At HC Marbella we believe that communication between the doctor and the patient is so important that we will continue to discuss it in this post. We want to help you traverse the long road that you have ahead, a road that you should not take “alone”.
Although it is difficult, you should take an active role in making medical decisions. You must try to form a team with the specialists. It is key to develop empathy within your team.
Empathy is a way to form a strong relationship, to be able to see the situation from the other person’s point of view, and, at HC Marbella, this is our motto.
Our doctors are not only professionals, but people like you that, at some point in their lives, have faced a similar situation to the one that you are now living. For this reason, one of their priorities is to empathise with their patients.
Empathy allows a doctor to understand what a patient is feeling due to the situation at hand. This way, respect and communication is possible between the patient and the doctor.
As Unamuno said, “you must be with the patient without being sick”. Undoubtedly, the patient must also empathise with their doctor. At the end of the day, they are people just like the rest of us, with their own problems and worries. In this way, the doctor and patient will be able form a good team.
For the doctor:
– First: greet the patient, introduce yourself, and ask the patient what’s happening with them.
– Show calmness.
– Be cordial and give a sincere smile.
– Listen to the patient.
– Present yourself as responsible.
– Be attentive to the worries of the patient, take time to understand them.
– Talk about the necessities and explain them in a way that is understandable, without jargon.
– Call the patient by their name.
– Create a dialogue with the patient about what they want to know about their disease.
For the patient:
– Take responsibility for your own health.
– Prepare for your appointments, bring your doubts or questions written down.
– Listen to the doctor’s explanations and if you don’t understand, kindly ask them to clarify.
– Use the health services and time with your doctor to their full potential.
– Leave bureaucratic tasks for outside of your doctor’s appointment.
For both the patient and doctor:
Follow these three rules:
“As oncologists, we do not often find patients who do not have empathy. We are facing a disease that emotionally moves a patient and this makes it easier to collaborate” states the medical team at HC Marbella. “But we also find patients that are very demanding. For example, patients who ask for medications in situations that could be solved without it or who have little patience while in the waiting room. While the doctors often give time estimates for each patient in the appointment, there are occasions which require more time in order to delve into the issue or simply console a patient”. This may cause other patient’s appointments to be delayed.
“When this happens, the best thing to do is apologize for the delay, and if they complain, appeal to their sense of solidarity, because while today it may be that they are waiting for someone else, it may be that another day, someone is waiting for them. Also, it makes our work far easier when we find a patient that is patient, polite, collaborative, responsible, and supportive. This is a good patient”, they note.
Listening to patients, understanding their worries and those of their loved ones, and having realistic expectations about the disease is fundamental to the patient’s ability to make the best decision for themselves.
January 11, 2018
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