EP 164: Improving Patient Communication with Jennifer George

Improving Patient Communication with Jennifer George

Improving patient communication is an effective way to provide patient care. Without proper communication, it is easy to miss out on your patient’s needs. But how can you become effective in this situation? Will this help lessen the stress nurses feel? 

In this episode, we will talk about effective communication and how nurses can improve the way they speak to their patients to get the message out. We also welcome our guest, Jennifer George. She is a compassion-focused physiotherapist with vast experience in the private and public care sectors. 

Jennifer has spent the last 14 years learning and reflecting on the importance of communication in our health and education systems. 

She is also a mentor to future and current health providers on discovering their purpose, achieving fulfillment, and creating empowering patient experiences. Author of her book, Communication is Care: 9 Empowering Strategies to Guide Patient Healing. 

QUESTIONS FOR GUESTS

  1. As a physiotherapist, what do you do, and what are some significant takeaways or life lessons from your career? 
    • Work on inputs rehab currently
    • Patients need a team of professionals; physical therapy is only one piece of a much bigger picture in the healing process
    • Helped me to recognize the whole person
  1. How was your role as a caregiver for your father shape your personal experience of healthcare and later your professional career?
    • The power of communication and connection on healing – feeling disempowered, unheard, rushed, at times – good: learned to empathize and be an advocate for patients and families
  1. When did you realize how important communication was and its importance in healthcare?
    • After the first two years of my practice – I learned to better connect with patients before conditions and diagnoses and look at the bigger picture of their life and the impact of pain and suffering
    • Then after my dad died, it was like I became super conscious of the fact that my life as a caregiver/daughter shaped my professional interactions 
  1. Is there a difference between communicating in social engagements vs. communicating with patients? How should this differ? 
    • How can you keep a professional yet personal communication style with patients?
    • Is there such thing as communication burnout? I talk to my patients and many other people in/outside of work. Sometimes that gets tiring, and I need a day to myself and silence. 
  1. Where do you think misunderstandings arise from? When there is a break in communication, it causes misunderstandings. 
    • How/when does communication fail? What goes wrong?
  1. When speaking to patients, what do they mainly seek to learn? Or how can you pick up on what they are looking for? Does it vary between situations?

Learn how you can communicate more effectively with your patients by watching the full episode here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
02:37 Episode Introduction
04:08 The feeling of seeing your patient progress
06:00 The importance of communication in improving patient care
09:54 Building rapport with your patient
12:12 What are the barriers that affect communication with patients
15:06 How to be true to your patient’s care
17:36 How to start a conversation with a patient
19:43 Gauging patient for a good conversation
24:42 How to solve miscommunication
28:39 Guiding and educating patients to empower themselves again
33:35 The importance of Interprofessional Communication
35:41 The inspiration of how the book came up.
39:20 Caretakers aren’t taken care of
46:26 Patient safety as the main goal
49:33 Healthcare’s reactive approach to solving the problem
57:08 Wrapping up the episode

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