Etiquette Every Chiropractor Should Follow

Chiropractors help people live better and more comfortable lives every day, but etiquette and bedside manner are also critical for a chiropractor’s success. Ahead, we’ll go over the etiquette every chiropractor should follow, from pre-treatment to post-treatment.

Chiropractor Etiquette—Pre-Treatment

The time you spend with a patient in the pre-treatment phase is crucial to building a rapport and establishing your credibility. This can determine how well the treatment will proceed and how effective it’ll be, as well as how confident the patient is moving forward. With the right information, you can avoid the common mistakes new chiropractors make.

Before treatment, keep the following tips and guidelines in mind.

Don’t Keep Them Waiting

Remember that your patient’s time is just as important as yours. We understand that you want to be as thorough and attentive as possible with every patient, but the most common complaint patients have against doctors is wait time.

Communication and treatment always come first, but you’ll attract patients and retain them the more punctual you are with their appointments.

Have Them Lead the Communication

Communication is difficult for some patients, and it often falls on the chiropractor to open up clear lines of communication and coax information out of the patient. Remember that patients aren’t as familiar with treatment options or even ailments, so they may struggle to describe their pain or problem accurately.

Lead them along with questions so they’re the ones driving the conversation. Make sure you’re listening actively—patients will be able to tell if you aren’t.

Show Confidence and Authority

As a chiropractor, you have lots of education and training behind your treatment, but a patient may not immediately be confident in your skills. Before treatment begins, demonstrate your expertise to establish an authority on the subject and ease the patient’s mind.

When you talk to the patient, be clear and precise about why they may be feeling pain and discuss the treatment options to consider. Patients want to be heard, but they also need to know they’re in good hands.

Sympathize and Listen

When the patient describes their pain or ailments, focus on and listen to what they’re saying and how they’re saying it. Don’t interrupt them or look distracted as you take notes.

Sympathize with their pain and show the patient that you understand them. Above all else, patients want to feel that there is someone else who understands what they’re going through and knows how to fix it. Empathizing helps make the patient more comfortable opening up and communicating with you. Ignoring bedside manner is one of the mistakes new chiropractors make, but it will cost you clients in the long run.

Empower the Patient

When patients enter your office, they’re probably a little frightened and feel powerless to fix whatever is ailing them. You can put their minds at ease by empowering them with knowledge.

After discussing their problem, walk them through the possible reason for their ailments and pain so that they can better understand their body. Explain the steps to the treatment and thoroughly explain their options in layman’s terms.

People feel better when they know what they’re facing. Help make them feel like a partner in their treatment instead of a passenger to your expertise.

Chiropractor Etiquette During Treatment

You’ve sat and talked with the patient and come up with a treatment, either for that day or for a future appointment—now, it’s time for the actual treatment. Improve your bedside manner and relationship with your patient by following these tips.

Keep Communication Open

While the patient is undergoing treatment, you want to continue to build upon the communication and rapport you created in the pre-treatment session. Walk the patient through what you’ll be doing, why this treatment is best, and what they can expect during and after the treatment.

Ask for feedback from the patient as the treatment moves along, gauging their comfort and pain levels regularly. As you use specific techniques, explain them to the patient and ensure that they approve of them. If the patient doesn’t approve, have alternative approaches ready.

Also, it’s good to have some usual chitchat during the procedure. It helps put the patient’s mind at ease if you look and sound confident in what you’re doing and can help distract them from any pain or nerves they may have.

Know When To Listen

Avoid talking over or interrupting the patient—communication is a two-way street between the professional and the patient.

The patient will probably feel a little overwhelmed with all the information you’re giving them, but let that settle over them and get them talking about themselves to make them feel more comfortable.

Warn the Patient About Side Effects

Always make sure the patient feels informed about the treatment and possible side effects. This way, you can help avoid negligence or malpractice claims.

Chiropractic professional liability insurance protects you against such claims, but it’s best to head off any problems before they begin. Ensure that your patient understands all the details and consequences of treatment—both positive and negative.

Chiropractor Etiquette—Post-Procedure

The procedure is over, but the treatment isn’t. The time immediately following the initial treatment is still crucial to the patient. Remember, it’s not enough for the patient to be pain-free at the time—a thorough treatment plan will help outline their future.

Communicate Treatment Plans

Now that the procedure is over, solicit feedback from the patient about how they’re feeling physically and mentally. If their ailment requires future treatment, explain to them why you’d like to see them again.

Also, give them treatment options if applicable—patients want to feel like they have some control over their care.

Refer the Patient if Needed

Sometimes, patients see a chiropractor because they don’t have any other ideas for what to do. Unfortunately, a chiropractor may not be the best option for every patient, so don’t be afraid to refer them to another medical professional or even another chiropractor.

