Communication skills are important for pharmacists because they converse with patients every day, counseling them about the drugs they are taking, how and when to take them, as well as any side effects the medication may have.
Effective communication is essential for pharmacists.
Here are Five Ways to Improve Communication.
Don’t assume people are listening to you or understanding what you are saying when talking to them. They may nod their head and go “uh huh,” but this may be more of a reflex action than actual understanding of what you’re saying.
That is why when talking to a patient and explaining, for example, how a certain drug needs to be taken and when it needs to be taken, stop frequently and ask patients if they understand what you are saying or even politely ask them to repeat what you have told them.
When you need to talk to someone, whether it is a staff member or a patient, move to a more isolated area of the pharmacy. There are two reasons for this. One is that it eliminates distractions from other people, who are talking to each other and moving around.
Two, it gives you more privacy. If you’re talking to a staff member about their performance, for example, or to a patient about a medication, they certainly wouldn’t appreciate other people overhearing the conversation.
When talking with someone, the conversation may not go as smoothly as you would like and you may become frustrated. This is when you need to maintain a calm demeanor and be aware of your tone of voice.
If your tone becomes harsh and you start to speak faster, communication will suffer. If you are becoming frustrated, it’s best to take a break, to take some time to calm down before returning to the conversation.
When you talk, try to keep and even tone and volume to your voice and not speak too rapidly.
Like every profession, healthcare has its own vernacular. When talking with patients, be careful not to fall into the habit of using a lot of medical jargon. Speak in language that a layman can understand . Try to simplify your vocabulary.
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