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Career Tips & Advice

Proper Bedside Manner and Professionalism

Concorde Staff
Concorde Staff
Updated November 9, 2017. The information contained in this blog is current and accurate as of this date.
health care profession

The patient experience - or, patient satisfaction - became a more prevalent topic in the health care profession recently. That makes professional etiquette - aka bedside manner - one of the most important factors contributing to a successful health care career.

We want all of our students and graduates to be successful in the health care profession of their choosing at Concorde. We thought we'd take a closer look at the rather broad topic of health care professionalism, bedside manner, and patient safety, all of which go hand in hand in a health care profession.

"Health care professionals have a tremendous obligation," said Dr. Robert J. Wolff, PhD, program director of Health Science at South University, Columbia, in a blog on the website. "The most important thing is that health care professionals have higher standards than most professions because they are dealing with the dignity of patients and their ability to be healed."

Patient-centered care in a health care profession

Being kind and empathetic goes a long way toward gaining a patient's confidence, according to the South University blog. Patient expectations of health care experience can vary widely, but for the most part, people are seeking care that is patient-centered and meets their needs.

"Dealing with patients is a much more intimate experience," Wolff said. "We are dealing with the aspects of healing, patient care, mental and social health."

The larger question in the health care profession is, is health care a service industry? Many physicians do not believe that patient satisfaction is a legitimate pursuit, according to a blog post written by Dr. Paul Rosen, MD, MPH, MMM. Enhancing patient experience offers no value to medical care.

How can a patient with no medical background have the sophistication to be a judge of medical quality? Many physicians believe they are being pressured to do something medically inappropriate to make the patient happy.

Patients want to feel comfortable with the people with whom they are entrusting their well-being, however. Service performance is heavily scrutinized, therefore. According to the Sullivan Luallin Group, service performance is as important as clinical performance.

Interactive health in the health care profession

The use of technology in the exam room added another element to patient interaction.

Professionals use mobile phones and tablet computers to look up drug and treatment reference material in the health care profession. These devices are helpful, but they also can become distractions and could potentially damage patient interaction. At the same time, patients too are often distracted by their devices.

Health care professionals must keep their focus on the patient.

C.L.E.A.R. health care service model

Sullivan Luallin Group outlined how those in the health care profession can appropriately deliver services. It's called the C.L.E.A.R. service model.


  • Acknowledge immediately
  • Establish eye contact and smile
  • Use the patient's name
  • Use a friendly, helpful voice tone
  • Say "please" and "thank you"


  • Maintain eye contact
  • Be relaxed
  • Don't interrupt
  • Use "active" listening techniques
  • Repeat information for accuracy


  • Describe what's going to happen
  • Answer questions with patience
  • Let patients know about expected delays
  • Speak slowly; repeat as necessary


  • "Were all your questions answered?"
  • "Is there anything else I can do ... ?"
  • "Did you understand... ?"


  • Check back frequently with waiting patients
  • Direct patient where to go next
  • End with a friendly parting comment