As a healthcare worker, you want to provide the best possible services to your patients. However, medical knowledge alone isn’t enough. Here’s how you can use soft skills to improve your patient care.
Top Soft Skills to Improve Your Patient Care
Patients and their families need to understand their current diagnosis as well as medical instructions. When delivering explanations, avoid technical terms and speak to your client in everyday language. Also, experiment with multiple communication tactics including creating checklists, using props or illustrations, and/or giving live demonstrations. Finally, don’t assume someone knows what you are talking about just because they are nodding along. Check for comprehension by asking them to repeat information back to you or having them practice procedures while you supervise. And if they still seem confused, attempt to present the material in another way.
Just as your patients should listen to you, YOU should listen to your patients. If listening isn’t one of your strongest skills, try using this active listening strategy. While your client is talking, concentrate only on what they are saying. Don’t think about what you need to do next or how you will respond. Then, when they are done speaking, summarize what they said. “So, what you are saying is…” This tactic not only improves your focus but also confirms their message. If you misunderstood one of their statements, they’ll have the chance to clarify.
When patients are uncooperative, angry, or confrontational, it’s easy to get frustrated. Therefore, empathy is essential. Before jumping to judgment, put yourself in your client’s shoes. Why might they be uncooperative, angry or confrontational? Considering the reasons behind someone’s behavior helps you better relate and be more patient with those in your care.
A Positive Attitude
Healthcare environments present numerous challenges. On any given day you may deal with rigorous schedules, long hours, stressful situations, difficult patients, and bad news. As a result, you must work diligently to keep a positive outlook. This includes taking care of yourself, managing stress, productively handling setbacks, and offering glimmers of hope to those around you.
You may have started your day with the best-laid plans. And then, you had to rearrange your schedule, use a different approach with a patient and delay several non-essential tasks. In other words, nothing turned out as expected. Recognize, this is the nature of your job and embrace your flexibility. This will minimize your frustration and allow you to provide exceptional care at the moment.
Are You Hoping to Use Your Soft Skills at a New Healthcare Job?
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