Surviving Back-to-Back Patients

Pace Yourself While Working Remotely

It’s Monday. But not a regular Monday. It’s your first day back at your practice after a two week trip. There’s a backlog of 50 patients waiting to schedule appointments with you. This is your life as a healthcare provider. You pay for your time off. Free time is rarely ever “free” time. The good news is, you run your practice virtually these days. You work from home. But still. Pressure at work is pressure at work. Well, we can help you with that. Depending on how much piled up while you were gone, we might not be able to help you make your first day back doing telemedicine video chats easy. But we can certainly make it easier. After all, setting up patients, doctors and other health care professionals for a video call online falls right in place with all the things we do here at Banty.

1. Keep Up Your Energy

There’s an article on this very blog about the best holdover snacks for back to back virtual meetings. While this article was written for busy video conferencing days in general, the credits definitely transfer to virtual medicine appointments for busy medical professionals as well. You have a small amount of time to eat during regular eating times due to your schedule being so packed, so you need some great holdover snacks. The idea behind these snacks isn’t to substitute for proper meals during a video call marathon, but they’re good solutions to temporarily keep your blood sugar even and your cravings controlled, while still being light enough to keep your pace steady throughout the day. 

Ideally, you want snacks that aren’t too filling or too heavy, and ones that don’t spike your blood sugar or blow your calorie count through the roof. You’re in health care, you know how it is. You cannot fulfill all your nutritional requirements this way though,  so it’s best to even back out to a well-balanced schedule as soon as possible. For details about what to eat, just read the aforementioned article.

2. Stay Awake

Telehealth calls can be very boring affairs. Couple boredom with exhaustion and you have a telemedicine video call primed for you to doze off whilst speaking to your patient on your video conferencing software. However, as a telehealth professional, this can provide a distinctly unhealthy impression on your part. Your patient doesn’t know how healthy you are, only the impression that you give. The impression you give on a video call is doubly important because your patient’s only information about your health is that which is apparent during the video call. And as much as it doesn’t make sense, there are still many patients out there who don’t trust doctors or other health professionals who don’t appear to be the picture of health themselves.

Staying awake during video chats is another topic covered on this blog and there are a number of ways to do it. Of course, the biggest shortcut for health professionals who aren’t required to watch their caffeine intake is to simply drink some coffee, although how much coffee we drink can be a delicate balance to make. This balance, and other methods of staying awake are covered in the blog, such as keeping your brain engaged on the video chatting device you’re using for your telemedicine video call. I’ll give you a hint. Two methods involve activities that stimulate your brain’s reward circuits.

3. Control the Conversation

Some people have a tendency to ramble. Whether you share that tendency with those people, or your patient does, this is not conducive for the timely conclusion of your telehealth video call so you can fulfill your busy schedule. If it’s your patient, don’t let them drag the conversation to deeply irrelevant topics. Sure, a few details about patients’ home lives might give you some insights as to their health. But you don’t want to discuss Otto Von Bismarck’s application of Realpolitik in the 19th century on a video call online with your patient. If it’s you that’s the problem, you need to find a way to control that tendency. But that’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Both for you and for your patient. So we’ve thought of a way beyond this problem for you.

To get around this issue with yourself or your patients, think back on every professional video chat you ever had with a telehealth care patient. Now go ahead and divide your most common telemedicine video conferences with your telemedicine patients into three or four stages. Name these stages appropriately, write down their names and structure, and keep them on a sheet next to the virtual health care device you use to make virtual meetings with your telemedicine patients. Make a habit of periodically glancing at this sheet and determining which stage you’re currently in to push to the next one as soon as possible. Write a few useful tips to move things along in each stage, in case it’s your patient that’s rambling and you need to be polite as you push things forward.

Ready to power through a long day of telemedicine video calls with your patients efficiently? Go ahead and get yourself a Banty Virtual Clinic account to get through your day even more efficiently. Who knows? You might even find time for a full lunch.

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Abdallah Al Alfy

Alfy is a content writer of 17 years, writing in multiple literary and content disciplines, and translating professionally since his early teens. Full name of Abdallah Al Alfy, he is also a licensed pharmacist in multiple countries. Alfy’s pharmaceutical background has often been an asset in scientific and medical writing.