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Use clear speech with nontechnical words
By Kathy Ordelt, RN-CPN, CRRN
Patient and Family Education Coordinator
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Clinical staff and physicians routinely use the telephone for triage, patient education, and follow-up care. Although the phone is both necessary and vital in any health care setting, it can create a barrier to communication because it prevents us from seeing facial expressions and body language. The impression the patient or family receives depends on what they hear — using good phone skills and proper phone etiquette can help make the phone encounter more productive and enjoyable.
Whether you’re doing the dialing or the patient is calling you, here are a few tips for using the telephone that can help you maximize your communication efforts:
Hold and transfer
A great finish
Write it down
For more information about the ideas or issues discussed in this article, contact: Kathy Ordelt, RN-CPN, CRRN, Patient and Family Education Coordinator, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, 1600 Tullie Circle, Atlanta, GA 30329. Telephone: (404) 785-7839. Fax: (404) 785-7017. E-mail: Kathy.email@example.com.