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Strategies to Enhance Therapeutic Communication Between Healthcare Professionals and Children

Strategies to Enhance Therapeutic Communication Between Healthcare Professionals and Children.

Clear and appropriate communication with children is important for the healthcare professional and patient alike. These skills in communication help build rapport, ease the child’s anxiety and put fear to bed. Mansson and Dykes (2004) stated that fear complicates a child’s life, in a clinical setting the healthcare professional can be the one to remove that fear through the use of effective therapeutic communication. What are the ways healthcare professionals can improve communication with a child? There are several strategies that can be used to establish and effectively deliver communication to children. The approaches discussed are aimed at patients in developmental phases ranging from: toddlers (2-3), preschool (4-5) and school-aged (6-12). Some strategies for enhanced communication include the use of non-threatening language, nonverbal communication, participation i.e. play and visual aids as well as a patient centred approach. Each of these tactics will be explored and combined are designed to overall improve therapeutic communication with a child patient.

Language is an important factor to consider when communicating with a child. How information is delivered must ensure understanding from the child and relieve any uncertainties.

The use of non-threatening and age-appropriate language is explored in the Stock, Hill and Babl (2012) article outlining effective language techniques for communicating medical equipment and procedures to children. Using relatable explanations for medical equipment and procedures can help a child to understand something that is foreign to them and may look threatening at a glance. Communicati...

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http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/10.1016/j.pedn.2012.06.003

Chambers, S. (2003). Use of non-verbal communication skills to improve nursing care. British Journal of Nursing, 12(14), 874-878. Retrieved from

http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/docview/199491876?accountid=12528

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