Surviving DisappointmentFeb 07, 2022
Want to know a really fast way to burn out?
The answer is to try to make everyone happy. You may have tried addressing every concern, you may have tried the sympathetic ear, you may have tried to solve their problems.
The truth is, when you try to do all this, you end up disappointing someone else; including yourself, your family or your next patient (who is wondering why you are always running so far behind).
Isn’t it funny that the answer to satisfaction requires disappointing someone.
And I am not even talking about your satisfaction.
To satisfy your staff, your employer and your family, you will want to run on time.
You might even improve satisfaction scores for the next patient when you walk in the room on time.
But what is the cost of running on time?
The patient who brings a list of many items is going to need to bring some of these things back to another visit, they may feel disappointed.
The husband who requests you to add his wife to the same appointment may feel disappointed.
The patient who needs test results, a referral and a form completed may be disappointed that they need to return for the form or the referral.
The funny thing is that disappointment happens to all of us every day.
The coffee this morning didn’t taste quite right or not quite hot enough.
Traffic was heavier than usual when we left the house 5 minutes later than normal.
The kids decided to argue about everything, trying to wrangle them to the car.
You know what you do? You decide how you are going to handle it.
Sometimes you throw a right hissy fit, and other times you just get over it.
Our patients are the same way.
They just decide how they are going to handle disappointment.
The hard part is letting them be disappointed and not trying to fix it for them.
Think about asking the mechanic to fit your husband’s car in today as well as yours. Does he take one look at your disappointed face and say "Oh OK, let’s just make room for his car also?” …. Of course not.
He knows he can’t do another car today, that would be ridiculous. Each car takes 1 - 3 hours, and he already has a full day scheduled. The answer is simply – no, not possible. Interesting.
So, if your patients are going to be disappointed anyway ….
Will it be disappointment for waiting 40 minutes to see you, or disappointment that they have to bring something back for another day?
What makes sense for you within your clinical day?
Managing expectations, disappointment and boundaries is hard, but to achieve your goal of running on time, this is the work that will be part of the process.
If you want help to achieve your goals for your clinical day, then join the community.
Charting Champions Program for Physicians is open right now, and we are working on running on time together this month.
Or you can join the waitlist for the Smarter Charting Program if you are a Nurse Practitioner or Advanced Practice Provider for our next enrollment