WellEM, August 30, 2022
Hello to all,
This week I want to touch upon the importance of communication in our relationships. Our social connections are critical in our lives. Our family, friends and co-workers make a world of difference to us. They offer comradery, support, love, friendship, etc. In addition to these relationships, we also have relationships with our patients. We are the people who will help them when they need it the most. How we communicate with them can give them reassurance, or increase the fear and anxiety they already have when they come through our door.
The words we choose communicate not only information, but how we are feeling at the time we speak. They are a way to influence another person(s) emotions and understanding. Finally, they are a means in which we build reality for someone else. How we communicate gives meaning to our discussions and can have a major impact on those around us.
Both in and out of work, our communication with others is important because we have a relationship with every individual we encounter in our day. This includes our patients. We have a responsibility to try to communicate with them in a way that gives them the information that they need to understand their illness. They are often scared, and uneducated as far as different disease states. I know we have challenges; staffing, EHR, etc. but that should not have anything to do with how we present ourselves when providing care.
In my very long career in EM, I have found that most of the patients are grateful for the care they receive in our emergency department. They just want to have details of their condition explained, be kept informed of results and delays in testing, and be spoken to in a respectful manner.
We have an amazing team that I am very proud to be a part of! There are things that need fixing, but I hope we all can connect with the importance of what we do ( which is very important!!) and share the joy that we find in our practice of medicine with our patients.
Stay well. Have a great week.
Dr. Heidi Levine
picture credit: https://lattice.com/library/how-to-create-a-culture-that-encourages-communicati