Communicating With Patients Who Have Special Needs


Communicating with elderly:
·         Keep noise levels to a minimum
·         Be an attentive listener. Allow time for conversation
·         Do not speak loudly or shout.
·         Keep sentences short and simple.
·         Talk to the client's level of understanding.
·         Always ask for feedback.
·         Allow time for comprehension.
·         Face the client.
Communication with children:
·         Use Simple words and direct statements.
·         Speak softly and gently.
·         Use toys to promote expression.
·         Encourage the child to express fear, anxiety, anger and concerns.
·         Readily listen to the child.
·         Maintain eye contact.
·         Use motivating words.
·         Get the child's attention before speaking.
·         Try not to interrupt in between.
Patients with difficulty hearing:
·         Avoid shouting
·         Use simple sentences
·         Punctuate speech with facial expression and gestures
·         Get the client's attention and face the client.
·         Talk towards the client's best or normal ear.
·         Be sure hearing aid is clean, inserted properly and has a functioning battery.
·         Reduce background noise.
Patients with difficulty seeing:
·         Communicate verbally before touching the patient.
·         Orient the patient to sounds in the environment.
·         Inform the patient when the conversation is over and when you are leaving the room.
Patients who are mute or cannot speak clearly:
·         Listen attentively, be patient and do not interrupt.
·         Ask simple questions that require "yes" or "no" answers.
·         Allow time for understanding and responses.
·         Use pictures or objects when possible.
·         Allow only one person to speak at a time.
·         Do not shout or speak too loudly.
·         Encourage the patient to converse.
      Patients who are cognitively impaired:
·         Reduce environmental distractions while conversing.
·         Get the patient's attention before speaking.
·         Use simple sentences and avoid long explanations.
·         Ask one question at a time.
·         Allow time for the patient to respond.
      Patients who are unconscious:
·         Call the patient by name during interactions.
·         Communicate both verbally and by touch.
·         Speak to the patient as though he or she could hear.
·         Explain all procedures.
·         Johnson ct al (1989) suggest that communication directed at the unconscious patient may cause stress and anxiety.
·         La Puma et al (1988) believe that unconscious patients may have a normal auditory response, and that not talking 10 them suggests that they are not likely to recover, which increases their sense of vulnerability.



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item Communicating With Patients Who Have Special Needs
Communicating With Patients Who Have Special Needs
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