Words Matter: What Language Does Your Clinic Speak?

By guest contributor Kristen Magnacca

The words that fertility providers use with patients matters.As a busy health care provider, it’s easy to sometimes lose sight of your interactions with clients and patients, i.e., you can’t see the forest for all the trees. Your day is jam packed with patient appointments and administrative meetings. You have a pile of journals on your desk waiting to be read. Your staff might feel the same way too. Too much to do and not enough time to do it. Because we are busily working day in and day out, we assume that customers understand how hard we are trying to get them pregnant and that they are aware of the mission and vision of our organization.

But guess what? They don’t!  Here’s why!  Because when they walk in the door, they have one clear and present goal for themselves, which is to …. get pregnant.  So your actions, words and deeds create the experience that will fulfill their needs.

But if you and your employees are not focused on communicating your mission or vision, unfortunately there isn’t a magic powder that gets sprinkled into the four walls of your building each night that creates the experience.

But you can create a system of flow that allows the front desk person as well as the medical professional to exude your vision and mission and have it invisibly woven into all compoments of your practice. Using the right words and having the right attitude are no cost ways to create a thriving practice and satisfied patients. There is power in the words that your entire staff uses with each other and with your clients. But your intention to help patients must be clear to them and your words need to be deliberate and thoughtful.

Your words can be peaceful or harsh. They can make your clients/patients feel worthy or they can make them feel defeated. Worthiness is one of the most critical emotions to keep your clients engaged in treatment and return for subsequent cycles,

Keiko Zoll, a woman’s health writer, patient empowerment advocate, and founder of The Infertility Voice describes these feelings so eloquently. Please read her words carefully.

I think one of the biggest barriers that infertility patients have in their family-building journeys- be they treatment, adoption, surrogacy or otherwise- is their own sense of worthiness. When infertility has thrown their physical, emotional and even spiritual control and self-confidence into doubt, it’s almost inevitable that we would feel unworthy to receive those positive milestones and steps on our journeys. We tell ourselves we’re not worthy of good things because we didn’t take care of ourselves, we didn’t see the warning signs early enough, we waited too long to start trying… The running inner monologue of self-doubt is as endless as it is torturous. This is the challenge of every practitioner: to instill a belief of and confidence in the worthiness of their patients to seek the treatment they need and to achieve the families they desire. The challenge of the patient is greater still: to accept that worthiness- to own the birthright of their own happiness.

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