There's nothing more intimidating for a patient than to see an unknown medical professional walk into the room. Whether the patient is in for a routine medical exam or to find out the test results of a biopsy, a patient that is sitting there waiting for someone to come in is going to be nervous. Someone in a white coat is going to talk with them and give them information that may affect their life.
But is it the white coat that really matters? Studies have shown that the white coat does affect the way you are perceived as a medical professional - sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. You should take into account that wearing a white coat means different things to different patients, so learning about their possible perceptions can give you insight into their reaction to you.
One of the first associations of the white coat is power over the patient. Someone wearing a white coat is seen as an authority for the patient. Even those that aren't medical professionals per se - medical researchers, front desk clerks, and others in a medical office - can be given personal medical information because they appear to be authoritative figures. With this assumption of authority, some patients may defer completely to whatever person wearing the white coat has to say. And while this makes for an easy appointment, it may not be the best course of action for the patient. Be sure to ask the following questions if your patient seems to be deferring to everything you say:
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Grant Eckert is a writer for Tafford Uniforms. Tafford Uniforms is a leading provider of Nursing Uniforms | Nurse Uniforms
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