Patient or client?

Do you prefer to be referred to as a patient or a client?

Our lovely little reception team were chatting a few days ago and we touched on this question and it left me thinking…..I wondered if the words that we use reflect our thoughts on the relationship between the practitioner and the patient/client.

‘Patient’ suggests to me a person in need of some advice or help with their health on some level – it suggests that the practitioner knows best the answer that the patient is seeking, and that the patient is vulnerable and therefore dependant on the expertise and knowledge that the practitioner will have about their issues.

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‘Client’ suggests a much more equal relationship – I am still asking someone to help me with my issues but I am in control, this is my health, my body and ultimately my return to wellness will come from the decisions I make, and the responsibility I take. I still need the expertise of the practitioner but I don’t see myself as deficient and I am not looking to them to cure me, more to support me in finding the solutions on my journey to greater wellbeing.

Perhaps as patients/clients we don’t mind which word is used – maybe it says more about the practitioner and how they feel about the helping that they do…and maybe it lets us know how they view us…and themselves.

What do you think? Please feel free to comment….we would love to hear from you. 🙂

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