LISTEN TO YOUR PATIENT
We as medical professionals must listen to our patients!
It has been shown that 90% of the information one needs for an accurate diagnosis comes from a patient’s opening statement. It is therefore very important for practitioners to attempt not to interrupt patients, to clarify any uncertainties and to communicate very clearly. The information gained from listening well to one’s patients results in better evaluations and patient specific differential diagnoses. Crucial information is often lost by not listening well and not picking up on verbal and non-verbal cues.
The Physio’s in the Physio Active team all aim to listen carefully to our patients and we continuously work on improving our communication skills. Not listening to a patient can lead to a medical professional making incorrect assumptions and treating suboptimally.
A quote from the famous Mr Maitland:
“I know that You Believe you Understand what you Think I said, But, I am not sure you Realise that what you heard is not what I meant”
Communicate with simple and clear language
Mark Twain once said “If I had more time I would have written you a shorter letter”. French mathematician and philosopher said in “Letters Provincials” in the year 1657: I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. [http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/04/28/shorter-letter/] As human beings we are often not good at communicating concisely and we often struggle to be clear about the essence of the point we are trying to get across.
Steven Pinker wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-cause-of-bad-writing-1411660188 about how having lots of knowledge about a topic often makes one quite bad at explaining things clearly. One tends to overestimate how much your audience understands about a topic and then pitches ones explanations too high.
We realise this and we make it our challenge to explain things to our patients in simple and clear language. In our physiotherapy practice, we have Charlie. He is a plastic full body skeleton. He has proven invaluable in explaining to patients how things work. It has been shown that when patients really understand why certain exercises are given, they are more likely to do the exercises. With more compliance comes quicker healing and better results. That is why the Physiotherapists at Physio Active strive to communicate their knowledge properly and clearly to our patients. If you do not understand our explanations or how to do your exercises, please feel more than free to tell us. It is our responsibility to communicate well.