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The Doctors Lounge - Primary Care Answers

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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Student Topics

Question: Communication Between Doctors and Patients


JP5 - Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:06 am

Hey there. I'm a college student and I am doing a research paper. I'm hoping to gather some information for that assignment and possibly come back for some more...

The research is about communication between doctors and patients but nurses are welcome to join in. Well here goes....

Feel free to make your responses as long as you want. Thank you for your time and effort. Have a good time. ^.^

1. How long have you been a Doctor/Nurse?

2. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the least important), how do you rate the importance of communication between you and your patients? Why?

3. Why do you think communication between doctors and patients has worsened over the years?

4. How do you think communication affects the way health care is provided? (Would it help or hinder?)

5. As a doctor/nurse, in what ways do you think would help improve communication?

If you guys can think of anything that might help than please let me know... I am always looking for information...

JP
Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:51 am

Quote:
Hey there. I'm a college student and I am doing a research paper. I'm hoping to gather some information for that assignment and possibly come back for some more...

The research is about communication between doctors and patients but nurses are welcome to join in. Well here goes....

Feel free to make your responses as long as you want. Thank you for your time and effort. Have a good time. ^.^

1.
How long have you been a Doctor/Nurse?
4 years

Quote:

2.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the least important), how do you rate the importance of communication between you and your patients? Why?

At least a 9, it is crucial that the patient be aware of the condition and treatment plan. A patient needs to be able to trust their doctor. Understanding the medical plan is crucial to this. Communication is the only way for this to occur.

Quote:

3. Why do you think communication between doctors and patients has worsened over the years?

This makes the assumption that it has. For the most part I think you are correct. There are some physicians that have maintained good communication but it definitely is a challenge. Medicine has become much more business oriented. As such, doctors are finding more and more demands on our time. In many cases it simply is not possible to spend 30-45 minutes with each patient. Some physicians find themselves in a position where they can only spend 10-15 minutes with each patient. The trick is learning to communicate well during this limited time to allow the patient to feel their needs were met.

Quote:

4. How do you think communication affects the way health care is provided? (Would it help or hinder?)

This gets back to the issue of trust. Communication enables a patient to understand what is going on and allows the patient to trust their doctor. If this trust is not established care is often hindered. Patients may be uncertain about taking their medications, for example, because they have not had their questions properly answered.

Quote:

5. As a doctor/nurse, in what ways do you think would help improve communication?

One of the most important issues is for physicians to make communication a priority. Simply asking patient if they have anymore questions before leaving the room goes a long way.

I hope this helps some. Best wishes.
JP5 - Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:37 pm

You're right. Number three does assume that there is a deterioration in communication. It's my own personal bias, though, based on my experiences. I worked in a doctors office and there are some doctors who love to spend an hour just talking to their patients and then there were the ones who did the In-and-out thing, and then there was everyone in between. And I saw how the patients reacted to each type.

But that's not what I'm getting at. You stated that for the most part I am correct in my assumption. So which part did you think otherwise or what did you think of as you read that?

JP

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