Some young chiropractors don’t want to admit they can’t help, but everyone has limitations. The patient’s well-being always comes first, so if you think another chiropractor or a different medical professional can help them, you should tell them that.

Give Them Something To Take Home

Whether or not you’re planning on seeing the patient again for further treatment, it’s always helpful to send them home with something. Give them some exercises, stretches, and health tips that could improve their quality of life.

It shows the patient that you have their best interests at heart and want them to feel better soon. If you don’t have a future appointment scheduled, check on them days or weeks after the treatment. Your patients will appreciate the thought and care you put into following up with them. Ideally, they will give your practice a positive review or testimonial, which can help you grow your chiropractic practice.

Soft-tissue therapy and spinal manipulations are only part of the job of a chiropractor. Along with treatment, there is etiquette that every chiropractor should follow, but what’s most important is making the patient feel heard and important.

At Baxter & Associates, we want your practice to thrive. Make sure it’s covered for any eventuality with the best chiropractic malpractice insurance. Contact us today for more information.

Etiquette Every Chiropractor Should Follow

CRNA Career Mistakes To Avoid

When entering or developing your professional life, you must know the best practices as well as the potential pitfalls. While no one is impervious to ignorance or error, you should do your best to establish a firm vocational foundation. Here are the most pervasive CRNA career mistakes to avoid.

Overlooking the Professional Environment

The day-to-day work of health professionals involves life and death treatments for dozens of patients. While it is completely understandable that someone may become lost in the thrill and details of managing patients, it is important not to overlook your professional environment. Promotions, career opportunities, and professional development are less likely to come your way without direct effort on your part.

Ignoring Professional Development

A well-run workplace will offer professional development tools. If your hospital or office gives you an opportunity to develop your skills, learn new techniques, or keep up with your field of study, you must take advantage of it. Ignoring professional development is like landing a job and expecting nothing to change for the next 50 years. While you may know enough about your subject to do a good job, you won’t stay up to date on new software, medical breakthroughs, scientific research, and more. You shouldn’t lose sight of the tenacious student you were in nursing school and should nurture that instinct to keep learning and growing.

Dismissing Your Career Goals

When you entered your degree program, you fantasized about your career trajectory and thought about all the places you would go. As the months and years pass, these aspirations can fade, leaving you with a sense of stagnancy. While you cannot help the fact that goals change over time, you shouldn’t dismiss your career goals outright and leave them on the backburner.

Many working professionals lack the foresight to develop their career goals now. While it makes sense that long-term goals take time to mature and become fully realized, you must start somewhere, sometime. As a certified registered nurse anesthetist, you want to build a solid foundation for your future. This includes things like finding CRNA malpractice insurance. It’s essential for you to have coverage. Other considerations include attending networking events, and completing more education, all with the aspiration of developing your professional life and achieving your career goals. 

Underestimating Bedside Manner

How nurses interact with patients matters deeply. While doctors have a reputation for being condescending and dismissive—despite many being quite nice people—nurses are the backbone of personalized healthcare. Nurses spend time learning about patients and their lives, all the while attending to their daily needs and treatments. Bedside manner is critical for a nurse, but even more so for CRNAs who spend less time with patients and manage one of the most critical parts of a person’s procedure.

Talking Negatively

Your patients are in the hospital because something is going wrong with their bodies, and they need specialized attention. Just because you have a bad day or are in a professional slump, it does not excuse unbridled negativity, especially toward patients. Bedside manner is just as much about what you say as it is how you conduct yourself. Patients who hear you talking negatively about your work, your other patients, or your superiors will internalize this pessimism and translate it into fear—fear that their medical attention is subpar.

Talking negatively also reinforces your own feelings of frustration and leads to stewing emotions. While you may not acknowledge it in the moment, this internal turmoil can lead to mistakes when treating patients. And, as a CRNA, such errors can be costly or even fatal. Work on your inner dialogue and seek ways to find gratitude and positivity around you at work. If there are challenging situations or people eating at you inside, talk with an HR representative or trusted superior to work things out. Your career is intricately tied to who you are as a person. So, work on yourself to avoid painful career mistakes.

Treating Patients Inconsistently

Your patients may not communicate with one another, but you know your superiors will notice any discrepancies in your care. It is problematic enough to treat two different patients with alternate standards of care; it is even worse if you do so discriminatively. Mistreating patients due to personal prejudice against people of certain races, ages, or genders is downright illegal and could result in dismissal. Address any discriminatory behaviors you notice in yourself before they cause detriment to your career aspirations.

Disregarding Patient Concerns

Every patient has a right to know what you do with their body, especially during an operation where you put them under anesthetic. As a CRNA, you are responsible for keeping the patient informed about their anesthesiologic care every step of the way, including post-operation. If you disregard patient concerns or verbalized problems, you could be ignoring essential cues that something is amiss. Disregarding patient concerns and making patients feel unheard is terrible enough. Disregarding medically relevant information that results in injury or death is even worse. The quality of your bedside manner could truly mean the difference between death and life.

