Effectively Communicate With Your Patients 

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Effectively Communicate With Your Patients 

You always hear that communication is key - and it really matters, especially when dealing with patients. But in today’s climate, communication has even more obstacles to overcome. Given the lapse in time since we have been able to see our clients in person as well as still only seeing some virtually, what is the best way to hear them and be heard? Here are four steps to help make sure your communication with patients is as effective as it can be.  

  • Listening is key – One of the best ways to improve communication is to listen. Hear what your patients have to say and let them express their concerns. Especially if you are seeing them virtually, give them time to talk about everything they have been experiencing. It can also help to take notes as they talk. You may have 100 other things flying through your head but stop and take the time to listen to what they have to say. Give them your undivided attention and build the rapport with your patient and caregivers. 

  • Keep an open mind – Personal health issues can be a touchy subject for many patients. Often, it can be hard for patients to express certain symptoms or concerns so it’s important they feel like the environment is suitable to do so. Be sure to let them fully let out their concerns. If needed, ask more questions but be sure to use a gentle approach.   

  • Communicate effectively – Not everyone has the same level of education as you, so it is important to remember to break things down. Speak slowly, don’t rush when explaining things to patients. You may have to repeat what you said or say it in a different way to facilitate understanding. Always try to break it down as simply as you can.  

  • Ask for Confirmation – Communication is a two-way street. How can you ensure your patient understood what you said? It’s easy really. Just ask them. Sometimes it can help to have them repeat back what you said to make sure they understand things. This can help you find which points to go back over and which ones to move on from.   

Now it’s time to put all of this into practice! How do you best effectively communicate with your patients? If you’d like to see more information like this, be sure to check our blog, or become a NARA member and attend webinars and our conferences