Saturday, February 6, 2021

She Had No Intention to Listen


A woman on the phone asked if the class that was being offered would help her handle the terrible treatment her husband received at the hospital recently.  I wasn’t sure how to respond so I asked her what she is looking for the class to address.  The Family Centered Patient Advocacy classes we are offering at Pulse Centerfor Patient Safety on three Thursday evenings in March include hospital policies and procedures, communication skills, understanding and avoiding bias (conscious or unconscious) and other information to help a family member or friend become an advocate for a patient and even help someone decide if being an independent patient advocate is for them as a possible career.

It seems her husband, who was very ill, also had disabilities that made it difficult for him to care for himself.  She did not want to leave him at the hospital without her but she was not permitted to stay at the hospital with him because of COVID-19.   Her voice was raised, she was obviously angry, she used words that were not helpful in our conversation and every once in a while, she would take a breath and ask, “so will these classes help?”  Not waiting for an answer, she would continue in a rage about how terrible this hospital staff treated her.

I was able to get out the question “have you thought about talking to someone at the hospital?”  That started a whole new blast of anger. 

I could start practicing my empathy and my active listening skills but truthfully, I didnt see this conversation continuing.  So, I just listened and when she asked for the fourth or fifth time “so will these classes help”?  I just responded “no, I don’t think so, best of luck” and that was the end of our conversation.

If you want to join us, we would love to have you, but we won’t be solving past problems and communication plays a big role in Family Centered Patient Advocacy.  Communication such as active listening, empathy is a skill that people must want to learn and practice.  Some people want to play an instrument but don’t do it well and may never make beautiful music. They may think they are a musician but others cringe when they hear the sound.  Some people may want to advocate and communicate, but they may never make it without practice.  If you want to learn and practice, I’m happy to help – after the program, we can practice together.  Give me a call and register here:

FCPA Class - Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Patient advocate Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is extremely helpful for me.