In healthcare you must communicate. Not communicating is not an option. Communication is a two-way process and is a complex interaction in which information passes between individuals. It is cyclical in nature as it allows messages to be sent and received and confirmed between individuals. Effective communication skills are essential within the healthcare setting to provide person-centred care ensuring that the patient’s autonomy, advocacy and wellbeing are maintained. Healthcare professionals have a unique relationship with patients, in that trust, honesty, dignity and privacy are key concepts of professional communication. There are two types of communication – verbal and non-verbal. Verbal messages can be contradicted while non-verbal communication does not reflect what is being said. Communication is multifaceted and uses skills of clarification, reflection, probing, summarising and questioning during an interaction with a patient and / or family. All efforts must be made to ensure the patient’s language and communication needs are met.
Breaking Bad News
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