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Building an effective relationship with your podiatrist

Onray Fernando, National Podiatry Manager
  • Aged Care Professionals

Good working relationships are instrumental in any successful organisation and bring with them a myriad of benefits. They not only improve morale, retention rates and productivity but are also proven to reduce stress, increase happiness, result in fewer health problems and help you live longer. Now there’s a reason to give the person next to you some encouragement!

When it comes to the relationship between a facility and their podiatrist, the benefits continue to grow. A good relationship produces happy residents and staff, a timely service, minimal disruption, and the assurance that all of the facilities’ needs are met – not to mention a more enjoyable day for you! Everyone is able to reap these rewards when there is:

  • Effective communication
  • An understanding of each others’ processes
  • Mutual respect

 

These attributes dissolve the frustrations of conflicting morning schedules, not knowing what the other is doing and why, and the negative impact this has for residents, so that everyone functions as a team with the common goal of caring for the residents in the best and most effective way. Don’t forget that a big part of effective communication is understanding. From the wise words of George Bernard Shaw – “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

To help apply these principles and start building a strong, healthy and long-lasting relationship with your podiatrist, we’ve put together a few things you can start doing today:

Set a routine – make sure you and your podiatrist both know what time they should be arriving at your facility, what room order is best to work in based on your knowledge of the residents, where all the designated treatment areas are, and any other important information regarding your facility. Your podiatrist should take note of this and carry this through for every visit.

Touch base – your podiatrist should touch base at the beginning of the visit which means you can make them aware of any extra activities happening in the facility that day so you can both decide upon the best approach to work in with this, if any residents are leaving for the day and will need to be seen first or will not be present during the visit, if any residents are sick and cannot be seen and any other changes to the regular schedule that day.

Be prepared – you should be informed by your podiatry service provider of their next visit. Make sure to inform your staff about the podiatry visit at morning handover and that the podiatrist may require assistance if residents need to be escorted to the designated treatment areas that are ready for them. Your podiatrist will ensure the date of their next visit is up on the Dimple board after each visit too.

Provide and be open to feedback – your podiatrist should perform an end-of-day handover so make the most of it by communicating what you thought went well during the session and what could be improved on for next time and allow your podiatrist to do the same. You’ll be building a solid and efficient system in no time!

It’s important to remember that both you, your staff and your podiatrist are simply trying to provide the best service and care for the residents and the best way of making that happen is by working together. At certain times compromise may be required by both parties and it’s important to go into it with a willing and positive attitude.

For more insight and tips for effective communication, have a read of this!

 

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