In this essay, Ishall present my opinions of the setting and discuss what I understood aboutthe patient’s experience. Impressions of the setting Uponentering the clinic, patients are greeted by the receptionist who alerts thephysiologist of their presence and answers any initial questions the patientmay have.
Due to the confined nature of the waiting area in thisclinic, I was able to notice how patients responded to the environment,involving the patient’s surroundings and the members of staff, and focus on howthis affected patient’s emotions. Staff in the clinic adhered to confidentialityguidelines. This was evident by how staff conducted themselves when handlingand discussing patient data in the waiting area, such as when the receptionist informedthe physiologist of patient data obtained from the online database. Patientsensitive data discussed was limited to patient names, D.
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O.B, height andweight. It is necessary to confirm the patient’s name and D.O.
B in the waitingarea to reaffirm the test is being performed on the correct patient. Height andweight values are recorded for every patient prior to their appointment. Themachines which measure these values is located in the waiting area forconvenience, and recorded values were discretely told to patients if asked.Contraindications and other information was otherwise discussed inside testrooms, ensuring patient privacy was respected. Patients in the waiting area hadaccess to amenities such as a toilet and refreshments, however due tointerference from the ICU there was no phone network and no telephones patientsmay use. Refreshments were provided by the café, located outside but somepatients were hesitant in going, especially if the delay was due to waitingtimes. Mostrooms in the outpatient were wheelchair-accessible, including the toilet whichalso had support rails and an emergency cord. Other facilities to aid disabledpatients included a zimmer-frame available on request.
However, the passage leadingup to the toilet was partially obstructed by boxes, which were a safety concern.These boxes were promptly removed by the team. The patient’sexperience Patientsreceive an initial letter followed by a reminder closer to the appointment, detailingthe date, time and location.
However, letters do not detail what the tests willinvolve and the duration, causing some confusion and anxiety. Some patientsseemed anxious about not knowing enough about the tests, however staff werealways on hand to answer any questions. I noticed some patients were uncertainwith who to question due to the different uniforms/roles in the clinic. One ofthe benefits of having a smaller waiting area is that there was morepatient-practitioner interaction and fewer uniforms attributing to a lessintimidating environment.
Somepatients were not confident enough to ask a practitioner, for fear of wastingtheir time, so chose to ask other patients sitting near them. However, mostpatients knew just as little about the procedures themselves but patients whoattended the clinic often, to undergo similar tests, were able to providebetter insight. Patients would usually wait until they were called in to voice anyspecific questions, but seemed frustrated when waiting. From my understanding, this frustration may have stemmedfrom not being informed well enough about the waiting times. I realised this asI noticed a shift in a patient’s demeanour once they had been informed by amember of staff, and noticed patients who had been informed on enteringexpressed less frustration. Discoveringthe waiting room from the point-of-view of a patient, I developed anappreciation for the skills staff were able to utilise in order to maintain anefficient working space.
In thisclinic, I was fortunate enough to witness how staff used their problem solving andteam working skills to improve the overall patient experience.One such instance was in encountering an individual whorefused to remove their shoes and was aggressive towards members of staff. I feelthis situation was handled very well as a compromise was achieved, and arapport was built due to patience and good communication. His wishes to keephis shoes on were respected and a note was taken regarding the reliability ofthe height measurement. The member of staff showed leadership as they reassuredthe patient and made the patient more comfortable knowing his opinion was beinglistened to. The patient did not immediately calm down and it required patienceand persuasion to build trust between the patient and practitioner.
Dealingwell with a patient can affect more than just the patient in question, as otherpatients in the waiting room will also take notice, possibly answering some oftheir own questions. Anothersuch instance where efficient teamwork was displayed is how physiologists wouldacquire patient data from the receptionist discretely, and continue to organisethemselves so patients were seen as swiftly as possible, reducing waiting times. IT andcommunication skills were used by the receptionist, as he was very efficient ininforming patients about appointments, answering any questions regardingdetails, waiting times and where amenities such as toilets and the café werelocated. Furthermore, the receptionist is also responsible for signing patientsin as they arrive for appointments and also documented completed tests on anonline database.