Having been a parent for 18 years, I have given my children a lot of advice. Yet nothing has had as much of an impact as the examples I have set in the way I lead my life. Remarkably, this same approach can work wonders for the care of my patients.
First and foremost, I take care of my own health. How could I expect my patients to follow a different set of rules? I also make sure that they know I am listening attentively by using eye contact and other body language. As a result, my patients are more likely to listen to me and follow my advice. When I invest a little more time in their care, so will they.
Leading by example extends to the rest of the healthcare team. That extra visit to a patient’s hospital room often leads the nurse to go that extra mile. The presence of family or other patient advocate can have the same effect; I know it motivates me.
Over the last several months, I have talked about the importance of the healthcare team. A motivated patient is an integral part of that team. In a way, my children have taught me a valuable lesson.