Communication Tips – Reflecting Feelings

Communication tips by Nursing on the Move.

nom-eu-logoHave you ever been in this situation?
Not knowing how to comfort a patient in distress.
Not remembering how to say or pronounce a word.
Knowing the medical term, but not being able to explain it to a patient.
Wanting to socialise with a colleague, but being scared that the words will not come naturally.

Boost your professional interactions by trying the following tips.

While paraphrasing generally refers to the content of what the other was saying, reflecting feelings involves summarising and playing back your impression of the feelings or emotions that others are experiencing. This is often done through short questions or phrases such as:
– ‘It seems that you’re upset by this’
Communication for Professionals logo
– ‘It seems that the situation troubles you’

As with paraphrasing content, you may follow such a statement with a short question like:
– ‘Is that correct?’

This question enables you to check whether you have understood the patient properly. Reflecting feelings can also help you empathise with patients and see the situation from their perspective.


You can find an overview of all communication tips by Communication for Professionals here.

[tabs] [tab title=”Book Tip”]The Doctor's Communication HandbookFifth EditionThe Doctor’s Communication Handbook
by Dr. Peter Tate
Provides guidance for doctors on methods of communication to patients. It includes recent developments in breaking bad news and dealing with parents and children.



.[/tab] [tab title=”Further Reading “] Communication Failures: An Insidious Contributor to Medical Mishaps
by Kathleen M. Sutcliffe, PhD, Elizabeth Lewton, PhD, MPH, and Marilynn M. Rosenthal, PhD
Academic Medicine, 2004, 79. Jg., No. 2

The occurrence of everyday medical mishaps in this study is associated with faulty communication; but, poor communication is not simply the result of poor transmission or exchange of information. Communication failures are far more complex and relate to hierarchical differences, concerns with upward influence, conflicting roles and role ambiguity, and interpersonal power and conflict. A clearer understanding of these dynamics highlights possibilities for appropriate interventions in medical education and in health care organizations aimed at improving patient safety.
.[/tab] [tab title=”Upcoming courses”]

Team- and Patient-Centered Communication for the Patient Medical Home
Start: Oktober 2015, USA
For more information click here.

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Tip: More up to date educational events dealing with healthcare can be found online on the Education Database »medicine & health«.




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