Communication. Such a huge topic!
Communication and Health Care. You don’t hear those two words used together very often. In fact, with the exception of articles and blogs written around communicating with residents with Dementia, it’s usually unspoken.
How can something so integral to client care be unspoken?
As a baby Therapist, I was so curious about communication and how it created connection and “aha moments” with my patients. This curiosity led me to graduate school where I could sink my teeth into Communication even further. Forever a lover of both interpersonal and group communication….my creative juices added bits and pieces into my consulting and education practice. Today…I cannot create a therapeutic program without this communication component! I can’t teach therapeutic techniques without talking about communication. It’s like teaching someone to surf without a surfboard!
The first place we can start in communication is assessment.
Those of us in health and wellness know that assessment is a necessary, integral part of providing the best possible services for our clients. Without it, we might as well put a blind-fold on and proceed to help our clients. An assessment allows us to determine our starting point and is a guidepost in how we provide our treatment or service.
What about assessment as it relates to communication? What do we need to assess before we communicate.
Here are some of the biggies in my book:
- Culture and ethnicity
- Life history
- Cognitive functioning
- Social functioning
- Emotional functioning
Once you take the time to really assess who you’re communicating, the easier it becomes to connect with that individual. You meet them where they’re at……not where you assume they are or want them to be.
When we don’t assess who we are communicating with the following is likely to happen:
- The message is not heard
- Feeling Misunderstood
- Feeling disconnected
- Feeling confused
- Emotional or Physical injury/harm
We are more likely to have a successful communication experience when we take the time and energy to get to assess. We are more likely to hit the target when we begin to speak the language of the receiver.
Assessment leads to successful communication experiences between staff. Assessment leads to successful communication experiences with clients.
Assessment + Communication = Connection.