Communication Tips – Directive Skills: Signposting

8. April 2016 at 15:30

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.

Example

‘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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