I got to thinking about this topic as I have been updating offices and equipment, but as the business owner and chiropractor in the offices, what exactly do I expect out of myself and the offices on a day to day basis.
When Kristina and I purchased the Minden office, we knew walking into the situation that we would need to upgrade the office and the tables. Not that the tables were bad, but I prefer to work with flexion-distraction tables, and the Minden office was equipped with Hylo tables. This was going to be a process as financially it was not possible to do everything that I wanted at one time.
If you can remember, I started practicing with a couple of used tables in the Kearney office and then eventually upgraded to a table that I prefer. When the office was moved in Kearney, equipment was updated again to tables that would be conducive to a growing office and to things that I liked. I worked on tables in Minden that I did not necessarily like but made do. A month ago, that all changed, we upgraded all of the equipment in Minden and took a few “newer” tables to Arnold, so that all of the offices had the necessary things that would allow me to treat patients to best of my ability. I’m 6’5”, I don’t need to be running to a chiropractor daily due to tables that do not rise up to my level and be bending over all day, this was the main point of getting new equipment.
All of the offices have quality, new to almost new equipment at this time. The equipment is not only comfortable for the patient but it allows me to perform my duties as effectively as possible. The offices run the gambit. While the Kearney and Arnold offices are not ideal in my mind, they are fairly inviting, comfortable and serve the purpose. They are open concept, so privacy can be limited but for the most part patients are good with it. The Minden office is the most inviting office in my opinion, we have tried to make it the everyman office. All walks of life come through the doors and the offices try to allow for an environment that is welcoming to everyone.
With that all said, after this purchase I started to really think about what I owe my patient when they walk in the door and the expectations that I place on myself. Empathy, Optimism, Quality Equipment, comforting environment to walk into and lastly, the truth.
I feel that when a patient calls or walks into the office that you, the patient is putting enough trust in me to give them relief and if I can’t get them relief then at least guide them in the right direction. Empathy is key to allowing me to determine what the patient is dealing with. While I can honestly say that I have not experienced a lot of the conditions that present in the office, I try to put myself in the patient’s shoes and try to at least walk them through some of the symptoms that they are describing.
Humor can be a great thing when trying to give optimism to a case. A patient may be in extreme pain when they come into the office and a little laughter can ease the mood and take the patient’s mind off of the situation. After being in practice, you can kind of tell based on how the patient is able to respond to pain how long of a process it will be, my hope is to use that to my advantage to walk the patient through the pain and symptoms that they may be experiencing. Giving the patient a logical path and length of time will give the patient a little optimism with recovery.
Lastly, I owe you the truth. If I ever have the privilege to treat the readers of this post, I feel that I will attempt to guide you as far as I can through the pain that you are suffering from. While it is not my favorite thing to do, I have to swallow my pride and tell patients that I am not able to help them and they need to seek alternative care beyond myself from time to time. While I will attempt just about any case, there are some things that you cannot linger on and the patient may need to move on.
I write this in the hopes that it keeps me accountable to my patients and that it reminds me on a regular basis that I owe my patients the best. Now, there will be days that get tough but I hope that patients will continue to hold me to these items. Empathy, Optimism and the Truth are big factors in building a trusting patient base and I hope to continue to grow through these principles. The buildings and equipment are beneficial in having a welcoming environment but the factors that hold the practice together are the principles that I hold myself too.
I am going to start to address the debacle that is chiropractic student loans in the coming post and it may either be a really long post or be broken into the numerous small posts. This is a topic that I am becoming fairly obsessed with and am looking to guide a future generation.