Good communication between the patient and the doctor is important for effective treatment. In fact, every medical practitioner should be trained in essential communication skills for doctors. This is important to identify the problems of the patients accurately and look for treatment options.
Most of the times, patients complain that their problem is not understood properly by the doctor. This is due to lack of communication skills. Doctors take too little information about the physical, emotional and social state of the patient. As a result, a lot of time is wasted in identifying the main problem.
In such a scenario, the patients do not follow the advice of the doctors and end up in an unsatisfactory position. Thus, it should be understood that patients are more likely to adhere to those doctors who have a pleasant behavior. They are likely to express their distress and anxiety to a person who is friendly.
Now let us have a look at the key tasks that a doctor is required to perform to communicate effectively with the patients.
Firstly, the doctor should try to elicit three main things. These are the main problems of the patient; the patients opinion about these problems; the physical, social and emotional impact of the problems on the patient’s family.
Then, the doctor can provide information on what the patient wants to know. After this, the doctor should try to find out how the patient reacts to the information provided about his problems. This way, he can discuss the treatment options as well as the complications.
The doctor should try to convince the patient about the treatments and lifestyle changes that the patient will have to undergo. Any doctor who performs these tasks can be regarded as a good communicator.
Now, we can look at a few tips that can help a doctor develop communication skills.
A doctor should establish eye contact with the patient at the beginning and maintain it throughout the period of conversation. While talking, ask the patient to be precise with the sequence in which the problems occurred. Your involvement will convince the patient that you care, understood and can treat his problem. Also, maintain active listening during the conversation with the patient. Ask him queries but be careful not to interrupt him when he is expressing something. always try to make the patient aware of the truth in the most appropriate manner.
Thus, good communication skills for doctors are a must to have. Without these, no doctor can gain the trust of the patient.