This is one of my primary care physician’s exam rooms. The one I found myself in a week ago, just for an annual check-up. Ignore the book, that was mine. Notice the set up.
The nurse came in to take my weight and blood pressure. Then she sat in that chair with her back to me to take me a zillion questions to fill out a form on that computer.
I had difficulty hearing her, as she was talking to the computer screen. There was no connection between us as she hardly looked at me. Only when I asked her to repeat the question because I couldn’t hear her and then she had to turn around.
How does this make patients feel? I talk when I share the Flourishing Approach with health professionals about the importance of creating connection. It’s really hampered here based on the environment.
An office visit isn’t just about getting looked at and getting a script. It’s also about getting LOOKED at, seeing one another, connecting, collaborating, and feeling like you’ve got a partner there.
My doctor, bless his heart, when sitting in that chair, has me sit in the chair aside the computer. He never has his back to me. I think he knows instinctively the importance of seeing his patients and having them see him. But I can’t tell you how many nurses, physician assistants and lab technicians who never face the patient.
I already told my doctor I could redesign the office for him. He smiled wearily and revealed how much has to be fixed today in healthcare.
One thought on “How doctor’s exam rooms make connecting with patients difficult”
My doctor only spends 5 min. per visit. That is all that is in his schedual per patient. In that short time there is not much time to get too comfortable.