Communication Essential Skills for Health Care Professionals
ObjectivesStudents will:Demonstrate the use of positive communication techniques. Utilize two types of communication. Explore possible barriers to communication Relate and communicate multicultural and multilingual needs. Differentiate between subjective and objective information. Maintain confidentiality. Evaluate technological threats to confidentiality. Discuss patient/client confidentiality. Analyze legal ethical aspects of confidentiality.
CommunicationThe exchange of information
Two types:Verbal - written or spoken languageNonverbal - message spread through body language, gestures, expression
Effective CommunicationFor communication to be effective:Use words that mean the same thing to you and the receiver of the message.Use familiar words.Be brief and concise.Give information in a logical and orderly manner.Give facts and be specific
Components of CommunicationSender - person sending the messageMessage - information to be conveyedReceiver - person the information is intended forProblems in either component can lead to miscommunication and/or misunderstandings
Barriers to CommunicationCommunication barrier Anything that gets in the way of clear communication. May be in sender, message, or receiver Common Barriers include:Psychological attitudes and prejudiceCultural diversityPhysical disabilities
Psychological BarriersPsychological barriers are often caused by: Prejudice Attitudes PersonalityStereotypes such as dumb blonde or fat slob cause us to make snap judgments about others that affect the communication process. Health care workers must learn to put prejudice aside and show respect for all individuals.
Guidelines Health care workers must examine any prejudices they may have and learn to put these aside Never use language that others may view as offensiveLearning to read others body language can help to prevent misunderstanding
Cultural BarriersAll cultural beliefs must be respected.Every culture has beliefs and practices regarding health and illness such as:the body needs balance if the body is cold, they eat hot foods.illness is due to demons and evil spiritsillness is punishment from GodPatients may practice their cultural remedies in addition to modern healthcare techniques.
Guidelines for Cultural DiversityLanguage differences people who dont speak English may have a difficult time communicating. You should:Speak slowlyUse nonverbal communication (smile)Avoid tendency to speak louderFind an interpreter
Eye contact in some cultures, its not acceptable, and looking down is a sign of respectTerminal illness in some cultures, the patient is NOT told his/her prognosis, and family members are responsible for making care decisionsTouch in some cultures, it is wrong to touch someone on the head. Others may limit touch between male and femalePersonal care in some cultures, only family members provide personal care
Guidelines for Cultural Differences
Respect and acceptance of cultural diversity is essential for any health care worker.If unsure of cultural practices, speak with the patient or family to prevent future misunderstandingsGuidelines for Cultural Differences
Physical BarriersPhysical barriers may include:Deafness or hearing lossBlindness or impaired visionAphasia or speech disabilities
Communicating with the Hearing ImpairedUse body language such as gestures and signs.Speak clearly in short sentences.Face the individual to facilitate lip reading.Write messages if necessary.Make sure hearing aids are working properly
Use a soft tone of voice.Describe events that are occurring.Announce your presence as you enter a room.Explain sounds or noises.Use touch when appropriate.Communicating with the Visually Impaired
These patients may have difficulty remembering the correct words, may not be able to pronounce certain words, and may have slurred speech.
The health care worker must be patientAllow them to try and speakEncourage them to take their timeRepeat the message to assure accuracyEncourage them to use gestures or point to objectsProvide pen and paper if they can writeUse pictures with key messages communicateCommunicating with Patients with Aphasia or Speech Impediments
Recording and ReportingReporting is the oral account of care and observations.Recording (charting) is the written account of care and observations. During end-of-shift report, information is shared about:The care givenThe care that must be givenThe persons condition
Recording and ReportingCommunication between health care workers is critical in ensuring quality patient care.Workers must listen carefully and make observations.Observations must be accurate, concise, and complete.Use facts and report only what you saw, not the reasons.NOT Mrs. Jones is in pain. INSTEAD Mrs. Jones is holding her chest with wheezing as she breathes.
Objective / Sign what was seen or ObservedSubjective / Symptom- what the patient Said
ObservationsHealth care workers use their senses to:
SeeColor of skin, swelling or edemaPresence of rash or soreColor of urine or stoolAmount of food eatenSmellBody odorUnusual odors of breath, wounds, urine or stool (feces)
ObservationsTouchPulseDryness or temperature of skinPerspirationSwelling
HearingRespirationsAbnormal body soundsCoughsSpeech
The Medical RecordThe medical record, or chart, is:A written account of a persons condition and response to treatment and careA permanent, legal documentMedical facilities have policies about:Who can see them Who recordsWhen to recordAbbreviationsHow to correcting errorsWhat color of ink to useHow to sign entries
ConfidentialityYou have an ethical and legal duty to keep the persons information confidential.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) provides federal protections for personal health information and gives patients an array of rights with respect to that information.
HIPAA GuidelinesHealth care workers have access to information related to the care of their patients.Any information is confidential and is only reported to others involved in care of the patient.Care must be taken when reporting any information to prevent others from hearing the information.Patient information should never be discussed in public areas such as hallways, cafeterias, elevators, etc.
Recording TimeMany facilities use a 24 hour clock.It eases the confusion of whether a time is AM or PM. 1:00am - 01001:00pm - 1300 6:30am - 06306:30pm - 1830
Medical TerminologyPrefixes, roots, and suffixes A prefix is a word element placed before a root.The root is the word element that contains the basic meaning of the word.A suffix is a word element placed after a root.Medical terms are formed by combining word elements.Prefixes always come before roots.Suffixes always come after roots.A root can be combined with prefixes, roots, and suffixes.
Abbreviations are used frequently in health care facilitiesUse only those accepted by the center.
Computers in Health CareComputers are routinely used in health care facilities to collect, send, record, and store information.
The following guidelines apply:Use computers only for work purposes.Do not share your password.Employers may monitor your computer use.
Phone communicationsGood communication skills are needed when answering phones.Be professional and courteous.Answer with a greeting, your location, name, and title.Take messages accurately and deliver promptly.Follow the centers policies regarding who can answer and take messages.Many facilities restrict cell phone use during work hours.
ConflictConflict can occur in any setting.If problems are not worked out, the following can occur:Unkind words or actions occur.The work setting becomes unpleasant.Care is affected.
Dealing with ConflictAsk your supervisor for some time to talk privately.Approach the person with whom you have the conflict.Agree on a time and place to talk.Talk in a private setting.Explain the problem.Listen to the person.Identify ways to solve the problem.Set a date and time to review the matter.Thank the person for meeting with you.Carry out the solution.Review the matter as scheduled.
Problem - SolvingUse the following steps to help resolveconflict.Define the problem.Collect information.The information must be about the problem.Identify possible solutions.Select the best solution.Carry out the solution.Evaluate the results