Why is good communication with the patient important?

Today, among the skills that a health professional must have, are those that have to do with the care and comprehensive care of the patient.

These are essential when it comes to understanding what the patient is saying and, in this way, identifying what is happening to him or her in order to offer him or her competent and appropriate care , and provide him or her with correct treatment, establishing a relationship of trust with him or her and, therefore, So the best prognosis.

In short, effective communication with the patient is key in the context of health care. However, it is not always easy to fulfill this intention. For this reason, we will tell you what are the main problems that prevent this from being possible and some strategies to overcome them.

Difficulties in communication with the patient

Among the factors that hinder or prevent assertive communication with the patient, the following could be highlighted:

Protocols of medical and hospital centers: many health institutions establish a series of very rigid procedures that are mandatory for the staff who work in them. Sometimes, this situation limits their professional practice and makes clinical practice somewhat “less human”.

Trend towards specialization and research: many times the desire to carry and present an interesting clinical case means that attention to the basic needs of the patient and the care that this person requires are relegated to the background.

Lack of staff (and time): to establish good communication with the patient and to have a cordiality, it is necessary to dedicate time and effort. The lack of staff, together with a high volume of work and number of patients to attend, makes it impossible.

Inadequate idea of ??comprehensive patient care: some health professionals understand that caring for a patient properly means carrying out all the pertinent tests to find out what is happening to him, without taking into account or giving importance to the part of communicating and informing the patient and their families.

Lack of empathy: difficulties in putting oneself in the patient’s place, making an effort to understand that feeling of uncertainty and ignorance about what is happening to him and that correct communication and treatment can alleviate.

6 patient communication techniques

Below, we propose some actions to improve and increase the effectiveness of communication between health professionals and patients:

  1. Take care of verbal and body language , so as to show the patient that you are an accessible, respectful and friendly person.
  2. Transmit credibility and veracity, which will serve to dispel the fears and insecurities that the patient may have, that is, to reassure him.
  3. Prioritize the patient’s needs and attend to them in a calm and empathic way . This can be a great help in establishing a closeness with the patient. And if everything goes well, it will also contribute to a much more fluid communication and thus better understanding of what is happening to this person, how they feel and/or think.
  4. Give physical and emotional support to the patient , offer help whenever possible and pay attention to what this person may say or express (pain, emotions, etc.).
  5. Work with simplicity and humility , be open to dialogue. It is a priority that the patient raises his doubts about what is happening to him and the treatment that is going to be carried out, and that an understandable, clear and concise language is used to resolve them. It is not good to take things for granted.
  6. Treat each patient in a personalized way , for example, calling him by name, respecting his privacy and taking into account his opinion. All this will increase your level of confidence and satisfaction.
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