How can i improve personal communication skills before my placement at the hospital?
Remove barriers to effective communication
Stress and emotion- Find a coping mechanism that works to relieve stress in the moment to avoid sending negative signals or making knee-jerk reactions at the workplace
Lack of focus- Minimise the time spent on my phone during the placement period to breaks in order to prevent distractions.
Learn to focus fully on the person relaying the message, minimise distractions and try repeating the message over in my mind before providing feedback.
Provide feedback to people I communicate with to ensure that no misunderstanding took place during the relaying of the message.
Avoid interrupting verbal communication to provide counter arguments or defend yourself. Wait for co-workers and patients to finish speaking before responding.
Clarify all information I receive from patients and co-workers.
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Practice non-verbal immediacy techniques such as gestures, eye-contact, Relaxed posture, smiling, standing or sitting close to the people I speak to especially the patients to close the perceive power distance between myself as a healthcare professional the patient. To ensure the patients are not afraid to communicate their concerns to me.
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Improve on how I deliver and interpret Non-verbal cues in communication.
Research the ethnic and cross-cultural diversity in the workplace as well as among the patients to avoid misreading cues on cultural context. Consider non-verbal signals used throughout the length of the communication instead of just focusing on one negative or positive cue.
Avoid sarcastic comments, satirical expressions in written communication since they may not always be interpreted the way I want them to be in addition to being completely unprofessional. Make sure my body language matches the words I use in verbal communications to minimise the perception that I am being dishonest.
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Communicating under pressure.
The hospital is a highly stressful environment I must learn to stay calm under pressure at the workplace. In addition, I must learn to deliver effective communication to patients and co-workers under this high pressure environment.
Learn to pause before giving any response in order to collect my thoughts to provide babbling or incoherent statements that waste time and frustrate the listener.
Make one point at a time, pause to allow the listener to internalize it, then proceed to the next point.
Deliver verbal and written communication with clarity, elaborate if necessary.
Avoid the use of medical Jargon while communicating to patients. Clarify any technical terminology used.
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