4. Interpersonal Communication. Learning Outcomes. 4.1 Identify elements and types of communication. 4.2 Relate communication to human behavior and needs. 4.3 Categorize positive and negative communication. Learning Outcomes (cont.).
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4.1 Identify elements and types of communication.
4.2 Relate communication to human behavior and needs.
4.3 Categorize positive and negative communication.
4.5 Carry out therapeutic communication skills.
4.6 Use effective communication strategies with patients in special circumstances.
4.7 Carry out positive communication with coworkers and management.
What are the elements of the communication circle and what can cause interference in the process?
ANSWER: The elements are: message, source, and receiver. Noise can interfere with the communication circle.
You can communicate with all people in the same way. Is this statement true or false, and why?
ANSWER: The statement is false. Not all people are at the same place on Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. To communicate effectively with a person, you need to understand what he or she is deficient in. For example, you would use different communication styles when talking to a homeless person who may have psychological and safety needs than when talking to an elderly person who is lonely and depressed due to the recent loss of his or her spouse.
Mr. Garcia comes to the desk to check in and asks if he will be seen on time. The receptionist continues with her paperwork, points to the sign-in sheet, and tells Mr. Garcia: “Just sign in. The doctor will be with you when he can.” Explain why this is an example of negative communication.
What is the difference between being aggressive and being assertive?
ANSWER: Assertiveness means standing by your principles while showing respect for others. You trust your instincts, feelings, and opinions and act on them. An aggressive person tries to impose his or her own position on others or tries to manipulate them. He or she is bossy, may be quarrelsome, and does not consider another’s feelings, needs, thoughts, ideas, or opinions.
Check those of the following that are therapeutic?
Giving a broad opening
What can you do to better communicate with the anxious patient?
ANSWER: Identify signs of anxiety, acknowledge the patient’s anxiety, identify possible sources of the anxiety, ease any physical discomfort, and create a climate of acceptance and trust. Use appropriate communication skills: do not belittle the patient’s thoughts and feelings, be empathetic to the patient’s concerns. Help the patient recognize and cope with the anxiety.
What strategies can you use to avoid conflict in the workplace?
4.1 The communication circle involves a message being sent, a source, and a receiver that responds.
Feedback is the response to a message, and noise is anything that may interfere with or change the message.
4.2 Understanding human behavior and needs, and their correlation with professional relationships, is necessary to practicing as a medical assistant.
Understanding the various stages of human life assists you in your communication skills with patients.
4.3 Communication that promotes comfort and well-being is considered positive communication.
Negative communication can be a turn-off. Lack of eye contact with patients, except in specific cultures, or speaking sharply to a patient is considered negative communication.
4.4 Listening and other interpersonal skills can be improved by becoming more involved in the communication process by offering feedback or asking questions of the patient.
Understand that assertive medical assistants trust their instincts. They respect their self- worth, while still making the patient feel comfortable and important.
Aggressive medical assistants try to impose their positions through manipulation techniques.
4.5 Therapeutic communication is the ability to communicate with patients in terms that they can understand and, at the same time, feel at ease and comfortable in what you are saying.
Positive therapeutic skills can enhance communication. Be aware of negative therapeutic skills that can disrupt the communication.
Recognize defense mechanisms in patients and note whether the patient is using them to cope or is not able to cope.
4.6 Learning about the special needs of patients and polishing your communication skills will help you become an effective communicator.
This will assist you with handling diversity in the workplace, handling anxious and annoyed patients, and in dealing with patients who may have language barriers.
4.7 The quality of communication you have with your coworkers and your supervisor greatly influences the development of a positive or negative work climate.
Use proper channels of communication. Be open-minded. Keep supervisors informed of office problems as they arise and show initiative in your work habits.
Often during life-altering experiences, patients and their loved ones need a shoulder to cry on or someone to comfort them. It is important for them to know support is there.
—Lindsey D. Fisher (The Healers Art)