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Are Communication Skills Necessary For Caregivers!from: Motivated Lifestyle Archive Material
That is a most definite yes. If you think that caregivers do not need communication skills, then you are mistaken, because caregivers are required to effectively communicate well with their patients, but firstly, perhaps it would be appropriate to define exactly what a caregiver is!
A caregiver is a person who attends to the needs of the old and disabled, or dependent children, so therefore caregivers should be flexible, since they need to adapt to the needs of their patients.
In relation to these patients, caregivers can be assigned to a Spanish, French, or other foreign community, where they most probably have to cater for patients who cannot speak good English. This is one of the exact reasons why many caregiver courses incorporate communication skills and language courses in their curriculum.
Developing good communication skills for the caregiver is a very important part of the caregiver training, because the old and disabled, or the sick, need the full attention of the caregiver.
However, each of them might have different requirements, and their expectations can be relatively different from person to person. Therefore, being able to learn how to communicate with them properly is a great advantage, but as a caregiver, you must be cautious about the use of your words and your actions. These can be learned in much greater detail on communication skills enhancement, or training programmes.
When dealing with older people, the basics of communication skills for the caregiver is important, for example, looking at someone and making eye contact, is vital in human connection and showing respect. Constructive communication is the key to dealing with older people, either diagnosed with an illness or in your care.
Here are some basic guidelines for good communication skills for the caregiver
· Be clear and specific when communicating with your patient! Speak directly to the person, and do not have him guessing what you need from them. You have to tell them exactly what you do want, and say this to them in a charming and pleasant manner!
· Instead of using you messages, make use of I messages. This way you are expressing your feelings without blaming your patient, or make them act defensively.
· Recognize the rights and feelings of your patient, and do not say something to them that will intentionally hurt them.
· Another vital part of communication, especially in rendering care to the sick, is that you have to be a good listener.
People generally, not only sick adults and children, want someone who can listen to them to express their feelings. When a sick person, child or dependant adult wants to express something, and they are not given attention, they tend to either misbehave in the case of the children, or in the case of adults, withdraw completely.
· Use body language to improve communication between you and your patient,including non verbal cues and gestures.
· Encourage them and reassure when they need help.
· Pay attention to them all the time.
· Do not attempt to complete the thoughts or sentences of your patient, when he or she is communicating with you.
· Use a tone of voice which suits the conversation. For example if your patient needs to hear something good from you, you have to use an encouraging tone of voice.
· Wait for response to questions and acknowledge feelings of your patient even if you do not agree with them.
· Listen to the language terms which the old person uses in communicating with you, and when responding, make use of simple terminologies and language that suits his generation.
· Most sick, old, and dependant people, like to be addressed in a certain way, so if they do prefer to be addressed in such a way, then address them that way. This makes it easy for you and your patient to relate to one another.
As a caregiver, these pointers will effectively help you in relating much better to your patient! They will help you to better understand them, and know the way that they are feeling in times of trouble.