The Importance Of Communicating With Patients Without Using Technical Jargon
To be a good physician, you need to be able to properly convey all the information to your patient without them being confused or doubtful. Using technical jargon can lead to this confusion. Research has also shown that using words that patients don’t understand leads to a poor patient-doctor interactions.
Sometimes, patients can get aggressive or sensitive when they don’t understand what’s wrong with them, leading to an uncomfortable situation for you. So, here are more reasons why you should try to communicate with your patient in simple terms.
They Assume You’re Hiding Something
When you use technical jargon that the patient has no clue about, it can give the wrong idea to them. Plus, with how expensive the healthcare system in the US is, they start thinking that it’s one of your tricks to make them pay more through unnecessary tests.
Another misconception they might face is that they may think you’re deliberately using words or terminologies that they don’t understand to hide something —either because you don’t want them to know it, or you’ve made a mistake. That is why it’s important for you to gain their trust by asking them questions or interacting with them using simple language so they can understand.
They Don’t Know Anything
One of the most obvious reasons to speak in simple terms to patients about their health issues is that they don’t know anything about them. You need to remember that you know all these things because you did years of med school, while some of your patients might not have even finished their college degrees. Sometimes, when you’re struggling to explain something ask them about their profession and try to create analogies that could help explain their issue.
Can Be Overwhelming
On top of using technical terms, doctors make the mistake of providing too much information at one time, which can be overwhelming for the patient. However, it is always useful to keep your sentences short while giving out three to four key points in each interaction. Concise and to the point information enables better retention of information plus avoids details that are considered as “nice to know”.
If you’re looking to improve your communication skills with patients then we have a couple of medical books that can help you understand the simple yet effective ways of having good patient-doctor interactions. These training books are written in the way you would want to interact with your patients so you can also just follow how we have done it. You can order these books from our website or contact us to learn more about them.