Communication Tips – Directive Skills: Signposting

nom-eu-logoCommunication tips by Nursing on the Mov

Are you a professional or a pre-professional?

Do you use a second or foreign language at work?
Do you have a friend who speaks a foreign language at work or has a cultural background different from colleagues/customers?

During a consultation, a patient needs to understand what you are asking for and has to be able to follow your train of thought. In order to provide structure during the consultation, it is important to signpost. A signpost is an explicit statement used to inform your patient what you are about to say or do.

Signposts are often used to transition or change directions during a consultation. It makes clear to the patient what is going to happen. Knowing what is going to happen next, patients may feel less anxious and may have a greater sense of control. It will also put them more at ease as they are provided with a structured account of the actions and questions to come.

Signposting may contain a rationale for the next step or a brief introduction of the steps to be taken.


‘In order to understand this, I first want to know if it is related to your meals. Can you tell me if …?’

For more information, tips and examples, click here.

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You can find an overview of all communication tips here.


Case Studies in Health Communication

By Eileen Berlin Ray

This book focuses on the complexities of the communication of health-related messages and information through the use of case studies. The expert contributors to this volume are scholars who, during their research and consulting, grapple with many of the issues of concern to those studying health communication. While several introductory books offer brief case studies to illustrate concepts covered, this book provides in-depth cases that enable more advanced students to apply theory to real situations… shop the book.

Voiced but unheard agendas: qualitative analysis of the psychosocial cues that patients with unexplained symptoms present to general practitioners

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Aim: To test the influential assumption that patients who present symptoms that the general practitioner (GP) considers to be medically unexplained do not generally provide the opportunity for discussion of psychological issues… read more

Candid Conversations: Talking with Female Patients about Sexual Health

October 2016, New Haven, CT, USA
Find more information here.

Tip: More up to date educational events dealing with communication for doctors and health professionals can be found online in the Education Database »medicine & health«.




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