Undergoing any type of surgery can be a stressful experience. Not knowing how your body will react is always frightening. This is why so many patients enter operating rooms feeling anxious. But the detrimental effect of stress should never be underestimated. According to the American Psychological Association, stress can affect our whole body, tensing up our muscles, causing respiratory symptoms, and, in the worst cases, also contributing to long-term problems for our heart and blood vessels.
One of Dr. Anna Steve‘s number one priorities is to make every patient feel comfortable and at ease to minimize the negative feelings often associated with surgery. Dr. Steve is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon working at Neinstein Plastic Surgery, a clinic located in Manhattan.
But what are her tips to create the best patient experience?
Prioritize the family vibe
One of the best ways to make every patient feel comfortable in a clinical setting is by creating a family vibe within the workplace. “I knew that if we could ignite and excite the team and create a culture of employee happiness, it would permeate into the patient experience,” said Dr. Ryan Neinstein, founder of Neinstein Plastic Surgery. This approach was one of the main reasons that led Dr. Steve to join the group. This surgeon grew up in Saskatchewan, a small town in Canada with a population of roughly 600 people, and was well aware of the many benefits of having a small-town vibe at work.
To create the perfect workspace environment, Dr. Neinstein focused on two main points, the physical space, and the right team. He decided to invest in a modern welcoming design that would make each client feel welcome and hired a small team of like-minded surgeons who shared his core values. This helped create a sense of family among the staff that is difficult to find in clinics and medical settings, helping every patient feel at home from the very first moment.
Establishing a personal connection with each patient can also help reduce stress and anxiety. For women, it is fundamental to find a surgeon who is not only highly skilled but also someone they can relate to.
Dr. Steve’s patients often tend to fall into three main categories, mothers who are unhappy with the body changes caused by their recent pregnancy, young women considering having children soon, and wondering when the best timing for plastic surgery might be, and women who want to be the best version of themselves and don’t have any children in their immediate future. As a young mother herself, Dr. Anna has been through all three of these transitions within the last five years and can relate well to each of these patient populations. This helps create a connection founded on trust and understanding.
No room for stress
The last point Dr. Steve emphasizes is to leave stress out of the workplace. It’s no mystery. Balancing career and family life, regardless of the field you chose, can be extremely tough. Several studies have demonstrated how high levels of stress can impair judgment, as well as decision-making and communication skills. Patients can detect this stress within the work environment and end up being affected by it.
To combat workplace and lifestyle stressors, Dr. Steve suggests having the right support system both in the workspace and at home. “Having a stable and supportive family is crucial because that’s the team that supports you outside of the workplace,” said Dr. Steve. She also recommends always reaching out to your mentors when in need of workplace advice and emphasizes the importance of choosing a career that truly reflects your passions. According to her, only by doing so, you will be able to find enjoyment in your everyday life, making it easier for you to endure stressful situations and avoid burnout. “If you love what you do, you never really work a day in your life. People tire of their work, but your energy for your passion is limitless.”
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