Educating Your Patients
Today I wanted to talk about Patient Orientation Classes. It is imperative that you have a class or orientation for every new patient that comes into your office. A weekly orientation will not only do extraordinary things for your patients but for you and your staff as well. The benefits of holding a weekly orientation include your patients being more likely to stay on their care plans and make referrals and re-energizing you and your staff. I would recommend starting off with a one hour class every week and really take the opportunity to educate your patients.
People need to learn about chiropractic
We as chiropractors don’t have time – whether it be consultation, examination, reports, or daily visits – to really have the time to educate our patients about chiropractic. What the hour of weekly orientation provides is the opportunity to show your patients what chiropractic is about. What conditions chiropractors help with, how the nervous system functions – these are just a few things that can help patients know more about what you do. And the more your patients know, the more they want to buy in.
Back when computers were just starting to be commonplace, software really had to be taught to be used. Compared to today, where software is very accessible, software was rather complex. One particular computer company started to give free classes to people who wanted to learn their software and their programs. What the company found was once their costumers get educated, they were more willing to pay for the more expensive computers because they were accustomed to using the product.
Going beyond education
This is a lot like how your patient orientation class would be. The more they know about chiropractic, they more willing they are to buy into it. In addition, educating your patients shows how many issues chiropractic can help with, thus creating more referral opportunities. Whether it be headaches, lower back pain, or digestive issues, showing your patients the great range of issues chiropractic deals with will create opportunities for your patients to talk with family and friends who may have those issues to see you and your practice.
The biggest impact that weekly orientations will have will be for you, the doctor. If you have never done one, I can not really explain it – you would have to experience it for yourself. Once you get up there and walk your walk and talk your talk, it really energizes you. The first patient orientation class I did, I really did not want to do it. I did not want to stick around for an hour after my hard day’s work. However, someone told me I had to do it, and so I did it and I did not regret it.
Energizing You and Your Staff
I guarantee you, the one who will be most energized and excited about chiropractic was not my patients, but me. I remember very clearly it was Monday night I did my first orientation and I had 6 o’clock appointments the next morning, but I could not sleep. I was so excited to get back to my office and work with my patients. That’s the type of energy and enthusiasm it will give you and your staff. Because of the media, the medical profession, and general people who do not believe in chiropractic, we can use extra motivation and enthusiasm from time to time.
I promise you: the best way to do that is with a patient orientation class. So, what will you be educating them about? You are going to give them some basic anatomy and physiology of the spine and nervous system. Just explaining the basics of how chiropractic works. In addition, it gives you an opportunity to tell your patients your story. People want to know why you do what you do, and they find it inspiring. Whether it be you had a chiropractic experience, or whether it was through school, whatever the case is, everyone has a story of why they do it.
See the results
Again, this can be very motivating for your patients as well as your staff. The orientation can also be used to show results. Showing your patients before and after x-rays of a patient’s spine allows you to provide evidence of how chiropractic can work. Not only that, but you can tell the story of that patient. Sometimes showing the evidence is not enough, it is the motivational and inspiring story of the patient that can really energize your patients.