Download Communication skills – keys to understanding 2016
Recent studies showed that medical residents are much more likely to misdiagnose ‘difficult patients,’ defined as those who engage in disruptive behaviours, in comparison with patients who engage in neutral, or non-disruptive behaviours, regardless of the amount of time spent or case complexity. The researchers of the studies questioned whether these findings would be similar for experienced physicians in comparison with medical residents.
Many studies allude to the importance of a critical yet complicated doctor-patient relationship. Communication is a skill that can always be improved with good background knowledge and practice. To address this key issue, the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties recently published a book entitled ‘Communication Skills: Key to Understanding’ by Dr. Fayza Rayes.
The book begins by outlining its aim to enhance the doctor-centred consultation model, with elements of the patient-centred models to reach an optimal healthy doctor-patient relationship. Then, the author begins the book by describing how illness behaves, to help doctors understand the bigger picture when a patient presents to a doctor. Patients would like to be treated holistically and humanely and not just as a representative of a particular complaint.
In the following chapters, the author focuses and discusses the six stages of a communication cycle with focus on verbal and non-verbal communication. Dr. Rayes stresses on communication as a two-way process, back and forth between the doctor and the patient.
The chapter on doctor-patient relationship describes the pros and cons of the four different types; default where no superior control by doctor or patient, paternalism in which doctor’s orders are commands, consumerism where the doctor has to do what the patient wants, and the mature type which maintains a health, balanced doctor-patient relationship.
What is the best method to break bad news? Does one consultation model suit all my patients? How can I, as a health professional, improve the various dimensions of my communication skills? These last three chapters offer you the tools that you can utilise to relate your message to your patients.
All in all, Communication Skills: Key to Understanding, is a lucid, comprehensive, practical, must read for any health professional. It has a work relevant structure that gives the reader an overview of best practices, practical scenarios, and self-assessments exercises. The author ends the book with key answers to the self-assessment exercises. Thankfully, this won’t leave you wondering if you have a good grasp of the concepts or are still lost after ending the chapter.
The goal of medicine is to facilitate, as much as possible, the transition from ‘patient’ back to ‘person’. This book addresses a key component of this process, and that is communication.
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