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Set the Stage for a Great Adjustment and a Happy Patient

The efficacy of the patient analysis and adjustment is greatly enhanced by the environment they walk into and the patient’s state of mind. The patient must be as relaxed as possible and their body temperature needs to balance. If the day is extremely hot, they need to sit in your air-conditioned waiting room for at least 15 minutes. If it is chilly outside, then the same applies with heating. The Nervoscope is very sensitive to the initial body temperature, so this settling period is the best way to allow the instrument to work to its optimum capacity. It is tricky enough without adding to your complications a dulled or over active reading. Given the importance of the initial Gonstead analysis with the instrument, make sure your waiting room runs at a constant 21-22 degrees C. If you don’t have efficient heating or cooling as the case may be, get it now!

The initial patient’s state of mind is fundamental. If the patient is stressed from rushing or heavy traffic, they need to settle, otherwise your efforts at motion palpation and adjusting are significantly compromised. Your front desk staff must be schooled in this aspect. They need to be taught how to recognize the signs of stress and how to deal with a stressed patient. If it is a hot day and the patient is rushed, asking them to “cool their heels” for 15 to 20 minutes won’t help them unless the reasons are clearly and politely explained.
If the Doctor is running late, the front desk must advise the patient as soon as they walk in. Don’t provide an optimistic timeframe; add 5 or 10 minutes to the expected waiting time; always understate and over deliver! Offer a cool or hot drink as the case may be. Few accept the offer, but such generosity and thoughtfulness is always rewarded. Your CA’s must be sensitive to the signs of emotional stresses, such as work or family pressures. Once again, a kind word, and time for the patient to relax will clearly reap benefits. As soon as the patient hears from your CA the reasons for the wait, they usually calm down and relax. Ultimately, it is sometimes better to reschedule the patient’s visit than to attempt adjusting in stressed circumstances. In fact, the few times I have hurt a patient when adjusting was when they were stressed, or I was focussed elsewhere and rushing.
Dr Chris Hart DC (GCS (Aust) Fellow)

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