Even the youngest patients know when their healthcare workers truly listen to them. When my youngest daughter, Hillary was nine years old, I told her I’d be scheduling her back-to-school physical with the pediatrician. She stopped me and asked, “Will you please make the appointment with the nurse practitioner, Jeannie?” I was shocked that she even knew what a nurse practitioner was. So, I asked, “Do you know what a nurse practitioner is?” She responded matter of factly with, “Yes. She’s just like a doctor only she listens to me like I’m a real person.”
Out of the mouths of babes. Mind you, all our pediatricians were wonderful but what made Jeannie stand out to this fledgling consumer was her ability to listen to her young patients with rapt attention.
We can all tell when someone is truly listening or just mentally checking off the assessment list. That’s precisely why it is so important for everyone to check their body language. Ensure a positive presence with a quick check before and during all patient and family encounters. Listen with your eyes as well as your ears. You’ll pick up on subtle body language from patients and family members. It’s the smallest cues that can open the doors to better communication.Communication, healthcare, Leadership, listening