Ways I could have communicated better

by Shweta Ramkumar

I posted an article earlier this week on a recent experience I had at a veterinary clinic and my interactions with the staff members there and it got me thinking about the situation I was faced with could have been improved with better communication. 

It is no surprise that healthcare systems are at a high crisis point and the veterinary industry is no exception. Factors behind this are limited government funding, unfavourable working conditions, lack of support, high turnover and poor retention of existing ones, unrealistically heavy workload, staff burnout and how they get treated by their clients and patients. Understandably, existing staff are under the pump in their already high pressure demanding roles. Regardless, building connection and intimacy with your patients or clients has never been more vital as they are already in a vulnerable and desperate state when they seek healthcare services as a matter of urgency when all other facilities are fully booked. We’ve often heard people say when making appointments that they would rather hear a human voice rather than one by an automated machine and delivering effective patient experience face to face is no exception. This helps build credibility and trust patients have towards healthcare service providers, improve patient health outcomes and overall satisfaction, plus practitioners experience the true reward of making a difference that they intend to do. 

Going back to the situation I experienced at the veterinary clinic, imagine if the veterinarian who treated my dog had used any of the following phrases while interacting with me :

“How has your day been so far ?”
“Oh no, I can only imagine how stressful this must be for you especially when you’re on vacation” 
“Poor baby, Good boy, relax, calm down (to my dog).”
“Don’t worry we’ll take good care of him, he’s in good hands”
“We will contact you when he’s ready to be collected”and following through
“We got a second opinion from a specialist and he’s been given the all clear”
“Have a good day and enjoy the rest of your vacation”

If you were a client in this situation, would this interaction make you feel just like another number in the healthcare system or someone who is being cared for, reassured, empathised with ? I admit that no one is perfect and know how burdened healthcare staff are, but a few words and body language to demonstrate kindness and compassion makes a world of difference to both them and the client or patient they are dealing with. Effective patient interaction, relationship, service and communication are elements I get coached on regularly in my role as a contact centre agent at I-MED Radiology Network and my mission is to support healthcare professionals from ESL countries improve these very communication skills. DM me to see how I can best support you in your journey.

Hi, I'm Shweta

I coach non-native English speaking healthcare professionals how to advance in their career and build better relationships with their patients and colleagues by expressing themselves more articulately and confidently in the English language.

I work closely with healthcare professionals who work with patients regularly. I help them improve their communication skills when interacting with patients and colleagues, teach them how to show up authentically, assertively and articulately in their field of work in order for them to ultimately gain credibility, validation and respect.

If you work in a clinical role in the healthcare industry and would like to learn more about how to better connect and communicate openly with your clients / patients, book a complimentary 30 minute discovery call with me to see how I can best support you.

Shweta Ramkumar - English Language Confidence Coach

Leave a Comment