5 Quick Tips For Communicating With Patients Over the Phone
Welcome to the Learning Center, a place where nurses can learn and discuss the newest and best practices to triage their patients. I am Marci Lawing, the TriageLogic Nurse Educator.
Communication is a skill that is vital to any nurse/patient relationship. On a typical day, nurses talk to patients from many different backgrounds, cultures, and education levels. And we must adjust out method of communication in order to care for each of our patients in a safe and efficient manner. In this short video blog, I will share with you 5 tips that may help to improve your communication skills.
- Listen- Take a few minutes to let your patient talk. This will give you clues as to what method of communication might be best for them. For instance, you can tell if they have a foreign accent and may need a translator, if they have a health condition that alters their speech or ability to understand, such as a stroke, or if they are hard of hearing and may need you to speak a little louder.
- Learn the Art of Reflection- After giving the patient a few minutes to talk, repeat back to them what has been said using your own words. This not only lets the patient know you were listening; it verifies what they said was correct or gives them opportunity to correct it.
- Slow Your Speech- Many words can sound alike when spoken quickly and meanings can be misinterpreted- even more so when communicating over the phone. Taking the time to speak slowly and clearly will decrease the chance of misinterpretation. Don’t confuse speaking slowly with speaking loudly. Talking at a normal pace and volume with help patients get the most out of your advice.
- Watch Your Vocabulary- Avoid using slang words or complicated medical jargon. Slang is never appropriate and medical jargon may not be understood by your patient.
- Don’t Chew and Talk- Do not have gum or food in your mouth when talking to your patient. Refrain from smoking or sipping drinks while talking also. All of these will make it harder for your patient to understand you.
Now that you’re armed with a few tips that will help you communicate better with your patients, please visit our learning center for more articles and videos. Feel free to leave comments and share this video with your colleagues.
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