MEDICAL ASSISTANT : COMMUNICATION WITH PATIENTS.

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1 MEDICAL ASSISTANT : COMMUNICATION WITH PATIENTS.

2 The most important abilities of a CMA are: the ability to Communicate effectively, with professionalism and diplomacy to all types of patients. Recognize and respond to verbal and nonverbal Communication thereby providing instruction for health maintenance and disease prevention. A CMA is uniquely qualified to speak the patient s language and thus serves as the communication liaison between the busy physician and patients who are often afraid to ask questions.

3 Communication in the health setting is the foundation for all patient care and is of utmost importance. Effective communication is particularly critical in health care settings where miscommunication may lead to misdiagnosis and improper or delayed medical treatment. Patients' satisfaction with their medical care is as much related to the effectiveness of the communication between themselves and their chosen health care provider as it is to the actual care itself. When communication is therapeutic, patients feel validated and respected.

4 Communication skills are verbal and nonverbal words, phrases, voice tones, facial expressions, gestures, and body language that you use in the interaction between you and another person.

5

6 What is Communication??? VERBAL NON-VERBAL LISTENING SKILLS LANGUAGE SKILLS Words Body Contact Hearing Usage of Appropriate Words Language Tone Facial Expression Hand/ Head Movements Posture/ Appearance Understanding Judging No Inappropriate or abusive language

7 Prepare to listen ; Relax and listen attentively Maintain eye contact and personal space Minimize both internal and external distractions stay focused Show you are listening by your nonverbal communication Understand What You ve Just Heard ; Decide what it means ; Paraphrase to confirm understanding and thus avoid Miscommunication Ask Questions Provide Feedback

8 Smile Use Good Eye Contact Pay Attention to Nonverbal Signals Improve Posture and body orientation BE TACTFUL T = Think before you speak A = Apologize quickly when you blunder C = Converse, don't compete T = Time your comments F = Focus on behavior - not on personality U = Uncover hidden feelings L = Listen for feedback

9 Therapeutic communication is a process by which a caregiver leads his/her patient to restorative change through a purposefully structured exchange of ideas. It is the ability to communicate with patients in terms that they can understand and thus feel at ease and be more comfortable. It differs from normal communication as it includes an important element EMPATHY The patient is made to feel validated and respected. This kind of communication has three general purposes: collecting information to determine illness, assessing and modifying behavior, and providing health education.

10 There are many barriers or roadblocks to Therapeutic communication which close communication and prevent quality care services. These Include Ridiculing, Shaming, Criticizing, Threatening, Language Barriers etc By being sensitive to each individual patients unique personalities and needs enable medical assistants to avoid these barriers and thus communicate more effectively.

11 ANGRY YOUNG PATIENTS ANXIOUS PATIENTS ELDERLY IMPAIRED (MENTALLY, VISUALLY, HEARING, PHYSICAL) DIFFERENT CULTURE

12 Stay calm and show empathy Recognize anger and its cause Suggest activities that might help the patient to divert the anger such as walking Express concerns for the patient s feelings Personalize (Use name) Maintain adequate personal space Do not take anger personally Develop different Solutions / suggestions Present your point of view Avoid breakdown of communication

13 These patients interfere in communication process and thus may not listen well or pay attention to what you are saying. Help the patient face up to and overcome his or her fears by discussing them in frank dialogue. Try attempting to help the patient think logically about the reason that they dread and there by help them recognize that there is nothing to fear. Do not get frustrated. Be Patient.

14 Be Respectful Allow extra time for older patients Listen carefully, Speak slowly, clearly and loudly without shouting. Use short, simple words and sentences. If required, simplify and write down your instructions or Use charts, models and pictures Give them an opportunity to ask questions and express themselves. If they have trouble in understanding you, find a different way of telling them the same thing.

15 Young Patients require not just constant attention and sympathy, but also understanding of their needs and thoughts. Recognize and accept their fear and anxiety Use praise Encourage parents to provide information at their child's level of understanding, correct misunderstandings, and thus get rid of fears and feelings of guilt if any. Reassuring and keeping parents calm will also help the child relax.

16 Cultural values, beliefs, and assumptions influence healthcare. Your ability to deliver culturally competent care can affect everything. Each patient has his or her own behaviors, traditions and values, so strive to understand and be tolerant. Make direct eye contact When asking the patient his or her name also ask how they want to be addressed. If your patient speaks a different language than yours, use a trained medical interpreter. Focus on conveying empathy and showing respect. Without stereotyping, you can build on your experiences to be more effective each time you communicate cross-culturally.

17 Talk naturally. Use a normal speaking voice Be patient Before you move away, say that you are about to leave. Do not leave a blind person standing alone without some point of reference (e.g. a chair or a wall). If you are providing information, remember to check what format the person needs it in. Do not leave things lying around which a blind person could trip over. Preserve the patient s dignity

18 Communicating with a hearing-impaired patient makes the use of some combination of the speech, hearing, lip-reading, writing, visual aids, visual language systems and the assistance of an interpreter. Try to find a place away from noise and other distractions. Stand or sit where your face can be seen in good light. Look at the person you are communicating with Make sure you have their attention before you start speaking. Speak clearly but do not shout. Verify understanding Repeat yourself if necessary. Use written material. Use your face, hands and body. Express your feelings about what you are saying. Preserve the patient s dignity

19 Speak directly to the person and not with someone who may be assisting them. Never move someone's crutch, walker, cane, or other mobility aid without permission. When speaking to a person using a wheelchair for more than a few minutes, try to find a seat for yourself so the two of you are at eye level. Do not push a person's wheelchair or grab the arm of someone walking with difficulty, without first asking if you can be of assistance. Don t make assumptions about what a person can or cannot do. Ask before giving assistance. Preserve the patient s dignity

20 Medical Assistants should be thoroughly trained and encouraged to develop strong oral, verbal, non-verbal and interpersonal communication skills. A MA must have the ability to show true empathy and sensitivity towards each patient which is often expressed by communication. A MA sets the tone for the communication cycle and must be aware of all the obstacles that can affect human communication. As a MA, one is often exposed to all kinds of patients (different cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, educational levels, ages, and lifestyles). You must be able to communicate with each patient with professionalism and diplomacy.

21 Administrative Procedures for Medical Assisting ; Booth, Kathryn A./ Whicker, Leesa G./ Wyman, Terri D./ Pugh, Donna Jeanne/ Thompson, Sharion Communication Skills For Healthcare Professionals (http://www.oscehome.com/communication-skills.html) What are therapeutic communication techniques? (Oct 27, 2009, Harold E. Sconiers)

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