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10 ways to give treatment instructions, politely

Here are some reminders for when you’re telling patients what they need to do.

You can use verbs like this:

Take the medicine one hour before eating.
Keep the area as clean as possible.

Make your voice sound polite by using falling intonation, especially in the negative:

Don’t put the cream anywhere near your eyes.
Don’t forget to use a new piece of gauze.

And please can be added to the beginning of all of the above phrases.

Here are 6 more ways to give instructions:

It’s best to take this medicine with food.
It’s easier to sit down when putting in your eye drops.

You should put your feet up for at least an hour every afternoon.
Make sure you always take an inhaler with you.

I’d advise trying to reduce the number of drinks you have in the evening.
I’d suggest taking a few days off work.

Keep instructions short and clear, but not so short that they sound like commands.

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And let me know what aspect of dealing with patients you’re having trouble with.

© Christina Wielgolawski