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How to Take Care of an Anxious Patient


Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Most people don’t like going to the doctor’s surgeryThey might be worried that they will be told bad news, that you will suggest changes to their lifestyle that they don’t want to make, or perhaps they have had a previous experience that is making them feel anxiousWhatever the issue, an anxious patient isn’t always an easy patient to deal withHere are some tips on how to take care of an anxious patient.

Offer a Warm Reception

First impressions count and if you are still making notes from the last patient or you know that your schedule is well behind time and it isn’t even mid-morning yet, then your emotions are likely to rub off on your patient, making their anxiety worse.

A warm reception and a smile can go a long way towards making a patient feel relaxed and reassured, and this will make your job easier in the first instance. 

Build Up Rapport

It doesn’t have to take long to build up rapport with a patient, but it can ease their anxiety dramaticallyA comment about the weather, the football results, or even an apology for running late will be enough to put them at ease and reduce their anxietyOften the biggest hurdle for a patient is walking through your door in the first place, so knowing that you have time to speak to them and they don’t have to go straight into their list of ailments can be a relief.


The use of diagnostics machines is increasing rapidly within GP surgeriesA patient can be diagnosed and often treated without the need for a referral or a return visit, saving you a lot of time and energy. Sites like can make the process of installing these in your surgery quick and easy

Keep It Simple

You wouldn’t be able to do your job if you didn’t know exactly what you are talking about, but you need to be able to relay the information to a patient who didn’t spend years in medical school, and that can be tricky. 

Anxious patients often worry that they won’t understand what you are saying and that they will look stupid. Try to keep your explanations as simple as possible in the first instance. You can tell by the questions your patient then asks you if they will understand a more technical explanation or whether you will have to simplify what you are saying further

Manage Expectations

Managing expectations is imperative when it comes to an anxious patientIf they are anxious about stepping into your surgery, these emotions are likely to increase if you need to refer them or book a repeat appointmentExplain what you need to do next and how long the process is likely to takeManaging their expectations is key to reducing their anxiety.

Follow these steps and you will be able to take care of a patient’s anxiety and put them at ease, making the job of treating the ailments they have come to see you about easier.null