Dispensing Lab Developing Therapeutic Communication Skills

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My answers to Developing Therapeutic Communication Skills

Dispensing Lab Manual prepared by Ms. Donnah Nahial, RPh
University of the Immaculate Conception
Father Selga Street, Davao City

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Dispensing Lab Developing Therapeutic Communication Skills

  1. 1. Developing Therapeutic Communication Skills<br />Introduction:<br />Conflict in a relationship is virtually inevitable. In itself, conflict isn’t a problem; how it’s handled, however, can bring people together or tear them apart. Poor communications, skills, disagreements and misunderstanding can be a source of anger and distance, or a springboard to a stronger relationship and happier future. Next time you’re dealing with conflict, keep these tips on effective communication skills in mind and you can create a more positive outcome.<br />Objectives:<br />1. To identify the reasons for the need of effective communication<br />2. To develop therapeutic communication skills<br />3. To develop patient-practitioner concordance<br />Procedures:<br />Group yourselves into 5 members.<br />Portray to the class a good communication and a bad communication in the setting of community or hospital pharmacy.<br />Questions:<br />Why do you need it to be an effective communication in the first place?<br />Is it just to prove that you are better than others?<br />Is it just to seek approval from others? Or just to show off?<br />Supposing that you encountered a sensitive and impatient client, how will you deal with your client with this situation?<br />Conclusions:<br />Questions:<br />Why do you need it to be an effective communication in the first place?<br />There is a need for an effective communication in the first place because interpersonal communication is a two way, transactional, process. As we send messages to others, at the same time we receive verbal and nonverbal signals from them (Taylor & Harding, 2001). In relation to communication with patients, a distinction has been made between ‘blunters’ who deliberately avoid information about their condition, particularly if it may have negative implications, and ‘monitors’ who actively search for, and request such detal (Miller et al. 1988). The need for effective communication is demonstrated by research evidence, which indicates a range of problems with both the content of the communication and the process by which information is conveyed. Dickson et al. (1997) summarized the results of this research at the practitioner-patient interface and they are the following:<br />Patients often do not understand, or forget, information they are given.<br />Patients are often dissatisfied with the advice and information they are given<br />Lack of patient-practitioner concordance<br />Patient satisfaction and concordance are related<br />Inattentiveness to the patient’s psychosocial needs.<br />Given all of the above issues, the necessity for the pharmacist to become a skilled communicator is apparent. The key benefits which will ensue are (Dickson et al. 1997):<br />Improved patient outcomes<br />Improved patient satisfaction with services<br />More patient-friendly pharmacy practice<br />Reduction in patient anxiety<br />Increased pharmacist status<br />Enhanced pharmacist satisfaction and self-esteem<br />Increased patronage of pharmacy and subsequent business advantage<br />Decrease in complaints and litigation<br />By contrast when pharmacists’ communication is ineffective the consequences are equal and opposite to the above. The likely outcomes (Dickson et al. 1997) are:<br />Reduced adherence to therapeutic regimes<br />Decreased satisfaction with the content and process of the communication<br />Insensitivity to the needs of customers<br />Increased worry and concern amongst patients<br />Decreased pharmacist status<br />Job dissatisfaction<br />Loss of business and reduced client base<br />Increased in formal complaints and legal action<br />Is it just to prove that you are better than others?<br />No. The intention of delivering an effective therapeutic communication to patients and clients should be to inform facts in the simplest way that a layman could understand and remember. This is a way of showing care and respect for clients or patients who come to the pharmacy seeking for professional advice. Delivering an effective therapeutic communication to patients and clients can boost a pharmacist’s status, morale and self-esteem. But to do it in order to prove that you are better than others is a bad intention itself.<br />Is it just to seek approval from others? Or just to show off?<br />No. Delivering an effective therapeutic communication should not be done in order to seek approval from other, for popularity or showing off. Instead, the pharmacist should talk to the patient in an appropriate place where there are no communication barriers such as noise and blockage, or in a counseling room where the pharmacist and the client could discuss sensitive or private matters about their therapy more appropriately. <br />Supposing that you encountered a sensitive and impatient client, how will you deal with your client with this situation?<br />If a patient is sensitive and impatient, this is probably because he/she is in a hurry or he/she avoids knowing information about his/her condition, particularly if it may have negative implications. In order to deal with this situation, first, the pharmacist should establish rapport. This involves being helpful, preserving or respecting confidentiality, being available or accessible, showing genuine concern and warmth, speaking in a polite manner, greeting by name and accommodating the patient’s needs. Second, the pharmacist should explain the instructions and asking questions in a reasonable, reassuring, reinforcing, and directing in the simplest way that a sensitive and impatient client could understand. Third, if ever the client says anything or asks something, the pharmacist should listen and show sympathy or empathy, encourage client to provide information and show interest in them. If the patient is in a hurry, the pharmacist should politely ask for the client’s contact number so that the pharmacist could conduct a follow up.<br />Conclusions:<br />It is clear that communication plays a crucial role in the day-to-day working life of the pharmacist. As members of the public are being encouraged to have ever higher expectations of the care and treatment to which they are entitled, the communicative ability of the pharmacist will become crucial. While the pharmacist’s technical expertise will continue to require updating and expansion, this need to be matched by the development of the communicative aspects of practice<br />Communication skills are particularly important in developing and maintaining good rapport with patients, uncovering their needs, providing clear advice and direction, and influencing them towards more healthy lifestyles. Given the incontrovertible evidence regarding the importance of communication to effective health care, it is clear that pharmacists will need to possess knowledge and ability in key skill areas. In this chapter we have highlighted the most important of these as being: rapport-building, explaining, questioning, listening, nonverbal behaviour, suggesting/advising, opening, closing, assertiveness, self-disclosure, and persuading.<br />

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