If you’ve been reading and learning about health and wellness coaching, you may be starting to realize that there’s a lot coaches can do to help set a patient or client on the right path to help. Even physicians’ offices, pharmacies and corporations are taking note and hiring health coaches on. Why?
What are they noticing that makes them want to hire additional employees?
As it turns out, health coaches can make a big impact on the current health care system. As this is a new industry, the changes will take some time to be fully realized. But new studies are emerging that are showing measurable benefits to clients and patients as a result of engaging in coaching sessions.
A doctor’s job is to provide medical assessments, medical knowledge and medical advice to patients. They provide analysis of medical data and instruct the patient on a course of action. “Your cholesterol numbers are here. Here’s what I recommend to get the good numbers up and the bad numbers down.” Then the patient is on their way home, with most likely, a prescription and a mildly motivated attitude towards change.
That patient will most likely only see that doctor again 1) for an annual check up where the numbers are reviewed again and recommendations are made again or 2) when there is a problem, illness, sickness or disease.
There’s something missing. Where is the wellness care? Where is preventive health care?
The health or wellness coach can step in to fill the gap. They often act as a bridge between the medical professionals and the patient (or client).
Physicians who are wise to this up and coming trend are finding that they are quite happy to hire a coach to support their patients. One physician recently related his deep satisfaction at being able to gently hand off their patient to the coach seamlessly, all in one visit. “Here’s your prescriptions, and (instead of see you next year) I’d like for you to stop by our wellness coach’s office before you leave today. Touch base with her (or him), and see if you’d like to set up some support sessions to help get your health on the right track.”
A health coach is not a personal trainer. A health coach is not a therapist. A health coach is typically not a medical professional, although it can be true in some instances.
A health coach is a guide.
Patients and clients who utilize the service of a trained health and wellness professional can improve their health and well-being. They can begin to focus on wellness, and that may just be the best step towards fixing our health care system in America.