Dealing with doctors can be frightening sometimes, not to mention stressful. You’re already worried about being ill or injured, and doctors don’t always come across as the most natural communicators. Connecting with patients is part of their job, though, and there are certain things your doctors can do to help you feel more comfortable and make sure you understand everything happening. If they’re not using different communication methods, you can speak to them about it or ask to see someone else. These are some ways your doctor might talk to you, and how you can ask them to help you. It’s all about having effective doctor patient communication to best help you.
Speaking in Your Language
Doctors sometimes can’t help talking in medical jargon. They know a lot of big, scientific words, and sometimes it’s hard for them to remember that not everyone understands those terms. However, most doctors will try their best not to use too much jargon when speaking to patients.
They can explain things in simple language instead, even when the concept appears to be complicated. If you feel like you don’t understand something, ask your doctor to put it more simply and they can explain it in a different way. They might also be able to suggest some resources to read or give you some useful materials about your injury or another issue.
Images for Better Doctor Patient Communication
Doctors will also often use visual information to help you understand something. For example, they might show you an X-ray or ultrasound image so that you can see something they found.
Specifically, hospitals and medical clinics often use special wall-mounted workstations for healthcare that are designed to easily move around. This maneuverability helps doctors and nurses to turn them into the right position, while also maintaining privacy.
If you feel like seeing something visually would be helpful, then ask for it, whether it’s an image, chart, or video. That assertiveness is a way to better doctor patient communication.
Be Open, Honest, And Clear About Your Issue
If you really want to get to the bottom of your problem, you have to make sure that you are clear and concise about the problems you are facing. So many people out there will be very vague due to nerves or forgetfulness. They might feel a little embarrassed about certain things that are going on in their life or about things that they have experienced. The best thing to do is to open up and let these people understand exactly what is happening. Regardless of whether you are heading in for Hearing Tests or whether you have a seriously worrying issue going on with your chest, make sure you do not leave out any important pieces of information.
Body Language and Gestures
Medical professionals will also often use body language or various gestures in doctor patient communication.
However, this might be something you want them to stop doing, rather than something you might ask them to do. For example, a doctor might put their hand on your shoulder to comfort you. But if that’s uncomfortable, then ask them not to do it.
Of course, you might welcome other communication. Especially if you want your doctor to be more friendly and less clinical.
Allowing You Time to Talk
It’s important that doctors also listen to their patients, as well as talking to them in the right way. Whenever you talk to a doctor, they should allow you the time to ask questions or say any personal concerns. If they don’t, then make your wishes known to them directly.
Or, if you’re not comfortable doing so, approach someone else and let them know your worries. Sometimes having a colleague or superior ask a doctor to modify their communication strategy can be more effective.
The Takeaway on Doctor Patient Communication
It can be difficult to feel comfortable when talking to doctors. But remember that you, as the patient, are the one who is in charge. If you need more explanation or want to change anything, then ask your doctor.
Top photo by Zahy1412, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.