Understanding a Patient’s Emotional Recovery Process After Surgery

Note: This is the 6th article in the Cosmetic Patient Progression Lifecycle series. If you missed previous articles.

During the Implementation stage, the patient shows up for and proceeds with, their chosen procedure or surgery.

After the procedure, the immediate focus is usually on pain management and the physical comfort of the patient, as it should be.

That said, numerous studies now show the importance of addressing mental and emotional recovery post-surgery or procedure.

During a procedure, the body undergoes what is known as a “controlled injury.” Oftentimes, the body heals before the mind, affecting the patient’s energy and mood as the brain continues to process the injury.

It should be of utmost importance the patient has been adequately prepared for the emotional recovery phase and ideally has access to the surgeon, practice, or a representative at all times.

You see, it is during the Implementation Stage that a patient feels most vulnerable. They are questioning their decision to have the procedure. They are probably in pain. And, as you know, are probably seeing things look a bit ‘wonky’ as the healing process begins.

Things that are very normal to a practice may seem incredibly wrong to a patient. This could include asymmetrical swelling or unexpected pain. It is during this time patients need your reassurance, presence, and nurturing the most.

Ideas to address the emotional needs of the patient during this stage include the following:

  • During the pre-operative appointment, provide the patient and caretaker with a “What to Expect Following ‘X’ Procedure.” This should include both physical and mental preparation. Of course, it’s important to let the patient know about pain management and wound care, but it’s also just as important to tell the patient about any mental obstacles they might encounter post-procedure, such as doubt & anxiety.
  • Post-surgical calls to the patient by the surgeon, nurse, and even the patient coordinator (on different times/days) show the patient you are there for them, and that just because they have completed a procedure does not mean they have been forgotten.
  • Address all patient concerns ASAP whether it’s a procedural outcome complaint or a practice complaint. Let the patient know you appreciate their honest feedback. Let them know they have been heard.

These are just a few excellent ways to further establish your practice as an industry leader, and ensure lifelong relationships with prospective patients.

Interested in increasing your staff’s patient engagement, acquisition, & retention skills? Contact us today & inquire about our Staff Development training sessions.

I have worked with hundreds of practices across the country to instill strategic processes that are proven to drive patient acquisition, retention, & advocacy.

Click HERE and write“Staff Skills Info” in the Contact box.

Be on the lookout for next week’s post when we take a dive into the final stage in this current series ~ “Building Your Tribe”

To your success!

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