Communication has many facets encompassing more than just the spoken word. Communication can be likened to an onion; it has multiple layers that when pulled back show the complexity of its makeup. Communication is layered by our words and how we use them; our tone of voice; non-verbal cues, gestures and facial expressions. Any one layer by itself would be hard for the listener to interpret the meaning, but together they complete and add depth of meaning to our communication. It is equally important to understand that the way we communicate is dependent on our audience, just as how we communicate affects their response and the result of the interaction. I believe that there is no greater audience than that of the Physician—Patient interaction. As you can guess there are many noise factors or interference that affects the encoding-decoding process which are responsible for the lack of clear communication between a patient and their physician. One factor is related to the age and cognitive status of the patient, while another would be the physicians’ level of communication skills as it relates to the aging patient population.
My parents are both over 85 and as they have gotten older we have experienced difficulties with the level of communication between them and their physician. They have been going to him for over 20-years and are now having difficulty understanding him and due to his use of medical jargon they become confused with instructions regarding when to take their medications and when they must come back in to see him. As a result I must travel three hours one way so that I can be there for their office visits so that I can facilitate questions and ...
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...aring loss you should sit facing the patient to allow for lip reading which can be conducive to their understanding information correctly.
5. Maintain eye contact it is one of the essential forms of nonverbal communication.
If these tips are implemented as part of the physicians communication plan it has been proven that it can affect better outcomes for their patients.
The evidence provided here supports the importance of understanding the intrinsic differences of the elderly patient in order to communicate effectively. Adjusting our listening and communication skills by utilizing the patient–centered care model; the five tips and the use of elder emergency departments can lead to effective communication and enhanced patient understanding. This will result in stronger communication outcomes and positive change in the healthcare of elderly patients like my parents.
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