Communicating With Patients and Bedside Manner
Communication between a health professional and a patient is not always easy. For many patients, facing disease and suffering is challenging and terrifying. Something as simple as having their blood drawn can increase their anxiety. Knowing how to communicate with a patient can put them at ease.
Unfortunately, communication between a patient and a health professional can be complicated. When stressed, worried and uncertain patients and family members can be more critical of how you communicate with them. Understanding and utilizing effective elements in healthcare communication can reassure and comfort the patient during their health challenges.
Having empathy shows your willingness to acknowledge the feelings and thoughts of your patient. Empathy is an essential part in interpersonal relations. Recognizing a patient's needs allows the patient to express his emotions at a time when they may not be as willing to share their feelings.
Control is another important element to communication in a healthcare setting. Patients like to feel as though they are in control of what happens in their lives. Being in a hospital environment can cause a person to feel fearful and powerless because other people perform the personal tasks they would usually perform at home. Typically, patients will be angry at this loss of control.
If a patient refuses to have their blood drawn, for example, an allied health professional should show empathy towards the patient and allow the patient to control the situation. In many instances, once a patient feels in control of the situation, they often are willing to agree to the procedure. Even though sharing control with a patient may be difficult, addressing the patient's needs can help the process go more smoothly.