Communication is a clinical skill (part 1)

Communication is a clinical skill (part 1)

Authors: Cindy Adams, Antje Blättner, Miguel Ángel Díaz, Iván López Vásquez

The communication skills that follow are essential for the development of a collaborative veterinarian-client partnership, staff member-client partnership, staff member-staff member relationship. These skills constitute the core of clinical communication skills that can lead to more common ground, enhanced relationships and coordination of care, reduced conflicts and complaints. Let’s begin by looking at non-verbal communication. 

Communication is a clinical skill (part 2)

Communication is a clinical skill (part 2)

Authors: Cindy Adams, Antje Blättner, Miguel Ángel Díaz, Iván López Vásquez

One of the key skills in building relationships with others is the use of empathy. Empathy is referred to as the essential building block for extending compassion. That said, of all the skills used in a consultation, empathy is the one most often thought by learners to be a matter of personality trait rather than skill. Certainly one of the first steps in communicating empathy is the internal drive to truly want to understand the client’s perspective along with relevant communication skills to relay this knowingness. Although some of us are more naturally empathetic, skills necessary for empathy can be learned.

Communication is a clinical skill (part 4)

Communication is a clinical skill (part 4)

Authors: Cindy Adams, Antje Blättner, Miguel Ángel Díaz, Iván López Vásquez

As well as listening it is important to actively encourage the client to continue telling their story. Any behavior that has the effect of inviting clients to say more about the area they are talking about is a facilitative technique. At the beginning of the consultation our objective is to obtain as wide as possible an understanding of the patient’s problem or needs and the client’s agenda before exploring any one problem or issue in greater detail. As we discussed earlier, open-ended questions enable us to encourage the client to tell his story before we drill down into more detail.

Communication is a clinical skill (part 5)

Communication is a clinical skill (part 5)

Authors: Cindy Adams, Antje Blättner, Miguel Ángel Díaz, Iván López Vásquez

Inclusion of the communication skills in every day practice requires us to move beyond what we do anyway to a higher level of intention in the way that we interact with clients and one another. These more effective consultations and interactions also lead to improved outcomes of care including: improved client, vet practitioner, staff member satisfaction, increased understanding and recall by clients, increased adherence and practice success. Let’s turn our attention to two useful techniques for communicating during consultations: the “shot-put” approach and the “Frisbee” approach. 

The smooth consultation (part 1)

The smooth consultation (part 1)

Authors: Cindy Adams, Antje Blättner, Miguel Ángel Díaz, Iván López Vásquez

Vet practitioners frequently concentrate on the pet and forget about the owner… Client centricity requires some preparation and training. The consultation should follow a process where conditions are created to have a positive interaction with the pet owner, starting with a warm-up and using the communication skills explained in the chapter “Communication is a clinical skill”. In this first section, we look at warm-ups and how to establish a good relationship with owners.

Everyday challenges

Everyday challenges

Authors: Cindy Adams, Antje Blättner, Miguel Ángel Díaz, Iván López Vásquez

This chapter will cover some difficult situations that a vet practitioner can face. With the influence of “Dr. Google”, pet owners have more and more objections: they challenge what the vet says and does… this can lead to conflicted situations. Finally, many veterinarians are uncomfortable talking about money. Suggestions for how to talk about money are proposed in this section of the Focus.

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