Importance of Establishing Rapport

Establishing communicative rapport is an integral part of the clinician/patient relationship. Currently most medical personnel receive little or no education or training toward development of this important component of practice. Increasing emphasis today is being placed on the communicative and human aspect of healthcare provision- and not a moment too soon. Research indicates that patients treated with respect, dignity, and empathy are typically better satisfied with healthcare provision. The adage, "talking saves time" is really true. When the clinician takes extra time to communicate and build rapport with his or her patient, valuable information is gained which saves time in the long run. It is the clinician's duty as a professional to project an image of both competency and empathy.

It is particularly important to foster open communication and rapport with adolescent patients. Adolescence is often a volatile period of emotional growth and upheaval. Teens may be wary of adults in general, and be even more reticent to communicate their needs/concerns to the healthcare provider. Providing an atmosphere of trust, patience, and acceptance is imperative when communicating with adolescents. The clinician may both demonstrate interest in and promote rapport with adolescent patients by taking the time to explore areas of concern regarding their needs, goals, and activities.

Baile, W.F. (2004). The importance of physician: patient communications. In Conversations in Care, (chap.2, web book). Retrieved September 8, 2004, from http://www.conversationsincare.org/web_book/chapter02.html#first

Roten, D.L. (2004). How effective is your non-verbal communication? In Conversations in Care, (chap.1, web book), Retrieved September 8th, 2004, from http://www.conversationsincare.org/web_book/chapter01.html#first