Patient care that is conducted in an ethical manner is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values. Patient-centered health care is dependent on effective communication between health care professionals responsible for the patient's care as well as between healthcare professionals and the patient and patient's family.
Effective communication is essential to:
- Coordinate the services patients receive
- Alleviate anxiety for the patient and patient's family
- Reduce the patient's pain
Communication is only effective if the patient understands what you are saying. Use terminology that is at the patient's level of understanding and get periodic feedback from the patient that assesses whether he/she understood what you communicated. If the patient's primary language is not the same as yours, use the services of an interpreter, if necessary, in accordance with your organization's policy.
It is also important to communicate with any family member who has the role of caregiver and involve him/her in decision making.