Long-Term Care

Using effective communication practices

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, June 2, 2011

Communication between staff and residents occurs in a variety of ways. Beyond speech and verbal cues, people interact with each other through facial gestures, body language, attitude, and appearance. In communicating with residents, it is important to be mindful of each of these methods of expression, while combating possible hindrances such as hearing and eyesight problems, illness, stress, medications, emotions, fatigue, confusion, language or cultural differences, and even personality differences. It is also important to avoid:

  • Offering your opinions. Help your residents make their own decisions. Don’t tell them what you think they should or shouldn’t do.
  • Becoming defensive. When a resident criticizes you or someone else, reflect his or her concern back to him or her so you can learn more about the problem.
  • Making judgments. Instead of showing disapproval, ask the resident about his or her reasons for acting or feeling a certain way. Be open to differences of opinion.
  • Asking “why.” “Why” questions make people more defensive.
  • Giving empty assurances. “Everything’s going to be fine” isn’t necessarily true. Focus on helping the resident talk about his or her concerns.

This is an excerpt from the HCPro book, The CNA Training Solution, Second Edition.

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