Remember these CRNA career mistakes to avoid as you work each day. You are the only one looking out for yourself and your career trajectory, so make every effort to dig into your professional life. It is always okay to make mistakes, just ensure you actually learn from them. It can help to keep these risk management tips in mind. When you make a career mistake, you may take one step back. However, you have the full capacity to take two steps forward and continue growing.  

If you need help figuring out how to maximize your professional life in medicine and protect your career, reach out to us at Baxter & Associates to learn more about our malpractice insurance policies. To learn more about CRNA coverage, read here.  

CRNA Career Mistakes To Avoid

A Guide to the Basics of Prior Acts Coverage

As a nurse practitioner, you may transition between jobs and locations throughout your career. While this is an exciting adventure, it does bear certain professional and legal implications. Here are the basics of prior acts coverage.

What Is Prior Acts Coverage?

Prior acts coverage is a kind of insurance policy add-on or feature that insurers offer for extra protection. For example, when anyone with a liability insurance policy, such as a malpractice insurance plan for nurse practitioners, changes their job, they will need a new insurance carrier. The new policy will cover all the insurable events within the agreed-upon timeframe. However, insurers will not cover the events that fall before the new policy without unique additions like prior acts coverage.

Why Is It Important?

Prior acts coverage is an essential detail to cover, especially for medical professionals. Suppose a physician made a treatment error at their previous job before their current policy began. The client realized the mistake and filed a claim in the legal system. Since the event happened before their current policy took effect, they could be held liable for all legal fees and financial compensations. Prior acts coverage insures the policyholder against these past claims.

How Can You Find It?

When you look for a new insurer that can cover your new position or location, you should ask about prior acts coverage. It’s one of the most important things to look for in an insurer. Not all carriers provide this feature, and it is essential to read the fine print. The agreement will have certain specifications about what qualifies as an insurable event in the past. Consider asking your colleagues or new employer about the best options available and cover yourself fully before any claims come your way.

Knowing the basics of prior acts coverage can prevent you from making any career-threatening mistakes. If you have any questions about prior acts coverage or are looking to add it to your professional liability policy, reach out to Baxter & Associates today. For a nurse practitioner medical malpractice insurance quote, click here.  

The Fundamentals of Medical Malpractice Tail Coverage

The world of medical malpractice is quite vast, encompassing all aspects of health professionals’ work, including times when they’re not actually working. In the lifespan of a medical career, a person may change jobs a handful of times, crossing state lines and moving higher up in their specialty. This is where special policies and additions come in. Here are the fundamentals of medical malpractice tail coverage.

Medical Malpractice Policy Basics

To appreciate the scope of tail coverage, you must grasp the basics of medical malpractice insurance. A large variety of professionals need coverage. Each policy is different based on the doctor’s location, specialty, and coverage preferences. However, the fundamental purpose remains—it supplies financial aid to clients in legal trouble per the policy agreement. 

Bringing Tail Coverage Into the Picture

Once a policy term ends and payments cease, most insurers cease their coverage. Some stipulations or special insurance types cover insureds post-policy. However, medical malpractice policies often lack this longevity.

Tail coverage is the add-on insurance that insureds can purchase at an additional price. This coverage will extend the time frame of the policy and cover the insured for patient malpractice claims from the time of the policy.

When Tail Coverage Matters

Medical careers are no different from other careers—people will move cross-country for the right opportunity. If a medical professional moves states, changes their scope of practice, or takes a break from their work, their insurance policy will end. This is completely normal, but it does come with risks that many people overlook.

Moving Across State Lines

Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding medical malpractice insurance types, policy limits, and choices. Doctors crossing state lines will need new insurance but could still receive claims from their previous patients. In this case, tail coverage will decrease the risk that these past issues will follow the doctor to their new location. 

Changing Scope of Practice

Similarly, when a medical professional gets a promotion or changes their position, their scope of practice changes as well. Their policy should change to reflect the increased or decreased risk of malpractice. This often results in new insurance in which the old policy is no longer in effect. Tail coverage will keep patient claims during their previous role from damaging them now.

Ceasing Work for a Time

Doctors may take time off for childbirth, sabbatical rest, or retirement. In any of these cases, this person is no longer working and not paying for insurance due to their professional hiatus. The only issue with these cessations is the risk that past patients will level a lawsuit against them. Tail coverage provides peace of mind to new parents and retirees alike, making career choices easier to bear.

Knowing the fundamentals of medical malpractice tail coverage can help medical professionals manage their careers amid change. If you need to update your insurance policy or find new malpractice insurance for healthcare professionals in your area, reach out to our team today at Baxter & Associates.