Saturday, August 19, 2017
Listening Skills Learned
Is the Country's State a Practice in Listening?
As a patient advocate, it is my job to be objective and nonjudgmental. I listen to the patient and their family and listen to the doctor or nurse explain to the family whatever it is they need to explain. It is not up to me to make decisions for the family. It is not up to me to agree or disagree with the care plan. It is up to me to be sure that information is given in a way that the patient and family understand and that if they don't, they can ask questions.
In my work, I often listen to patients who have special and unique needs to learn what their obstacles are for safe, quality medical care. People with severe illnesses, families of people with dementia / Alzheimer's, young single mothers to name a few. I learn from them what it's like to be them, though I don’t pretend to always understand it. I also get to spend time at the bedside with families and to be with them during this often, difficult time of pain, sorrow and vulnerability. Advocates who take our training learn the importance of these
So, what’s my point? I also listen to conservative radio and liberal news, speak to people who have opposite views from my own and want to learn what makes them think the way they do. I want to hear what makes people so different in their thoughts and ideas. There is a lot to learn about different viewpoints. People are angry and frustrated with the way things are in today’s political setting.
What is concerning is when people use words with no appropriate relationship to what they really mean. Name calling, making fun of someone’s appearance, or using words not related to the problems being addressed.
As soon as people use, as part of their dislike for someone the way they look, walk, dress, their facial expression or hairstyle it takes away from the important facts that we need to concentrate on. How boring this world would be if we all agreed. For those of you who want to moderate, mediate and / or advocate for others, there is plenty of practice opportunities in today's daily conversation.