Effective Communication Tips For Hospice And Palliative Care Workers
Effective communication is the cornerstone of any relationship. Marriage, friendships, co-workers, even business relationships rely on some basic principals that we as humans must use to establish and maintain healthy relationships.
Stephen Covey who authored "The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People" said “when the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.” Trust becomes even more important when those having discussions are having them with life and death literally hanging in the balance. Hospice and palliative care workers must work to create this implicit trust when working and dealing with sensitive situations and with people need to trust you at all times.
It starts by being a good listener. This is true in all relationships, but especially within the hospice care sector. A patient or their family absolutely must be able to share their thoughts and concerns without fear or judgment. This should not only be present during the initial onboarding process, but throughout the entirety of the care cycle.
Don't be afraid to seek out answers for your clients. Sometimes, hospice and palliative care workers can feel like they need to answer their clients questions right then and there, especially during a difficult time, you don't want to have to put them through more pain by making them wait. However, sometimes that is the best option. When confronted with a question that may not be your expertise, it is the best course to simply tell them you want to get them the right answer, even if it means taking more time.
Being an effective communicator means having a bi-directional flow of trust, information, and intent to be clear. The medical industry can sometimes be, for lack of a better word, sterile, when it comes to the delivery of information to a patient or their families, but if you practice the art of communication, your co-workers, customers, and patients will notice.
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