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Professionalism/Communication book questions: Midterm

Terms in this set (55)

Best practices: Tell your patient when, where, and how they will be touched when
being positioned for the scan. This helps to put your patient at ease and will avoid
startling them. Use a form of touch that is appropriate for the given situation
which includes positioning the patient and perhaps putting them at ease if they are
anxious. Use touch to supplement your verbal message. Observe and assess the
recipient's response to the touch. Negative responses may include pulling away, a
startled look or frightened appearance, a tense facial expression, or other anxious
gestures or behaviors. You may safely assume that a patient has a positive

Communication Skills for the Healthcare Professional, McCorry and Mason

Answer Key - Chapter 2

response to touch if they appear to relax or seem more comfortable. The person
who touches may be perceived as having enhanced status. Therefore, it is
important that the HCP remain mindful of its possible effect on the power
dynamic between them and the patient. In some instances, the patient may feel a
reduced sense of independence or autonomy. Practices to avoid: Do not replace
words with touch alone as this may be demeaning to the patient. Do not use a
touch gesture that implies more intimacy with a patient than is desired. When a
gesture suggests a degree of intimacy that is not shared, it will likely result in
discomfort. When touching a patient of the opposite gender, it is advisable to have
a colleague or a family member of the patient in the room in order to prevent any
misunderstanding.
Perhaps the most important part of good listening is paraphrasing. To paraphrase is to use your own words to repeat what someone else has said. Good paraphrasing skills are essential to effective communication. An HCP should use paraphrasing for several important reasons.
A) Paraphrasing provides a test of the message for the HCP. Paraphrasing back to the patient what the patient has said provides the HCP with an opportunity to verify that they have understood what the patient has said. By paraphrasing, the HCP is allowing the patient to either confirm that the HCP has the correct information or to point out inconsistencies or gaps in the information. Under optimal circumstances, this is simply to verify that the HCP has received the same message that the patient has intended to send. However, circumstances are not always optimal. A patient may be angry, confused, in pain, speech impaired, or in some other condition that makes it more difficult for them to get their message across to the HCP. It is important that the HCP try to understand exactly what the patient is trying to communicate.
B) Paraphrasing allows for a test of the message for the patient. The patient can listen to their HCP's paraphrase, checking to see that the paraphrase is what the patient intended to say and that the HCP understands.
C) Paraphrasing allows for a building of rapport and trust between the patient and the HCP. The HCP shows engagement with the patient's case, validating the patient's concerns. The patient understands from this interaction that the HCP is focused on the patient and cares about them. The patient is then more likely to slow down and listen carefully to the HCP.
D) Paraphrasing keeps the focus on the patient and keeps the patient talking. Paraphrasing what the patient says reinforces the point that the healthcare encounter is occurring for the purpose of helping the patient. The patient is made to understand that everything they and the HCP say has to do exclusively with the patient. When the patient clearly understands this, they are at greater ease in the therapeutic relationship, becoming better able to play a role in their own care. The patient typically has a lot to say about their own case, even if they do not seem to at first. However, once the HCP has helped the patient understand that a complete focus on the patient's case is entirely appropriate, the patient will feel more comfortable and open up.
Providing Easy Reassurance When confronted by a patient's unease or distress, an HCP's first impulse as a fellow human being may be to provide reassurance with the intention of soothing the patient's unease. The HCP should resist this impulse as such an attempt to make the patient feel better may be inappropriate for two reasons. First, the patient has the right to feel any way they may feel and such reassurance diminishes the patient's feelings. Minimizing the Patient's Feelings - The HCP should be also careful to avoid saying anything that diminishes or makes light of the way a patient may be feeling. The HCP's job is to listen attentively and show empathy for the patient, thereby opening up the channel to effective therapeutic communication. A patient who feels that the HCP does not take the patient's feelings seriously will not trust the HCP.Approving/Disapproving - Approving or disapproving of the patient can falsely give the patient the impression that a power relationship exists between them and their HCP.Agreeing/disagreeing - Either agreeing or disagreeing with the ideas, feelings and thoughts of the patient is an ineffective communication behavior because it turns the discussion of the patient's health into a matter of the patient's being right or wrong. Giving Your Own Advice - You should never give a patient personal advice. You are there to serve as part of a healthcare team assisting the patient with the management of their care, but you are not there to provide the patient with your personal insights about their condition or behavior. Becoming Defensive - Patients may at times express unhappiness or dissatisfaction with the care received, the HCP, or even the hospital or practice. Prying - Sometimes a patient may indicate that they do not want to discuss a certain topic. Asking the Patient to Explain their Behavior Making Commonplace, or Clichéd, Comments
Compensation - When a patient does this, they compensate, or overemphasize, a certain trait or behavior in one area because they believe they must make up for what they perceive as a deficiency, or failure, in another.
Denial - This occurs when the patient attempts, generally unconsciously, to reject or deny the existence of feelings, needs, thoughts, desires or even external facts.
Displacement - This is when it is impossible to the patient to accept ownership of certain thoughts, feelings, needs or desires and attributes them, unconsciously, to a more acceptable substitute, someone or something outside of the self.
Dissociation - When this happens, the patient is attempting to disconnect the emotional significance of certain ideas or events from those ideas or events.
Identification - This occurs when the patient mimics the behavior of someone else in order to conceal their own natural behavior because they believe such behavior is inadequate.
Projection - This is when the patient projects onto another person or object their own feelings as if the feelings originated in the other person or object.
Rationalization - When a patient does this, they are using false reasoning to justify inappropriate or unacceptable behavior, hoping to make the behavior tolerable.
Regression - A patient is regressing when they unconsciously return to immature, or even infantile, behaviors or thoughts.
Repression - This is when the patient simply puts out of their mind painful or difficult thoughts, feelings, ideas or events.