit down at the mammography chair, make sure you treat them with patience and kindness and give them the proper tools to alleviate their anxiety.