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Chapter 8: Communication and

Professionalism

Learning Outcomes
Describe purpose of communications in

pharmacies
List elements of verbal/nonverbal
communications
Compare/contrast effective/ineffective
communication
Describe techniques for working with special
patients
Identify health care professionals you will contact
Describe effective types of behaviors

Key Terms
Body language
Closed-ended questions
Communication
Empathy
Health literacy
Message

Key Terms
Nonverbal communication
Open-ended questions
Patient-centered care
Receiver
Response
Sender

Role of Pharmacy
Technician
Helps pharmacist
prescription preparation & distribution
maintaining medication inventories
managing & administering pharmacy operations

Interactions with
pharmacists
pharmacy technicians
other health care professionals
patients/caregivers

Effective Communication
Skills
Strong communication skills needed
avoid misunderstandings/interpersonal conflicts

Miscommunications may lead to problems

with
inventory control
financial & legal liability
licensure maintenance
breakdowns in organizational relationships
potential loss of employment

Communication
Goal
recipient hears message deliverer intended

Strategies
Listening

Patients Perspective
do not view as objects but as individuals
need to feel care/understanding
may be facing debilitating circumstances

Patient-Centered Care
Show active interest in patients concerns
attentive to emotional signals
listen well
exhibit sensitivity
anticipate needs
meet expectations

Pharmacists Perspective
Pharmaceutical care
Pharmacist responsible for
ensuring patient will not be harmed
verifying patient understands how to use
medication
Develops relationships
with patient
other health care professionals

Technicians Perspective
Technicians response to circumstances
under his or her control
Goals of communications clear
shape responses & outcomes

Priority is patients well-being

is that once it has been said, it


cant
be taken back.

Communication Basics
Processes
transmitting
receiving
processing (or interpreting)

Areas
verbal
nonverbal
written interpersonal communication

Verbal Communication
Most common form of interpersonal

communication
Spoken message from sender to recipient
4 main aspects of verbal communication
1.
2.
3.
4.

sender
message
receiver
response

Nonverbal
May include
Communication

appearance
behavior
body language
physical distance
physical contact

Conveys attitudes & emotions

Written Communication
Common written communications in

pharmacies
notes/memos
e-mails
shift reports
faxes
reports or documentation forms
entries on want books (inventory control)

Inaccuracies, errors, inappropriate content,

unprofessional attitudes or remarks not okay

The Patient Encounter


Community & ambulatory care pharmacy

settings
new prescription or refill is requested,
patient profile information is gathered
medication is being picked up
technician answers telephone

Responds to questions
pricing
insurance
product location

Hospital Encounters
Communications
more often health care professionals rather

than patients

Effective communication skills essential


Scope of technician responsibilities
new opportunities for direct patient

communication

Purpose of Encounter
Purpose needs to be understood by each

individual
Goal
Solve problem

urgency of issue must be assessed


proper questions asked

Method of Encounter
Face-to-Face Encounters
Telephone Encounters
Internet
Other Electronic Communication Methods

Gathering & Delivering


Approach
Info
Asking the Question
Closed-ended questions
Open-ended questions

Listening
Responding
Empathy

Verification of Understanding
Honesty and Ethics
Confidentiality

Med Information &


Counseling
Scope of practice
Questions that should be directed to

pharmacist
dosages, effects, administration of medication

What questions do you have for the

pharmacist about your medication


over-the-counter (OTC)
complementary & alternative medication (CAM)

Guided by state laws, pharmacy practice acts,

organizational policies/procedures

Special Patient
Populations
Angry or Hostile Patients
Patients with Terminal Health Conditions
Patients with Mental Illness
Older Adult Patients
Patients with Low Health Literacy

Cultural Sensitivity
Culturally competent
adapt the care
consistent with patients cultural, traditional,
societal needs & beliefs
Avoid
mistaken belief
labeling
stereotyping

Strategies
Open-ended questions
Professional interpreters
look at patient while speaking, not at

interpreter

Differences within certain ethnic populations


Direct eye contact may be
valued in some cultures
sign of disrespect in others

Cultures
Some cultures may show minimal emotion
Less responsive to touch by health care

professional
Acceptable personal space
Ask about preferences
Do NOT make general assumptions about
patient behaviors & beliefs based on a cultural
or ethnic identification

Communicating with
Team
Teamwork
collaboration
cooperation
accomplish a common goal

Working relationship between team members


essential elements

trust, understanding, respect, friendship