LISTENING IN HEALTHCARE


Studies have shown that the average doctor will let the patient speak approximately 18 seconds before interrupting. When a doctor who prescribes medication is not listening or asking the right questions, or considering in the whole person, the results can be disastrous—even deadly. Short of catastrophic consequences, any health care practitioner or advisor who isn’t listening can miss critical symptoms that, if recognized, would help in resolving health issues. It isn’t that healing professionals don’t care to listen; no one enters the field of caring for others without caring.  As with every profession and every listening situation, doctors and other healing professionals face special challenges. 

A few quick listening tips for doctors and healthcare providers:

  • Spend as much time as possible.
  • Never stand with your hand on the doorknob.
  • Look patients directly in the eye.
  • Invite patients to take notes and also to have someone else with them for diagnoses and recommendations. Stress is a challenge to listening abilities. Also, give as much as you can in writing.
  • Pay attention to how well you listen, and see how you rate on the listening assessments from RULE #1: STOP TALKING!  (These assessments are available as a free PDF download from the "Free Downloads" page.)
  • Give clients or patients a satisfaction survey that includes assessing your listening skills. Ask patients whether they felt listened to and understood…. then listen.

A few quick listening tips for patients and clients:
  • Take notes or bring someone into the appointment with you.  Health issues and concerns can be stressful, which makes listening more difficult.
  • Don’t be intimidated!  If you don’t feel you’ve been heard or your question has not been answered, don’t be brushed off.  Politely say that you cannot leave until you know that your symptoms and concerns have been heard and that you understand any recommendations.  Any conscientious professional would want nothing less.

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A FEW RELATED SELECTIONS FROM THE "IN LISTENING NEWS" PAGE

The "In Listening News" page features stories related to listening in all contexts (with archives back to 2010). The selections on this page are not regularly updated. For updated news posts, visit the "In Listening News" page!


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IN OTHER HEALTH NEWS - LOOKING FOR A COMMON-SENSE APPROACH TO HEALTHFUL LIVING?

One of the articles above is by my husband, Jeff Novick. Jeff has been a pioneer in the health movement for over 25 years. For those interested in more in-depth health information and "a common-sense approach to healthful living" and a great wealth of health information, I highly recommend a visit to his Website at www.JeffNovick.com.

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SOME SELECTED BOOKS ON MIND-BODY HEALTH, INNER LISTENING, AND EMOTIONAL HEALING

Healing Back Pain by John E. Sarno, MD
Transformation Soup: Healing the Splendidly Imperfect by Sark
The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force that Undermines Health & Happiness by Douglas J. Lisle and Alan Goldhamer
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
Living with a Black Dog: His Name is Depression by Matthew Johnstone

Find more at
The Listeners Unite Bookshop!

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  • Thank you for listening!

  • ~ Linda Eve Diamond



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